Social media is a massive player in the digital marketing ecosystem and will continue in this vein for the foreseeable future. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Co are constantly growing, providing an engaging avenue for lead generation and relationship building.

Businesses now feel they must be active in this space or fear being left behind. Social media is becoming an ever-present fixture in digital marketing strategies across every industry.

Despite being relatively cost effective, of course there is still an associated cost. Expenses incurred from social media can include content creation, social management tools, personnel or paid ads in social channels to name just a few. With the cost of conducting social media campaigns stacking up – as with all marketing activity – it’s import to produce a ROI.

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It’s common for B2B marketers to ask, “how do I measure ROI on social media?”

The only route to accurately measuring the financial return from social media is by using reliable tracking tools to evaluate if these campaigns help achieve sales or other business goals.

Here are a few recommended tools that can be used to track social media campaigns and help identify a ROI.

Google Analytics
The impact of social media can be measured against the business goals set in Google’s free analytics tool. This interface has the capability to identify some of the metrics that matter and identify which content is being shared. As it’s a free tool, Google analytics is commonly used by marketers. However it’s limited in terms of detailed tracking and analysis.

HootSuite
A social media management tool such as HootSuite is designed to build a brand online across a range of social media sites. These can also be used to manage content assets, activity and response or schedule posts. HootSuite is very easy to use, can save time by having so much in one place and get the most out of social profiles. The powerful tool comes highly recommended by top industry thinkers including Social Media Today and is very easy to set up. The only gripe is regarding tracking and the lack of intuitive campaign data available.

IP tracking Software
Manage social campaigns and get powerful insights into traffic sources, plus other useful data with this lead generation software. The true value in social media tracking lies in attribution, such insights that can be produced using an IP tracking tool.

This technology allows marketers to see when someone clicks through to their website from one of their social platforms and track what they do next, enabling marketers to measure which social platforms are driving the most traffic to their website and the sorts of articles or information driving the most engagement, turning social media from a nice to have to a lead generation tool.

And because clients are told who the business are, which pages they’ve spent time on and how long they’ve spent on these pages, plus their industry code and company turnover, the tool enables them to identify and prioritise their most valuable prospects.

Driving ROI from social media isn’t where this solution stops, the pioneering lead generation tool helps to identify unknown businesses that visit a website but do not enquire from all channels, increasing the online return on investment for all online activity.

In summary, detailed tracking and analysis of social media activity will enable ROI to be measured and using these pre-mentioned tools will help build a strong business case for on-going social media campaigns and investment.