Skip main navigation

Is there an alternative measure to ROI?

This step describes how to calculate Social Equivalent Advertising Value (SEAV)

Although ROI is a very good measure for social media activity because it allows a ready comparison for all other types of media, it can sometimes be difficult to use if there are no sales or tracking.

A good alternative is the Social Equivalent Advertising Value (SEAV).

This is where you calculate how much you would have needed to spend to generate the result if you were paying for advertising such as display. Put simply, it is the value of the social activity measured in the savings from advertising.

For example: If 200 clicks to your website would cost £10/click in display and you managed to get 200 clicks from your social media activity for free.

The SEAV = number of website clicks x cost per click from traditional advertising = an SEAV of £2,000.

The SEAV formula

To download a detailed description of this visual, scroll to the “Downloads” section at the bottom of this step.

Join the discussion

Discuss what you think are the downsides to using ROI to measure social media success. Compare your understanding of ROI to SEAV: which do you think is more valuable and which calculation do you feel would be more enlightening for a social media campaign? Write your ideas in the comments below.

Use the discussion section below and let us know your thoughts. Once you’re happy with your contribution, click the “Mark as Complete” button to check the Step off, then you can move to the next step.

This article is from the free online

Running a Social Media Campaign: Customers, Influencer Engagement, Analytics

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education