For small business owners, it can be difficult to see a clear return on investment, or ROI, when it comes to all the time, energy, and dollars you’ve spent on social media and review sites trying to get new customers. But, having a compelling online presence is crucial for your business in today’s social media-driven market and there are lots of ways to measure the impact your online presence is having on your bottom line.

At Main Street Hub, over 10,000 local business customers trust us to elevate their online presence, and our team has some great tips for local businesses so they can succeed online and see solid ROI.

First, it’s important to mention that before you start posting on social media and evaluating your ROI, you should ensure that your business has an effective content marketing strategy in place for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can do that by sharing high-quality content that is driven by your business goals. Next, it’s time to measure how those posts are performing online. This is how you can see what’s working, what’s not, and how you should adjust your strategy moving forward.

Track these metrics, and you can start to gauge the impact of all the work you’re doing on social media and review sites:

Reach and New Followers

As your brand grows and becomes more popular, you’ll be able to see an increase in your reach and new followers, which will show you if your brand awareness is increasing as well.

New followers measures new fans who want to keep up with all the content you’re posting on your social pages, and reach measures the number of unique users who saw your content. Reach has an impact on your engagement as well (likes, comments, and clicks) — if you’re reaching the right people, then they will engage with your content.

To break it down: if your content is performing well, users will opt in and let you know that they want more by following you, and the more users engage with your content, the more reach it will get — because it will get in front of new eyes. With engaging content, businesses can expect growth in both followers and reach.

If you’re not seeing a ton of reach or new followers week over week or month over month, one tactic you can try is following people and small businesses in your local area to encourage them to follow you back, and engaging with other users’ posts. If you participate in active outreach, and like and comment on posts by people in your community and network, they will be more likely to interact with your posts — after all, it’s called social media for a reason.

Engagement and Engagement Rate

You can tell if your posts are engaging to your fanbase if your individual posts have likes, comments, and shares. In fact, over 85% of customers who consider themselves loyal to a brand will engage with that brand often by liking, commenting on, and sharing posts. If your posts don’t seem to be engaging to your audience, then you can rethink your strategy:

  • When are you posting? Considering the time of day is a huge factor in getting users to engage — try posting earlier or later, try weekdays instead of weekends, and change up the times depending on the day.
  • How often are you posting? Maybe you should post more, or post less.
  • What are you posting? Your content should be varied to keep your feed interesting to your followers.

You can measure engagement on your posts through each platform’s analytics and insights features!

Take a look at your engagement and measure your engagement rate. This can change depending on the platform you’re using, but a general equation is as follows:

Number of Likes/Number of Followers x 100 = Engagement Rate

Once you know how many of your followers are interacting with your posts (and you’ll want to see that a lot of them are), then you can get an understanding of whether or not your content is appealing to your audience.

When your followers show the love they have for your content and brand, make sure you respond! Replying to and liking comments, wall posts, mentions, and tweets is a great way to keep your online audience engaged and build more brand loyalty.