Erin Smith - March 7, 2014

Calculate Your Total Media Value & ROI


You’ve brainstormed, you’ve gathered your content creators, they’ve helped you execute on high-impact, visual social content, and now you want to measure your success. We’re walking through those best practices in our Measuring The Impact Of Social Content series.  In our third installment, we cover how to calculate your Total Media Value and ROI. Want to skip ahead? Download the eBook now.

Measuring your content’s success has to start somewhere. It’s time to go out and grab the numbers. As daunting as it sounds, this doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, mind-numbing task. Plenty of platforms and other digital tools allow you to distribute your content using built-in trackers. When you use these awesome tools, your online content will tell its success story through numbers.

What to track:

Creation Costs | Shares | Tweets | Comments | Impressions | Engagements

Using those, here’s how you calculate the Total Media Value & ROI of your social content:

Step 1: Roll ‘Em Up!

Each of the numbers you tracked is part of a formula that can determine your estimated return on social content. Place these numbers into a spreadsheet by type. Or use a tool like the TapInfluence platform that automates the crawling, collection, and calculations for you.

Step 2:
Turn Those Numbers Into Dollar Values

Take your numbers and calculate what it would have cost you to reach that amount of engagement if you had paid for traditional advertising. (Read: social content marketing gets a lot of bang for its buck!)

When you purchase Facebook promoted posts, you might pay a certain amount for each “Like” or comment, depending on the pricing model you choose. Luckily, this is still much less than the cost of traditional advertising.

Using standard media and content production rates, find what the whole package would have cost if you had purchased it using traditional marketing methods.

> What would it have cost to produce the content inhouse or through an agency?

> What’s the value of the targeted distribution and the right audience seeing your content in its entirety? (Liken that to a cost per engagement).

Determine a dollar value for each of click, comment, and social action the content receives that’s appropriate to your product industry. We recommend valuing social actions higher than a media by, as they come with the boost of a friend’s endorsement.

Step 3: Show Me the Money!

Once you’ve assigned your values, you can calculate your Total Media Value. 

Multiply the dollar value you’ve assigned …

> … to views by the number of views;

> … to engagements by number of engagements;

> … social actions by number of social actions;

… and so on.

Now add them together with your production cost. That is your Total Media Value, or TMV. Or you can avoid the manual drill by using our simple and free Total Media Value Calculator.

But you want that ROI, don’t you? You’re already just about there:


Subtracting the dollar amount you spent on your social content marketing campaign from that would-be investment in traditional paid media (aka your Total Media Value) gives you a close idea of your ROI from social content.

More tips on measuring the impact of social content to come. If you missed the earlier posts in this series, start here.