This post was originally written by Mia Iverson.

You’ve been hearing that you need to increase your social media presence by signing your facility(ies) up for Facebook and Twitter. You’ve even attempted to start a blog. But at what expense? How can you accurately measure your return on investment, affectionately known as ROI.

In a Feb. 9 2011 article on Mashable.com, author Erica Swallow shed light on a new way to calculate and interpret ROI when it comes to social media.

Let’s say you went ahead and signed up that Facebook page for your facility and have garnered “likes” or are active on Twitter with a modest following. That’s good. But now, you can use the number of impressions and track the number of click throughs or “likes” that lead to your page and come out with a solid number to measure your efforts.

I’ve come up with a simple formula.  SMROI = DA  ÷ IMP , where SMORI stands for Social Media ROI, DA stands for total number of desired actions such as likes and click throughs, and IMP standing for total number of impressions.

OK. There’s a formula. But how do you get these numbers, you ask? Fortunately, Facebook quite transparently offers you these numbers for every post you make on your company’s page.

Facebook analytics for your storage brand

In this Facebook example you’d take the number of likes and divide that by your impressions to get your Social Media ROI. Tah dah! Not too bad, eh?

Twitter on the other hand is a different beast. As you know, you only have 140 characters to tell your story. And hopefully you’ve heard of URL shorteners that shorten your link to allow more space for nifty words and calls to action. An example of this is bit.ly. Not only does it shorten your URL, it also tracks it.

For example: our url is www.storagefront.com and bit.ly shortens it to http://bit.ly/9UjAH1. I’ll then copy and paste this shortened URL into my tweet and share with my followers. Great! But how to track the people who actually click through? Bit.ly, along with a slew of other URL shortening services, also has its own tracking feature. Sign up for a free account and every URL you shorten is tracked. Take a look:

calculating your social media ROI using Bit.ly

Now that you have that number, you can take your number of followers [impressions] and the number of click throughs [desired actions] and calculate your ROI accordingly.

Problem solved.

If you have any other questions on tracking your social media investment, just give us a call and ask what our StorageAhead team can do for you. You can reach us at 913.384.5700.