Social Media ROI: Saving Money

A notebook filled with the break down of a social media campaign proving social media ROI

A notebook filled with the break down of a social media campaign proving social media ROI

This is the second post in an article about improving your social media ROI. Check out the first post, here: Social Media ROI: Saving Time

In the last post, we talked about how to save some time on what you do with social media content, everyday. We discussed researching your audience on social media so you don’t waste those efforts as well as ways to fit more in a little less time. This post will go over tracking that time so we can get an accurate picture of the dollars and cents being spent when you personally handle the job.

Tallying Up Your Time Spent on Social Media Marketing

So I use a timer called Toggl. It works for what I need in a time tracker. I use it to be sure that 1) I’m not spending more than my allotted amount of time on each platform 2) that I know how much each task actually takes so I can break it down to dollars and cents. Below is my one week’s time spent on Twitter and Facebook for two different clients.


Twitter – Tech Company – 1 hour 46 minutes

Facebook – Containment Solutions Company – 2 hours 57 minutes


The differences were 1) There was a holiday weekend, and we didn’t do any live responding or active following on Labor Day (or on the weekends). 2) I needed to schedule the posts for Facebook from the content calendar I had created the week before. I will create the content calendar for each social media platform as I described before, and then I will submit it to the client for approval (unless expressly told not to bother with that part) and after that, I schedule everything.

Scheduling can take a long time, about as long as finding and creating the content itself. So for me, it takes roughly 1 hour to create one month’s content calendar (2 if it’s a daily calendar or very niche) and 45 minutes to 1 hour to schedule the posts (do NOT cross post! And please, don’t use the same post on every platform on the same day at the same time. No one likes it.) Obviously, this can vary, and it’s an average, because every client is different and some industries are harder to find content for than others, but it should give you an idea of what to expect. I’m a professional. It may take you a little longer, not knowing where to look for the content to share, or tweaking how you would prefer something to sound the first few times. Don’t worry, it’ll get faster, until you have a routine that works for you.

For this Twitter client, I spend about 30 minutes a day checking the feed for responses to any posts, finding people to follow and then engage some of those followers for brand awareness (if they don’t know you exist, they can’t experience your product/service, right?). And this is AFTER I have scheduled some posts (which happened earlier than last week).

So you see, after the initial “down payment” of creating the posts and scheduling them, which take the most time, up front, you can spend a smaller amount of time going through and checking the posts for responses and doing your other daily tasks that take a much smaller/shorter amount of time, while still doing it the right way and treating your customers the way they would like to be treated. 😉

Let’s Talk About Money

Scrooge telling us all that time spent on social media is money

Time = money, right? At least that’s what many of us are taught from a young, working age. We can all just see that old, Scroogy man sitting behind the desk of a poorly lit room, stacked with mountains of papers telling us that “Time is money! Get back to work!” while he sits hunched over a book with his feather pen. As dramatic as this is, it is true for us all. Time is money and what we spend our time on should be able to be tracked back to our sales numbers. I’m not saying track every little thing that you do, you can really go overboard with that. (Did you hear about the most connected man in the world?) But tracking our social media time and money is worth the effort, especially if you’re trying to make those sales from the platforms.

In my post from RocksDigital, I outline how to track your social media sales with UTM codes and Google Analytics. While that is a fabulous way to do it, I also want to make sure you know that your TIME is well accounted for as well. Because if you don’t track this time and effort on scheduling posts, creating content calendars and archives, as well as the sales, you don’t really have the best idea of your ROI.

Using Time Trackers Like Toggl

I mentioned before that I use Toggl to track my time. It’s a good tool. I like it. But there are others. Choose your favorite and start tracking. Since I use Toggl, I’m going to use it in my examples of how to compute your numbers (which is super easy).

I signed up for Toggl and the hardest part, really, was figuring out the difference between Projects and Clients were. I don’t really know why that is, but it happened. So to clear that up for you, Clients are the top in the hierarchy and a Project goes under the Client (I have no idea why that stumped me). The easiest way to get started is going to be to get your “Workspace” added and then add your clients and projects.

A Workspace is another organizational option to keep certain things you want to track, separate. Perhaps you want a “Marketing” Workspace and a “Sales” Workspace. Or a “Business” and a “Personal” Workspace. I have two WorkSpaces setup; one for Client Work and the other for just business development, that I named R3 Social Media.An example of my social media workspaces in the time tracker

To add a new workspace, click “Add a New Workspace”. Give a name and click “Continue”. It will then invite you to add other people to your workspace. If you have a team this is the time to add them, that way you can all track your time on different projects or clients and figure out where all your time (and money) are going.

Example of adding a workspace to the time tracker.Add a team to your workspace and track everyone's time spent on your client work.

After adding your team (or not), click continue and it will ask you which version you would like. Free is all the way on the right, and it does just fine for what I need. Other packages will allow you to determine billable time and add more team members, etc. But at this time, I don’t need all of that, since the reporting gives me hours worked filtered by project or client and I can do the math from there.

Example of pricing plans for this time tracking app.

Once your workspace is created, you’ll create your clients and projects. I name the clients by my contact and then the projects based on their clients (since I do a ton of subcontracting work). Otherwise, I’ll name the Client by the company name and the client will be the names of the platforms. Since you’re able to write a description for every time log entry, I don’t need it to be much more granular than that, but if you DO, they also allow “tags” to be added to a time entry.

Just go to “Clients” on the Left hand side and start adding clients (go to settings and change which workspace your in so you don’t have to change screens just to add clients to the other workspace).

Here, we are adding a client into the time tracker.

Then go to “Projects” on the left hand side and add your projects. You can add the project to a Client on the right hand side of the screen that pops up after you click “Create project”. You can also choose a color to represent the time you spend in this project.

Here is an example of what it looks like to add a project into the time tracker. Adding a project name in our time tracking app.Example of adding a project into a client inside of our time tracking app.

Now you’re ready to log some time and check out your reports.

Logging Time and Getting Reports in Toggl

This is an example of a time tracking report; something we'll need when checking our social media ROI (return on investment).

“Timer” on the left hand side of the screen will take you to the timer dashboard where you can log your time. You’ll enter a description like I have, “Blog Post”, and then choose the project and client. You can log manual time and a timer. I love the timer, personally.

I use time tracking to check and improve my social media ROI. This report helps me find out where I should spend more or less time.

Click on “Reports” on the left hand menu and you’ll see the reports dashboard where you can get all the filters you need to check out where you’re spending time.


There’s a variety of ways to look at the reporting. Summary, Detailed (which lists all the tasks under the appropriate projects/clients) and Weekly (which gives a weekly break down of time spent) are at the top. The filters allow you to check the time for team members, Client, Project, Tag, Billable Entries (in a pro version) and Descriptions. You can adjust the time for any amount of time you would like to check in the upper right hand corner. It defaults to “This Week”.

When checking social media ROI, time tracking reports are invaluable.

You can see here where I have filtered the report just to see this project/client work.

You can also export the data, save the report, or print it off if you need to take it with you to a meeting. All in all it’s pretty handy and the simple reporting gives me what I need to determine where my time is spent for each client and their platforms, so I can use it in my own reports, if need be.

Social Media Marketing ROI

Now you can see what profit you are making using social media marketing for your business. Your ROI is probably one of the most important things you can take account of when you start using a new tool, marketing campaign, or even a new material in your product, so be sure that you know how to account for everything that goes into your digital marketing campaign and you’ll be able to track down how much money you really made when everything is said and done. And hopefully, this article helped you along with tracking down “all that time” spent on social media.

Not interested in handling your own social media? Let me help you out!

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