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Social media marketing ROI difficult but not impossible to measure

Measuring return on investment for non-direct marketing campaigns can be particularly difficult, especially with social media marketing. Some marketers and industry experts have even suggested that social media ROI is zero.

However, many companies have significantly benefited from social media campaigns. Because success is indirectly evident with such campaigns, it has led many to assume it does not exist.

A multichannel marketing campaign that utilizes print, social media and other web mediums is the ideal initiative. Despite the difficulties, a report from Econsultancy found that 50 percent of marketers are measuring the ROI for their social media campaigns.

Heidi Cohen suggests that social media ROI can be calculated, but that marketers must employ stringent and creative approaches to do so.

"Social media marketing is used early in the sales process," she wrote in ClickZ. "This makes it difficult to identify to what extent it drove specific sales. One solution is to include a call-to-action to get prospects to act. Unlike traditional direct marketing, social media marketing may use a call-to-action for a pre-sale action rather than a sale. Then, where possible, create a related landing page to help convert sales and gather measure results."

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