| Jul 11, 2023 | | 10 min read

What value does social media still bring to local businesses and marketing agencies?


Social media marketing has abundant benefits for agencies and local businesses alike. In this article, we’ll dive into how to effectively gauge social media value and measure its impact.

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From client retention to social media ROI tracking, you’ll discover how to harness the power of social platforms, maximize results for clients, and demonstrate value to keep them coming back for more.

The value of social media for local SMBs

Before we get into how exactly to measure and demonstrate the value of social media to your clients, it helps to understand what they stand to gain from using these platforms. Social media has become an indispensable tool for local businesses, enhancing their capacity to achieve their objectives and grow their bottom lines faster. This social media value is multifaceted, and when used properly, it can yield significant returns for SMBs. Here’s how.

Making brands the talk of the town: Social media value in boosting brand awareness

Social media platforms are a powerful avenue for local businesses to amplify their brand visibility. By establishing an active presence on relevant social media platforms, businesses can reach an expansive audience and increase the likelihood of being discovered by their target audience.

By establishing social media guidelines and creating regular posts about products, services, or topics that are of interest to their audience, SMBs can ensure their brand name remains fresh in the minds of prospective customers. The result? Enhanced brand recognition and recall, which ultimately means more sales conversions.

Through the effective use of captivating visuals, compelling brand storytelling, and value-added content, local businesses can effectively spark the interest of new customers and foster a sense of community.

Building relationships through customer engagement

One of the unique aspects of social media is its ability to facilitate direct interaction between local businesses and their customers. This was only possible through in-person interactions, such as in a brick-and-mortar store. Thanks to social media it’s possible digitally.

Consumers can use these platforms to voice their questions, share feedback, or express concerns, and small businesses have the power to respond quickly, making their audience feel heard and appreciated.

This ability to facilitate almost real-time customer engagement provides results that matter to local businesses: stronger relationships, greater customer loyalty, and better retention —a key component of long-term social media ROI.

The social media value proposition: Marketing that won’t break the bank

The value of social media also lies in its unbeatable cost-effectiveness. Traditional advertising methods require significant financial investment, making them less accessible for small local businesses that have to watch their budgets carefully.

Social media levels the playing field for the little guy, offering a platform for businesses to reach their target audience without the huge costs of old-school platforms. Sure, many businesses still invest heavily in social media advertising, but it’s still possible to get a lot of traction without paid ads.

The social media value proposition is clear: through organic reach and low-cost advertising options, platforms like Facebook and Instagram give SMBs a way to get in front of prospective buyers more efficiently than ever before.

Pinpoint precision: Using social media for targeted advertising

Another distinction of social media compared to traditional advertising is the ability to deliver far more targeted messaging. By using the sophisticated targeting capabilities of social media platforms, businesses can display ads to their ideal customers based on specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. This helps to make marketing efforts more focused and impactful, further increasing the social media ROI for local businesses.

For example, a local bakery might target its ads to users within a certain radius who are interested in baking or dessert-related content. The engagement and conversion rate for this subset of consumers is likely to be considerably higher than the general population, boosting social media ROI for the bakery.

Better together: The value of social media in driving website traffic

Social media platforms and websites can work hand in hand to drive more sales for SMBs. By sharing engaging content that links back to a business’s website, local businesses can encourage people to learn more about their offerings by visiting their site. Then, through careful ROI tracking, businesses can identify which social media posts and campaigns are most effective in driving website traffic. These insights can guide future social media strategies, driving continual optimization of social media ROI.

The social media value proposition for marketing agencies with local business clients

Given the undeniable ROI for local businesses, agencies that don’t offer social media packages to SMBs are leaving money on the table. Here’s what agencies stand to gain from adding social media management to their list of digital marketing solutions.

Happier customers: Improved client retention and satisfaction

Because social media has the power to be so effective in driving visibility, engagement, and revenue for small business clients, offering this service gives agencies a way to deliver rock-solid returns for their clients.

Using social media in conjunction with other digital solutions or services, like reputation management, SEO, web design, and ads management will only enhance the efficacy of these services. In short, social media is synergistic with other marketing solutions. By skillfully leveraging social media platforms, agencies can construct a magnetic online presence for their clients, boosting client satisfaction and giving them a great reason to stick around.

Reliable ongoing revenue

Social media services are a repeatable revenue stream for marketing agencies that choose to offer them. By expanding their service offerings to include social media, agencies can generate more revenue from existing clients—revenue that comes in reliably, month after month. Unlike other one-off services, repeating sources of revenue can help your agency gauge how much cash flow you’ll have in the future, making it much easier to plan for what’s to come.

A competitive edge

In a digital solutions market teeming with competition, differentiation is a major key to success. Offering social media services can be a key differentiator for marketing agencies, giving their clients access to a more robust suite of ROI tools and services from a single vendor.

Put yourself in a local business’s shoes: they’re inundated with digital solutions, whether from SaaS companies, agencies, or freelancers. All of these options can quickly get overwhelming, but they do want to access solutions that will make their lives easier (and businesses more profitable). By offering a comprehensive suite of marketing solutions, including social media, you solve the problem of choice paralysis and set yourself up to be a trusted, long-term partner to your clients.

