When Does Outsourcing Social Media ROI Make Sense?

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outsourcing social media roi

Outsourcing social media ROI may sound far-fetched, but it’s not.

Many teams, organizations, and brands outsource certain social media tasks, including ROI.

ROI is a business term meaning, “return on investment.” When companies find it hard to communicate returns on their social media efforts, they look to outside resources to help bring things together.

Not sure if your social media is paying off? Here’s when to consider outsourcing social media ROI.


Putting Value On Your Social Media Efforts

First of all, if you’re having a hard time with ROI, you can still figure things out. It’s not time to outsource your social media ROI just yet!

Many marketers still don’t understand the value of their social media activities. And that’s where you should start.

I wrote an in-depth post on this over at Mark Schaefer’s {grow} — but I’ll go into a little detail here, too.

Furthermore, figure out what type of ROI you’re looking to measure. Newsflash: social media ROI doesn’t necessarily mean a dollar-for-dollar return (if you ask me, that’s what advertising is for!).

Start by deciding what your purpose on social media is and then tie that to business goals. Likewise, tie your purpose to your customer funnel.

Recently, at the Sprout Partner Summit, Claire Schlafly shared a wonderful slide for figuring out social media value.

Hence, THIS is now how we like to tie our purpose on social back to the customer funnel or business goals …


Compared to the classic ADIA model, Clarie has added consideration, changed desire to decision, and expanded action into adoption and advocacy. Consideration is where the buyer is looking at your site, reading your blog posts, or downloading your content to learn more.

As a result, decision is where they’ve decided on your company or brand (YAY!). These two levels don’t necessarily tie to your social media return on investment.

Let’s dive into Claire’s updated AIDA model for more clarity.


First, the AIDA model is a classic marketing model. It’s also one of the longest serving models used in advertising and communications to map the typical buying process.


[Image Source: Smart Insights]

In Claire’s slide, though, we can see that the map has changed for tracking social media ROI.

Next up, let’s break the top of the funnel (awareness) and the bottom of the funnel (action) into key performance indicators.


Objective: Creating awareness

Possible social media KPIs:

  • Impressions or CPI (cost per impression)
  • Reach
  • Share of Voice

Your possible social activities:

  • Owned posts
  • Boosted posts
  • Paid promotions


Objective: Delighting current customers

Possible social media KPIs:

  • Positive sentiment (mentions)
  • Customer care metrics

Your possible social activities:

  • Customer interactions/online customer service
  • Promoted customer content or customer user-generated content (UGC)


Objective: Inspiring evangelism

Possible social media KPIs:

  • Earned impressions
  • Reach
  • User-generated content (think influencers and brand advocates)

Your possible social activities:

  • Boosted influencer posts
  • UGC campaigns

You’ve got three different ways to track your social media purpose. Most noteworthy, you can be using all three of those examples for your social media activity.

In contrast, you could be using none. It’s up to you to figure out what value metrics your social media needs.

Still stuck? No worries.

Outsourcing Social Media ROI — Is It For You?

B Squared Media_Hybrid Team

Above all, if you can’t track your return on your social media activities, it’s time to consider outsourcing.

What Outsourcing Social Media ROI Can Do

  • Control or cut costs (especially labor or overhead costs)
  • Increase social media tracking efficiency
  • Provide specially-skilled workers

What Outsourcing Social Media ROI Can’t Do

  • Figure out your social media purpose (that’s for you to decide!)
  • Make dollar-for-dollar social ROI easy or “push button”
  • Save a failing company or brand

Lastly, here are some additional articles on outsourcing that may help with your decision!

The Ultimate Guide To Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing

3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Outsourcing Digital Tasks

4 Benefits Of Outsourcing Social Media Marketing Tasks

In conclusion, we marketers must answer the why before we can track the what and show the how.

What value metrics do you track with your social media activities? Let us know in the comments section below!


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Brooke B. Sellas is an award-winning Customer Marketing Strategist and the CEO & Founder of B Squared Media. Her book, Conversations That Connect has been recognized nationally and is required reading for a Customer Experience class at NSU. Brooke's influence in digital marketing is not just about her accomplishments but also about her unwavering commitment to elevating the industry standard of digital customer experience and customer marketing.
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