Hostel Marketing - ROI vs IOR

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If you’ve enthusiastically created your hostel’s social networks and manage them daily with effort, and suddenly someone asks: "Which is the ROI on your social media?" Take it easy! We’ll tell you the correct response to this question!


Let's start with the definition of ROI: Return on Investment. As first approximation, the return on investment is the amount of money gained or lost with a particular campaign. For example: if investing 1.000 dollars in a campaign you receive 250 dollars, the ROI is -75%. And if investing 1.000 you receive 5.000, the ROI is 400%.
In terms of social networks, think about ROI is useful to consider measuring a positive return: analyze how are social media impacting positively in your hostel. But is it possible? Can you really measure ROI on social media?

Invest on Communities

If you already have some experience in online marketing, you may have noticed that it is almost impossible to measure the financial return on investment. Mainly for two reasons: first because it’s not just money you are investing, but also time (hours posting, answering questions, looking for worldwide references, studying cases, following users that represent your goal target and participating in their publications, etc.) Second, because your goal is not only to increase bookings immediately. Your social media campaigns have other primal objectives:

  • Brand engagement & Brand awareness

People to discover your hostel, remember, follow and recommend it).

  • Contact Database

People leave their info to receive information.

  • Impact

Cause impact about news or events.

  • Community

And, as a result of all these, build a community around your hostel!

The result of constructing a community through social networks is undoubtedly a great success. To learn more about how to create virtual communities, we recommend you to read our Communities post.

Return on investment

To find your return on investment in social media, there are several tools and metrics that help you calculate your hostel’s popularity and status. Not in monetary terms, but in reputation standings. You can obtain public outreach, impressions and mentions, amount of followers, likes, retweets, reposts, comments, subscriptions, your follower’s profile, your coolest posts and hashtags. So social media not only help you viralize your brand, but also allow you to study trends and movements that benefit your hostel. You understand how you are relating with your community.
Social Media results, in the end, will impact on bookings: if you are adored in the online world, you’ll attract customers and if they comment positively, they’ll attract more clients, and so on.


We must track Social Media results, although we can’t tell their monetary return on investment. These numbers are not necessarily the ROI, but rather the IOR or the Impact on Relationships. And this is indeed what we calculate!
So, pay attention to this: when somebody asks you for the ROI in your hostel’s social networks, the answer is: "ROI is not studied in social media. Instead, you must actually measure the IOR" ☺