< Return to Feed
Shauna Robertson - 09.18.2017

3 Steps to Monetize Your Social Media Channel: Step 1


If you're like most businesses, you've probably spent a decent amount of money and resources on your social media presence. Your social strategy likely includes: a solid campaign plan, a monthly media calendar, a projected social budget, a basic marketing analytics scorecard, and a team of savvy, creative minds who know the latest in social trends.

As months pass, all signs point to success: follower count steadily rises, impressions are up, engagement scores are increasing. Then Q4 rolls around and the question is asked: what do these metrics mean to the overall bottom line? Why do we blindly throw money into the dark abyss called ‘social’ without expecting ROI?

We certainly don’t need convincing. We know that social channels are effective methods of extending a brand’s existing digital presence into an open forum that enables authentic customer brand discussions. However, there is likely someone in your organization who sees the world in dollar bills. In this three-part Monetizing Your Social Media Channel series, we’ll walk you through how to use data to prove that social works and, if used properly, can contribute to those dollars and cents.

Step 1: Check Your Data - we define the data you will need to have available to perform ROI calculation. 

Step 2: ROI Metrics Defined - ROI calculations are provided along with real client examples Sagepath has experienced in the past few months.

Step 3: Dashboarding in Google Data Studios - we will walk through ROI visualizations in Data Studios and why it’s such an excellent tool.

Note: If you’re not currently harnessing the power of Twitter/Facebook/Instagram then feel free to check out our guide here

A Word of Warning

A likely outcome of this assessment is that social is not contributing enough to sales with a low ROI.

Don't stress!

This valuable information can be used to redesign your social strategy to cut cost and promote smart, quality media. Note: 'Monetizing Your Social Channel' is purely based on assessing if social contributes to dollar-based conversions (which doesn’t always mean sales). Depending on the business goals of your social channels, this may not apply to your specific case. For more information, please check our disclaimer at the end of this series that includes the intangible benefits of a social presence.

Step 1: Check Your Data

Accurate data is the backbone of legitimate analysis. The first step toward monetizing your social channels is to make sure you have fully tagged your site and set up Google Analytics (or comparable analytics and tags). Check your site to ensure you have access to this data: 

Monetizing social channels data tagging criteria

Obtaining this data for an extended period of time will give your social ROI analysis credibility. We recommend pulling historical data from at least 6, if not 12, months. As you’re going through the extract process, ensure you’re aware of any data inconsistencies, such as skyrocketing sales in January due to an accidental promo sent out. Remove outliers that are not legitimate so that we can avoid skewed data. 

Below is a sample of the data mentioned above displayed in Google Data Studios. Showcased here are:

  1. the percentages of website users sourced from social channels Facebook and Instagram
  2. the percentage of conversions sourced from social based on button clicks 'Newsletter Sign-ups' and 'Place Order', and
  3. a graphic displaying online sales for year 2017. While this data does not have a dollar value assigned to it, it's an excellent way to assess if current strategy is working.
Monetizing social channels data examples

Stay Tuned for Step 2

In Step 2 of our 3-part series, we’ll look at how you can use this data to apply direct and valuable sales dollars to socially sourced users. Stay tuned for Step 2: ROI Metrics Defined!