Social media touches on all points of the marketing funnel. It also impacts every part of your company from consumer research to customer service.

To fully measure the success of your social media marketing strategy, you need to first understand the value it brings to your company.

You might already know that your strategy is working but do you know how valuable an Instagram comment is? Or how much a review about your product is affecting your retention rate? With numbers in hand, you can communicate exactly how valuable social media is.

In this article, we’ll help you find the value of your social media efforts by measuring metrics that align with your company’s goals.

Return On Investment

Is the time you spend on double-tapping posts or replying to Tweets actually worth it?

Your return on investment (ROI) exists to answer questions like this and more. ROI can be measured at the campaign level on each social platform or at an overall social media marketing level.

The formula for social media ROI is:

(Earnings – Costs) x 100 / Costs

Let’s take a campaign as an example. Earnings are the amount you attribute to the campaign. In a single email campaign, the purchases that were made via clicks are your earnings. Costs are the efforts that went into the campaign, including the people involved, their time spent, the tools used and your ad spend.

ROI is one of the best metrics to use for tracking social media value. It puts dollar amounts to the time and money spent in your social media marketing efforts. As marketers, you often need to have these numbers on hand to explain things like why you purchased a new marketing software.

The inputs for assessing ROI vary between companies. Learn more on how to set up your company’s plan with our guide to social media ROI.

How to use Sprout to track ROI

Sprout has several social commerce integrations available to use, such as Shopify and Facebook Shops. These can help you follow the trail of social media-influenced purchases. Sprout offers reports that assess campaign success where users can utilize the Tag Performance and the Cross-Network Paid Performance Reports shown below to help track ROI.

sprout social post performance report

Website traffic

According to the Sprout Social Index™, Edition XVII: Accelerate, consumers take several actions after they follow a brand on social media. Ninety-one percent of consumers will visit the brand’s website, 90% will buy from the brand and 86% will visit the physical retail store.

With these numbers, you definitely want to be tracking how much value social media brings to your website traffic.

infographic of social actions consumers take

Social media drives a significant amount of referral traffic to e-commerce websites. When someone clicks through your social post to your website, that click is recorded as referral traffic. Facebook leads the way in referral to ecommerce websites with a nearly 50% share of traffic, followed by YouTube at 24.46% and Twitter at 10%.

To track website traffic, connect your Google Analytics account or look at your website’s native data. Go a step further by using UTM trackers to identify which sources the clicks are coming from. This way, if your website receives a sudden influx of visitors, you’ll know which one of your Facebook posts it’s from.

Website traffic data influences are dependent on how your company operates. For example, if you make a significant amount of sales in the fourth quarter, your website traffic data will reflect this. Or, if you create a blog post that news outlets pick up on, that also factors into the data.

Some traffic can be predicted while others cannot which is why it’s important to track this metric.

How to find website traffic in Sprout

When you connect Sprout to Google Analytics, you’ll be able to do more than just data about where your website clicks are coming from. Instead you can conveniently build your UTM tracking as you’re composing your social posts. With the tracking activated, you have a more comprehensive view of your website traffic.

sprout social utm tracker

Brand awareness

Brands benefit from being present on social media. If you want more people to know about your brand via social media, then brand awareness should be a goal for you.

In fact, 80% of consumers say brand awareness makes them more likely to buy on social. This makes your audience reach an important metric to track to identify the value social media is giving you.

social commerce infographic

Building brand awareness takes time comes in various forms. A reshare of a post, a targeted video ad or reviews all count as brand awareness. Online reviews and recommendations from trusted sources are known to influence purchases. Ninety percent of Millennials and 82% of Gen Z consumers read reviews from other customers on social media.

Use these reviews to boost your brand’s social credibility by resharing them. Or, create new content like Burt’s Bees did. This works well because you’re then able to track the associated analytics for your post.

image of a twitter post showing how a brand markets a product

Follow these tips to boost your company’s brand awareness on social media. The most common metrics that are used to analyze this goal are impressions and reach.

