Now that most food truck owners understand social media better than they did 1, 6, 12 months ago and a variety of metrics now exist to determine the meaningful ROI (return on investment) you’re achieving, it’s no longer good enough to judge your social media success merely on the amount of followers your mobile food business has on Facebook & Twitter.

Consider metrics such as amount of daily interaction, referrals for catering, offering promotions that can be accessed only via your social network and also the budget saved via distributing information and interacting with customers online, rather than the hard costs involved with traditional advertising.

Today we wanted to touch on how food truck owners can calculate their return on investment so they can determine if they truly are finding social media success. This straightforward formula has just the two parts: Return and Investment. Here’s how to figure out each of the two values on social media.

How To Calculate ROI To Determine Social Media Success

How to Calculate Return

Figuring out your return is one of the trickier elements of social media ROI because it can mean so many different things. What do you want to achieve? What is your overarching goal with social media? And how can you specify the right actions that meet this goal? Then, how much are these actions worth to you?

  1. Choose a goal. There’s a whole host of possibilities for choosing which goals and actions to track (New followers, Clicks on link in update, Online purchases, Filled out contact form, Signups for newsletter, Downloads of .PDF file,  Time spent on important webpage)
  2. Track your goal. Choose one or more of the above conversion goals, and start tracking.
  3. Assign a monetary value. Once you’ve chosen a goal and tracked the actions, it’s time to tackle the dollars-and-cents side of ROI.

How To Calculate Investment

While it’s true that using Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms is free, your time is not. Your social media tools may not be. And the money you spend on advertising is calculated in real dollars.

  • Your time – Multiply labor-cost per hour by the number of hours you’ve committed over a given period.
  • Your social media tools – Add up the costs of all the tools and services you use for social media. Find the weekly or monthly costs using a bit of math (divide annual fees by 52 for the weekly cost, by 12 for the monthly cost).
  • Advertising spend – The amount you spend on social media advertising—boosting Facebook posts, promoting tweets, etc.

All these costs added together will equal your investment.

RELATED: Don’t Forget What Social Media Was Meant To Be

Hopefully this article helps show that measuring social media ROI isn’t a crazy idea doable, with a bit of critical thinking and planning.

What questions do you have about using ROI to determine your food truck’s social media success? Which methods do you use? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or on social media. Facebook | Twitter