If you didn’t know, ROI refers to “Return On Investment.” It’s most often used in business and finance to help companies track their growth and progress to determine what’s working and what’s not. But for churches things are slightly different because we deal in spiritual matters. But does that mean we can’t or shouldn’t track our ROI?
I’ve grown up and always ministered in smaller churches and so I’m speaking from first hand experience when I say that we love to talk in terms of “planted seeds” and “touching lives” we’ll never know. I think it comforts us to know we’re still having an impact for God’s Kingdom even if we can’t see the fruit of our labour.
But I have friends who minister in larger churches and there the conversation is much different. While still talking about “planting seeds” and “touching lives” they’ll never see, they also talk about how they need to expand their sanctuary to make room for the ever growing crowds, or how they need an overflow section or how they might need to buy a bigger building.
For larger churches tracking ROI has practical implications. If they’re growing in numbers they need to accommodate those numbers. For small churches (which make up most churches in North America), the need to track ROI just isn’t there. And if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s also a little depressing to track ROI’s when we’re not seeing growth.
But we also know that because we deal in spiritual matters, it’s hard to determine by the numbers whether or not lives are truly being transformed. But does that mean ROI doesn’t matter?
Why We Should Track ROI on Social Media
Nonetheless, here are four reasons why we need to track our ROI on social media:
1. Because we want to have an impact
Numbers can’t tell us how many lives are truly changed through the seeds we plant, but numbers can tell us how many lives may be changed through the seeds we plant.
In other words, by not tracking ROI we limit the potential of our impact.
Think of it like this. Imagine you have 50 people following you on Twitter and you share tweets everyday that may encourage, inspire or can even change lives. While you don’t know for sure if you’re making an impact for God’s Kingdom, you do know that at least 50 people may be impacted by your efforts.
But if you have 300 followers on Twitter you still don’t know for sure if you’re making an impact for God’s Kingdom, but you do know that you have the potential of impacting 250 people more than before. And now that you have more people following you on Twitter your engagement will most likely go up, you’ll have more people add you to lists, starring your tweets and even retweeting them, further extending your potential impact for God’s Kingdom.
2. What doesn’t get tracked doesn’t get done
This is true in just about every area of life. What doesn’t get tracked doesn’t get done. You can test this out in your own life. Try going on a diet without tracking what you eat. Or trying saving up for an expensive vacation without tracking your savings. Or try promoting a large concert event without tracking ticket sales. What doesn’t get tracked doesn’t get done.
So if you want to see your social media platforms grow so that you can increase your potential impact for God’s Kingdom, you need to track your social media efforts. The reason is because when we track our efforts we tend to put more effort into our growth strategy.
For two years I didn’t track the growth of my email list. And for those two years my email list more or less remained exactly the same size. I’d lose a subscriber or two one month and gain one or two the next without ever seeing significant growth. But when I began to track my growth, I began to put more effort into getting my list to grow and in short order I more than doubled its size!
3. Your ROI will tell you what’s working
One of the worst things you can do is waste valuable time, money and resources on ineffective efforts. For every minute or penny spent on an ineffective effort you could be using to make real impact and change real lives.
But how do you know what’s working and what’s not? How do you know what is resonating with people? How do you know if your platforms are growing? How do you know if you’re making real impact or just shooting blanks?
Knowing your ROI will help you determine what’s really working and what’s not. Which tweets caught peoples attention? Who like and shared your Facebook post? What did you do one week that grew your email list more than previous weeks.
When you track your ROI you’ll be able to see what caused certain outcomes so that you can stop putting money and effort into what’s not working and instead, focus on what already worked.
4. It feels good to track our ROI
It is far easier to manage growth on social media than it is in our physical building. This is because social media levels the playing field. You have the same potential to reach the more than 3-billion people on the internet as mega-churches do. And because it’s less intimidating for people to connect with you online than in person, people have less barriers up and are more open to your message.
So if your church is struggling to grow in its physical sphere you can still be encouraged about the growth and potential impact you’re having in the digital sphere.
So tracking your ROI on social media will encourage you to stay-the-course.
Tracking your ROI can have great benefits for you and your ministry. By tracking your ROI you’ll see real growth and be encouraged by the number of lives that you can potentially impact for God’s Kingdom.
So I created this ROI tracking resource because I really want to see you make the biggest splash for God’s Kingdom on social media as possible. Imagine if every faith community in God’s Kingdom began used ROI tracking strategically on social media? We’d change the world both online and off, both individually and socially.
So go ahead and scoop up this ROI tracking resource right now. It’s free!