How to Prove the Value of Social Media to Your CMO | Hootsuite Blog

How to Prove the Value of Social Media to Your Boss

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Have you ever sat through a presentation that wasn’t meant for you? You stare blankly at a screen of numbers and nonsensical acronyms, then you disengage after five minutes and daydream about your after-work bike ride.

When you’re trying to prove the value of social media to your boss you can’t afford to lose their attention. Their time is precious. Luckily, there are simple and effective ways to present your findings.

The leaders in your company don’t care about the day-to-day details of your brand’s social media strategy. They want to how your efforts are driving business goals. It’s your job to eliminate unnecessary data and present the findings that matter to leadership.

Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence with Hootsuite.

What your boss wants to know (and what metrics back it up)

1. How social contributes to revenue

How has social contributed to the company’s bottom line? This is the most important question that you need to answer for your boss. If your social activities and efforts aren’t making money, it’s difficult to make a case for keeping social programs and/or expanding them.

How to tie revenue to social media:

Lead generation: Leads from social will show potential revenue you’ve generated in comparison to other channels. Contests, ads, gated content on social—these are all effective ways of generating leads. To make sure that you’re getting qualified leads, capture enough customer data in all your form fills—company name, size, job title, etc.

Referral Traffic: Referral traffic, similarly to leads, will show your leader the potential for revenue. If you’re running a company-wide campaign and social is responsible for 25 percent of all traffic, that’s an important stat to show. It highlights social’s contribution to driving new prospects to your business.

Conversion: A good chunk of your conversion goals for social campaigns will either be a purchase, download, or trial. By tracking conversions that come from social, you can understand how it contributes to your wider marketing and sales objectives.

Pro tip: To track leads and conversions, make sure that you use UTM parameters on all your links on social. Check out our article on social ads to learn how to build UTM codes.

2. The return on investment from social media campaigns

If you’re asking for budget, you need to show that the money already invested has generated income. Compared to other forms of marketing, social is a cost-effective way to generate sales and leads.

How to prove social media ROI:

Cost to acquire a lead (CAL): To determine the cost to acquire a lead, divide your relevant social media spend by the number of leads earned from a specific campaign or timeline. You need to show that you can acquire high quality leads at a relatively low cost.

Cost to acquire a customer (CAC): When you’re calculating conversions, look only at those that include purchase or trial. It’s important to point out that social has an indirect impact on customer purchases, which you may or may not be able to track. The customers you’re tracking are only one piece of a bigger pie.

Cost-saving efficiencies: Show how social saves your company money. If you run a social customer service program and you’ve reduced ticket backlogs by 80 percent, that’s an important stat that illustrates how you’ve saved time and resources.

Pro tip: If your company has a brick and mortar store and you’d like to show the impact of social ads on ‘offline’ leads like store visits, you’re in luck. Facebook has introduced a new tool that will show you how many people visited your store after viewing a Facebook ad.

3. How people perceive your brand

Brand reputation and awareness is a key part of staying ahead of your competitors. Your boss probably understands that social is an important part of that—but it’s up to you to show exactly how much it makes an impact.

How you demonstrate brand awareness with social media:

Engagement rate: Social is, after all, about having a good conversation with your customers. Be sure to showcase the areas of strong engagement. If you’re trying to get buy-in on a video budget, for example, and you know that video engagement is 10 times higher than other forms of content, then that’s something you can share.

Social share of voice: Share of voice tells you how many people are talking about your brand on social in comparison to your competitors. If you’ve got the biggest share of voice on social in your industry it shows that people are aware of, and likely receptive to, your brand.

As we explain in our guide, 7 Social Media Metrics That Matter—and How to Track Them, you can determine social share of voice by adding all the mentions of your brand with those of your competitor (Hootsuite Analytics can help you see these numbers at a glance, instead of having to add them all up manually). That will give you the total number of industry mentions. Then you simply need to divide your brand mentions by the industry total and multiply that number by 100 for your social share of voice percent.

Overall brand sentiment: In addition to share of voice, you want to make sure that the actual attention you’re getting on social is positive. Hootsuite Insights automatically collects brand sentiment data so you can measure and prove this metric with just a couple of clicks. You can even filter results by location, language, gender, and more.

How to present a social media report to your boss

1. Keep it short: Presentations should not be more than 30 minutes and no more than once a month. Cut anything that isn’t necessary.

2. Always show business value: Different metrics matter to different teams. People in charge want high-level business results with insight on the tactics you used to get them.

3. Use images: You know the power of good images. Use them in your presentation to break up chunks of information and to illustrate key stats.
Get buy-in by showing the right analytics

Get buy-in by showing the right analytics

When proving the value of social media to your boss, focus on data that builds a clear case for the programs you’re trying to champion, areas you’d like to improve, and budget requests. Always keep the end goal (or ask) in mind.

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