How to use Sprout to analyze brand awareness

There are several ways you can use Sprout for building brand awareness on social media. With robust listening tools, you can build and track topics that are most relevant to you. You can then view data in Listening Topics to see how well your brand is performing.
sprout social query builder report
Using hashtags in your posts allows you to track their performance. With specific hashtag types, you can see how each one performs within your Listening Topics. To go a step further, Sprout offers a related keywords feature so you can expand your keyword potential and related hashtags.
sprout social related keywords and hashtag report


Social media engagement includes clicks, likes, reposts, follows, views and incoming messages. And from the brand end, being responsive to customer service goes a long way.

Brands can leverage their online presence to build customer service and audience interaction within their preferred social platform with the help of engagement. According to Sprout’s data, 47% of consumers believe that offering strong customer service makes a brand best in class on social. And 46% of them also believe that a brand engaging with its audience is just as important.

sprout social infographic displaying best in social

When consumers follow a brand on social media, there are a number of engagement actions they take. Seventy-three percent will engage with the brand while 76% will reach out for support. Take the time to build your community and 85% of consumers will buy from you more often.

Need ideas on creating great organic content? Check out these four types of content for driving engagement. Or, use these proven optimization strategies to boost social engagement.

How to track engagement in Sprout

Engagement is available as a metric in multiple reports. The number can be found at the profile level, network level and post level. The number is further broken down into the types of engagement like clicks and comments.
sprout social dashboard showing post performance
How long does someone have to wait before their DM is answered? Does it even get answered? Responsiveness in customer service means replying to questions in a timely manner. Sprout offers an Inbox Team Report so you can easily track how quickly each person is replying.

sprout social dashboard showing the team report

Lead generation and sales

Wanting to reach customers in the consideration stage of their purchase journey is a common social media goal. When shopping for furniture, customers usually won’t go straight to one store. Instead, they’ll research their options and then make a purchase.

We’ve already mentioned how being engaging and present on social media can lead to purchases and brand loyalty. The next step is to ensure that trackers are in place.

To set up analytics for your lead gen efforts, create unique tracking links and make it easy for customers to purchase your products or service. Social commerce is on the rise because it’s far easier to buy on networks like Instagram without leaving the app. Take advantage of this by setting up a store and tagging your product whenever possible.

If you’re stuck on how to grow your brand on social, here are nine ideas for lead gen campaigns.

How to improve lead gen with Sprout

When talking about social media-driven sales, use our ROI guide to calculate the numbers. For lead generation efforts, Sprout connects with Shopify and Facebook Shops to tag your product offerings. When a customer inquires about a product, you can easily add the direct link into the reply.
sprout social catalog

Customer retention

It’s great to attract new customers but don’t forget about your current ones. One survey found that 86% of people are more likely to stay loyal to a company that invests in onboarding content. And, 63% say that after purchase support is an important consideration for making the purchase decision.

Create useful content and offer after-purchase customer service support to increase retention rates. Employ customer retention strategies like rewards programs and feedback emails. You’ll find that customers will stick around more.

It can cost up to seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one. Existing customers are also 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more than new ones. Using social media customer service is one of the best ways to improve your customer retention rates.

How to improve customer retention in Sprout

Sprout’s Smart Inbox is designed to support customer retention. With filters and custom views, never miss a social media message again. The reporting features include useful metrics like response time, unique messages and action rate. Don’t assume your team is replying; gather the data that proves it.
sprout social inbox

What’s your social media value?

Social media offers a wide range of value for brands and businesses alike. By measuring metrics like website traffic and engagement rate, you can calculate the value your marketing brings. Because social media supports the whole marketing funnel, Sprout does too. With the Sprout platform, you can track brand awareness and reply quickly to customers. If you’re still looking to understand the value that social media brings, read our latest Sprout Social Index™ report.