Finding the right metrics for determining ROI of social media is different depending on what type of business your run and what your goals are. In my recent interview with Nate Kievman, he shared his perspective on how the ROI of social media should be calculated for different organizations and I’m certain that it will be very enlightening for many entrepreneurs and business people that struggle to represent the real-time benefits of it.

Determine Your Metrics For Success

Kievman asserts that most organizations come from two strands of thought:

  1. ROI focused but also very results-driven (Favored by Direct Marketers)
  2. Branding organizations that are focused on building a brand

As we continued to discuss the big divide that exists between these two ways of thinking in the social marketing world, it was determined that both of these strategies are very applicable and very powerful in their own ways but you can’t measure them both in the same way.

“You will see things like Radiant6 (popular social marketing tool) and other tools like that that have come about because they are measuring influence by mentions which is a branding metric of success.

“When most people think of ROI, they’re thinking return on investment when social media oftentimes is return on energy, return on efforts (ROE), and that’s the branding side of the word but it’s not to be taken lightly because that’s extremely powerful.”

Kievman’s words resonated with me, especially as an entrepreneur working exclusively in the social media marketing domain. When it gets down to the nitty gritty of the almighty dollar, Kievman suggests LinkedIn, especially in the B2B space when putting very specific programs and campaigns that aim for a very specific result.

He compares using LinkedIn to a direct mail program because of their equal tendency to be extremely powerful when executed properly or a colossal waste of time and money when done it wrong. Those of us who remember the prime days of direct mail know this all too well.  A failed national direct mail campaign is a tougher pill to swallow than determining the ROI of social media!

“If you go about it with the approach that you’re going to just go pitch everybody and send a traditional sales copy through LinkedIn, then you’re not going to have the success that you’re hoping to get.” Kievman leaves little room for rebuttal here and suggests that ROI is primarily valuable through that method or by taking an editorial approach with a long-term strategy for “creating influence and of your own brand through the content that you contribute.”

Related: The 5 Major Business Benefits of Blogging

What metrics are most important to you and your business when determining the ROI of social media? Leave a message in the comments below!

Author's Bio: 

MelonieDodaro, of Top Dog Social Media, is passionate about social media and helps business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals to use social media marketing to boost their visibility, attract new customers and increase their revenue. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, she’s also a regular contributor to several social media and business magazines and is a highly sought after speaker and trainer. To learn more about Melonie visit her web site at