Not sure if you can handle all that social media management in-house? White-label social media pros can be your secret weapon to scaling your agency.

Turn knowledge into power with data-driven insights

Social media platforms offer marketers unprecedented insights in valuable, actionable data and analytics. Information about consumer behavior, campaign performance, and market trends can all be gleaned through social media ROI tools and solutions. Leveraging these insights allows marketing agencies to refine their strategies continually, enhancing the value of social media for their clients over time. For example, seeing which posts get the best response can help businesses come up with more engaging social media post ideas.

Endless collaboration and cross-promotion possibilities

By collaborating with complementary local businesses, influencers, and other partners, marketing agency pros can craft social media campaigns that deliver next-level results. Collaborations enable all participants to tap into the audiences of their partners, fostering cross-promotional opportunities for the businesses involved. Whatever bundle of services you sell your SMB clients, adding some collaborative social media campaigns into the mix is sure to win you points with your clients.

Client social media value: Tips for measuring and demonstrating success

You don’t need us to remind you: data is king when it comes to digital marketing. Part of the whole social media value proposition is that, for the first time, it made it possible for businesses to get granular insights into how their efforts are actually impacting the bottom line. Social media ROI tracking is far more precise than, say, radio ad ROI tracking.

So, how can you take advantage of this to effectively gauge the value of social media campaigns and communicate this to your clients? Keep these five tips in mind.

1. Set clear and measurable goals

The first step in demonstrating the value of social media to your clients is to establish precise and quantifiable goals for your campaigns.

Are you aiming to bolster brand awareness, drive a surge in website traffic, or generate a pool of potential leads? Maybe you’re using social media for reputation management and want to improve the overall impression of your client. The answer will guide your strategies and provide a clear yardstick for social media ROI tracking and measuring success. By defining specific objectives, you give structure to your campaigns, paving the way to illustrate the tangible impact of social media to your clients.

When setting these goals make sure they’re clearly measurable, and that you communicate these measurable targets to your clients from the beginning. This way, you’ll both be on the same page from the jump.

2. KPIs are your friend

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are metrics that you can use to gauge how effective your social media campaigns are. These should be aligned with the clear and measurable goals established for the campaign. Here are some examples of KPIs you might use:

  • Reach: This measures the number of unique users who have seen your content. It gives you an idea of the potential size of your audience.
  • Impressions: Impressions count the total number of times your content was displayed, regardless of whether it was clicked or not. This can help you understand the visibility of your content.
  • Engagement rate: This figure is the percentage of users who saw a social media post and engaged with it (typically through likes, shares, comments, or saves). It gives insight into how the audience is interacting with the content.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): CTR is the number of clicks on a piece of content as a percentage of the total impressions. It can provide insights into how relevant and effective your call-to-action (CTA) and content are.
  • Conversion rate: This is the percentage of users who take a desired action after interacting with your content. The action might be subscribing to a newsletter, filling out a form, or making a purchase, for example.
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC): This is the amount of money that had to be spent to capture a customer. If the CAC is too high, it will cut into your client’s profitability.


This isn’t a complete list of KPIs, but it gives you an idea of the types of metrics you should be tracking to maximize social media ROI tracking. Not only will it help you run better campaigns, but it helps you to provide clients with a detailed analysis of how well their investment in social media is paying off.

3. Use analytics ROI tools

Don’t worry, you don’t need to sit around with a calculator trying to track all these KPIs. There are ROI tools and analytics dashboards that can show all the data you need at a glance. Social media management platforms often come with built-in analytics insights. Similarly, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms provide in-app analytics that can be used for ROI tracking.

The bottom line: Make sure you have your analytics ROI tools in place before starting a campaign, so that you can paint a clear social media value picture for your clients.

4. Be proactive with monthly reports

Don’t wait for your clients to ask how things are going. Instead, wow them with robust, monthly reports.

Consistent reporting establishes transparency and trust with your clients, which is highly valued. By providing regular, comprehensive reports, you can showcase the progress and results of your social media campaigns. These reports should include the KPIs established at the beginning of your partnership, performance trends, and even recommendations for things to do moving forward.

Pro-tip: this can be a great time to up-sell additional digital marketing solutions.

5. Clearly demonstrate ROI

Nothing speaks louder to clients than a demonstrable return on their investment. By using ROI tools to track returns, you can get a range of insights, such as cost per lead or overall sales growth. Instead of just showing that KPIs are being met, show the clients what they really want to see: the social media value your agency is generating for them.

Frequently asked questions

What are the different types of social media value metrics?

Social media value metrics include quantitative indicators such as likes, shares, and followers, as well as engagement, click-through, and conversion rates. Qualitative social media value metrics might also assess audience sentiment in comments and brand mentions. Advanced metrics like customer acquisition cost and ROI measure a campaign’s profitability.

What are some best practices for maximizing social media value?

Best practices to maximize social media value include setting clear goals, selecting the most appropriate platforms, using analytics tools and ROI tools to track performance, engaging consistently with the audience, and using compelling visuals. It’s important to analyze performance data regularly and adjust strategies based on insights.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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