Marketers understand that the real value of social media isn’t represented in the data but rather in the analysis. The metrics that have real meaning will inform your overall strategy and impact your business’ bottom line. However, in order to accurately measure social ROI, you need to first identify the data and compile presentable reports with digestible social media metrics.

This week at #SproutChat we discussed which social metrics to look for, how to establish social goals and offered tips on best practices for presenting insights to a broader team.

Conduct a Social Media Audit

Whether you’re starting a new job or revamping a social strategy for a client or existing employer it’s important to conduct a social media audit before diving in and implementing any new initiatives. Having an understanding of what social content already exists and knowing what your brand’s follower numbers, engagement metrics, impressions and click-throughs are is essential for any progress.

Present High-Level Learnings

Communicating the ROI of social to your boss can be challenge. It’s likely that senior leadership doesn’t speak the same language as your team does. Social metrics that are interesting and important to a social media manager may not be valued by the CMO and that’s OK. Secure buy in by the causation for visits to your website and conversions that came from social. Use your reports to clearly outline high-level learnings that directly impact your business and explain how engagement and other activity ties back to ROI.

Continue to Educate Your Colleagues

Team members outside of your social media marketing team will often have a misconception about what quantifies as success. Some people will assume that follower count means success while others won’t understand that a successful social strategy will have a balance of paid and organic distribution. Try to proactively educate your colleagues so everyone’s on the same page with your social media goals and industry best practices.

Due to Thanksgiving, we’re skipping #SproutChat next week. But join us on Wednesday, November 30 to discuss content distribution with Sprout All Starand Content Marketing expert,Erika Heald. Looking for more ways to stay connected with our community? Join our Facebook group to connect with other chat participants.