How to measure the ROI of Social Media and Event Marketing

Well, a big question…

To start with, you can only measure ROI of any marketing activity – when you have clearly defined your objectives. Often times, that does not happen. Or they are not clear enough, thus, not measurable.

I have found this great infographic by MDGadvertising which gives some great food for thought how Social Media ROI can be measured.

If you want to dig deeper in the realm of measuring Event ROI, I can recommend the work of Elling Hamso’s Event ROI Institute. His methodology is based on the notion that an event is successful when you do things differently after the event than before. Events have different stakeholders: The budget owner/organizer, their board, the visitors, exhibitors, sponsors etc. All of them may have different objectives, hence their ROI has to be measured in different ways.

Find more details in the White Paper below.

7 thoughts on “How to measure the ROI of Social Media and Event Marketing

  1. Hi Michael,

    On objectives I think ROI stuff is excellent but from experience a lot of organisations don’t even really understand objectives and their importance and this approach can be very heavy handed. I find with some of my clients I have to start a few steps behind ROI and come up with some basics; things that they can easy get a hold of. I’ve blogged on this:


    1. You are just too right, William… Unfortunately, the event management process rarely follows the theoretical patterns in real life, I am afraid.

      Still, I really like Elling’s approach and will include questions like “What will you be doing differently after the event” in the survey. I’ll let you know about the outcome.




  2. Interesting that most don’t set or measure objectives.
    I find most event planners really try to raise the bar on event, year after year… not sure how they actually do that without measurement… i think it is more of a gut thing.

    Clear communication of what to expect from an event… from venue, program, entertainment, meals, transportation etc would dramatically positively impact most meetings…. again this is a gut feeling, not measured.


  3. I’m interesting in the synergism of the total package of person to person, relational marketing (events, whatever) and the digital footprint (Web sites, blogs, social media, etc.) surrounding the event to both extend the calendar and the reach. I’m planning a large event and would like to have a ROI methodology in place before it goes public.


    1. Hi, Dick,
      It definitely makes sense to see those topics in a holistic way. There are many ways, for instance, to measure what you call the “digital footprint”, but it is necessary to define beforehand, what you are most interested in. Activity level? Sentiment? Reach? What do you want to accomplish with your activities?

      You may want to take a look at this case study of the ICCA 2011 Conference, which is a great example of what and how you can measure your “social success”.




      1. Hi Michael,
        I’m probably looking for something that does not exist. If not I would like to create it now. A system of measurement that explains to companies the value of their buy… when both actual participation in a promotion (hard) is married up with the digital side (soft) in the appropriate way to provide the relational marketing outcome for the money possible. So I’m thinking in my hard/soft scenario that the value of money spent is better than that money being spent in other forms of advertising. It would seem to me that someone has had to done the work that explains the hard/soft value?


  4. Thanks for you last reply… I have spent a fair amount of time learning about the effect of social media on events… however I’m still looking for the evasive formula of value… surrounding both actual and digital married together.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s