Have you walked into the office of your boss and said “I’d like some budget to do more with social media”. Of course, your boss asks the age business question, “What do we get out of it?”. This has been a major problem for social media and community managers. How do you connect the dots and show the return on any investment made?

The good news is that more capabilities have come out to help social media managers define the ROI in ways that the rest of the business can understand. In fact, social media has become a major driver for marketing campaigns and ultimately will replace more costly and less effective but “known” marketing mediums.

Here are five things to consider when approaching your boss for that budget request:

  1. Ad savings – By articulating the costs of an existing campaign such as advertising, you can calculate reach and click throughs to show an equivalent impact at a much lower cost.
  2. Web traffic – More and more businesses have a top line metric of web traffic. Show how social media drives this.
  3. Lead Generation – Chances are, someone in marketing already tracks what the cost per lead is. Show how you can generate leads and calculate your costs versus what is already done. The results are compelling.
  4. Buzz – While may people will be hard to sell on this point alone, the secondary social media activity such as Retweets and Likes indicate market awareness and buzz. Bes ure to wrap this in with other hard number justifications.
  5. Revenue – At the end of the day, business decisions are mostly based on revenue. If you can show the correlation between your efforts in social media and the impact to the bottom line, you will get the attention of event the most doubting boss.

Take these things into consideration next time you have to request budget. By combining these items in a coherent business case, you will succeed in securing the budget you need to drive more business benefits. Good luck and let us know if there are any other items that you would add to the list.