Your nonprofit spends a lot of time and effort posting to Facebook in the hopes of reaching and engaging supporters. The trouble is: How do you place real value on that effort? How do you know if it's paying off?

One fairly easy way to calculate that in real dollars is earned media valuation based on post interactions. In other words, if you had to pay to get those same results (outside of Facebook) roughly how much would it have cost you?

Granted, this doesn’t directly tie to outcomes like donations, but it can help determine ROI for your Facebook efforts at a high level. Then you can use that info to report back to your board or ED about the value and impact of those efforts.

To calculate your earned media valuation, first you'll need to determine what each type of interaction is worth to your organization, based on your goals.

Easier said than done, right? Well, if it helps, here are the baselines we've found, given a great deal of data collected from our Facebook work with nonprofits over the years:

  • Reactions = $0.25 each

  • Comments = $1 each

  • Shares = $2 each

  • Link Clicks = $1 each

  • Video views = $0.50 each

Using those numbers or your own, then you just tally interactions and multiply them by your interaction estimates. That will give you a rough dollar amount for your Facebook engagement.

Let’s look an example from one of our recent ActionSprout posts.

The post above had 215 reactions, 4 comments, 48 shares, and 259 link clicks. Multiply those numbers by the per-engagement estimates we outlined above and that comes to $158 in earned media value for this post.

Now, that post obviously didn't put an extra $158 in our pocket, but think about what it would've cost us for that that amount of reach and engagement outside of Facebook. It's likely we would've spent much more than $158 to interact with that many people.

We added ROI estimation capabilities to the Timeline section of the Action Sprout app. Simply click on More at the top of any post and select the ROI tab to see a calculated earned media value using the default values.

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