Social Media ROI? A Billion Dollar Question!

Almost every brand, every marketer has joined the social media wave today. Each of them seems to be in a desperate spree to peep into the secret social media ROI closet of competitors.

When the year commenced, a great pie of marketing honchos had predicted that the year 2011 will be commemorated as the year of some real hard Social Media ROIs. But has this prediction come out true? Are we now well versed with handling the barometric performance of our social media endeavors? Or, did we harbor an illusion?

Is Social Media ROI Measurable?

I’m not taking potshots at the Goliaths of the industry but being a social media marketing professional myself, I’m of the opinion that this prediction has been on the wane. Indeed, it’s a big mystery. Fluctuating social media trends further compound the situation.

I still don’t see any standard tool that can effectively lay out the metrics to estimate exact or even near social media ROIs. But we, as marketers, have to justify our social media initiatives.  How do we do that? There’s no one standard formula but still we can try to touch the concept of social media ROI and scratch it a bit.

Do you identify Facebook or Twitter as ‘Mecca of Social Media’? Let me put it like this. Is it your ultimate goal on the Web? If yes, then my dear friends it’s a wake-up call. You’ve to start looking upon social media as a vehicle, an intermediary link between your business objectives and ROIs. But you need to constantly ride this bandwagon. And not just sit and think of enjoying the ride. In simple words, you need to be consistent on social media to keep your target audiences glued to your brands since social media users are brand hungry. Make a sincere attempt to be friends with ‘FRANDS’ (friends, who are hungry for brands).

I recently came across a very interesting article ‘The value of a Facebook fan’. I read it thoroughly but still am not convinced that it’s actually possible to measure the potential of a social media fan or social media ROI for that matter.

Though measuring the conversion or rather success rate of traditional marketing initiatives is relatively easier, but a thoughtful approach can be taken for social media ROI too and not make it look like a Herculean task. We can streamline social media task chart and fragment it into specific activities, and then look for calculating the ROIs for each of them.

Is it just the revenue that matters? Or social engagement?

Another treasure trove that we can dig out of social media is the conversation streams generated. We can use these user-generated content streams to reap their optimum use for each of the departments and organization as a whole. Don’t rant more about statistics, though you may utilize the same for devising your future strategy.

It’s time to flaunt your intelligence by using social media in a way that matches best to your ultimate business goals., and not just being another sheep in the pastures (of social media). Optimize your social media strategy for each of the departments, and then measure its success based on specific performance metrics. I think social media success measurement should not be filtered from the way we measure the success of offline marketing initiatives.

Though I’ve jotted down my thoughts about social media ROIs here, it’s your turn to be vocal about your views on social media ROIs.

Look forward to seeing your share your thoughts in the comment box below.


2 responses to “Social Media ROI? A Billion Dollar Question!

  1. good question and well written..
    keep it up


  2. Thanks a heap for this post, glad to see there are still some excellent writers around the web!


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