Research

Is social media worth it?

Christian Green

Christian Green

10 minutes read

The time consumers spend on social media is taking over from traditional media, yet businesses are still spending the main part of their resources on reaching on consumers in other channels – without exploring whether media ROI and effect may be better in social networks.

The ambiguity of social content performance

Perhaps part of the problem stems from the misconception that social media can’t be measured and ROI is impossible to determine. We’ve heard it and we’ve seen it, but luckily more and more executives see the true value originating from social media content. With the right tool(s), it’s possible to measure ROI on social media. Our contribution, the Zenbu tool, is based on a simple methodology to help create transparency around the value of social media content.

How much are you spending?

The first step, is to determine the costs of running your social media channel(s). Without a clear picture of what costs goes into social media marketing, the returns will be without context, and a true picture of ROI is hard to achieve. Whether you outsource or keep social media efforts in-house, always keep in mind all the associated costs. Costs can include the following

  • Ad spend (e.g. Facebook ads / boosts)
  • Agency or freelancer costs
  • Social media management/measurement tools
  • Other content creation costs

What is it worth?

The next step is adding a monetary value to the output from your social channel. That means actions that you would have paid for in other media. Look at your average CPM, CPC, and CPV from the traditional channels that you would have otherwise used. In other words, ask yourself the important question: For every action, you can get from social media – what would you have paid for it?

By doing this exercise, you now have the investment and the media value generated by your social media content, and you’re able to calculate your monthly ROI, or what we at Zenbu call ‘Media Performance’.

Invest in the best performing content

...and let the low-performing content die! Companies and brands should always keep in mind that they’re not just competing for attention with close competitors. On social media, you’re competing with a plethora of companies, as well as posts from your real human friends. To make your content stand out and leverage the mechanics of social media, remember to stay relevant and “social” with your audience. Not all your content will be a home-run, and that’s okay – but don’t waste further resources on content that doesn’t resonate with your audience.

Boosting every post and spreading ad budget equally across every post is a strategy that will lower your overall ROI. We advise that the best approach is to earmark ad budget for the content that will perform well and getting it in front of your audience. By using tools, such as Zenbu, that helps detect your best-performing content, eliminates the guesstimate approach, so you quickly see in which content to invest in – and make more of. Delivering the right content to the right audience doesn’t only help you to stay relevant in terms of brand loyalty, but will also increase your social media ROI. If you’re a social media marketer, it’s a very quantifiable evidence-based approach that’ll impress the C-suite.

About the author

Christian Green
Christian Green
Co-founder

Content marketing expert with a passion for disruptive, social and digital businesses. I have built unconventional digital marketing companies and worked across three continents as a senior level consultant for clients such as Carlsberg, Arla Foods, PepsiCo, Fiat Group, Bosch and L'Oreal on social and digital marketing strategy. I guest lecture on branded content strategy and social media marketing, play polo and rarely read books.

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