-By Raphaelle DaCosta-

Social media can be a goldmine for your business, but sometimes finding a path to success can be filled with roadblocks and detours. So, which strategy delivers the best ROI and how can your business profit from its presence on social media? There’s really no clear answer to this question. All you can do is identify your specific social media goals and track results to ensure you are achieving them.

To execute an effective social media campaign, there are a few factors that can be measured and improved- the amount of traffic your posts generate (both organic and paid), engagement, which includes sign-ups and comments, and profit.

Traffic (Reach) – Retention Vs. Revenue

Reach refers to the total number of fans and followers that have seen your posts at any given time. The higher your reach, the higher your chance to influence your fans. The first step in improving your reach is simply to improve your social media.Screenshot 2015-09-23 at 2.21.42 PM This process becomes easier when businesses start to pay attention to which posts have received the most attention and cater future posts to be similar.

Top social media sites offer several useful metrics to inform you which types of posts you should continue posting and which to avoid. Facebook Insights breaks down total engagement and reach of each post and page. Twitter Analytics provides similar statistics relating to engagement and impressions.

Reach, in the end, does not equal revenue. Instead, this measurement is all about retaining online fans. It might take time, but keeping an eye on what’s succeeding for you and others, as well as what’s trending, can elevate your social power and hopefully your social media ROI.

Engagement – It’s not always about numbers.

Likes, shares, comments, retweets, and favorites are all indicators of how engaged your users are.unnamed Imagine you’ve measured your pages’ engagement and want to improve. A good place to start is to return the favor! Respond to everything. Many bigger brands’ social media teams thrive on this concept.

But don’t put too much emphasis on the number of comments or likes your page receives. Remember, it’s more likely a mother of three notices a local doctor’s postpromoting their business and does not engage online. Instead, she tells her friends and family offline, a form of engagement Facebook Analytics can’t measure. When writing these posts, consider creating unique coupons your customers need to present in person, or at the time of purchase, to receive the promotion, and always ask them how they found it.

Profit – Where is my money going with social media?

The specifics of what each company will gain from social media will vary widely based on your goals and efforts on social media. If your main goal is to increase brand awareness and your posts have a high reach, then you can conclude your efforts have been profitable!

While it hurts that there is no direct way to measure your actual social media ROI, knowing what you want, tracking your steps, and adjusting your strategy, will allow your business to improve its social presence. Think about your existing customers, potential customers, and decide which path is best for your social media.
As Gandhi said, “You may never know what results come from your actions. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”