Yet Another Post on Social Media ROI

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And by “Yet another post…” I mean “in the blogosphere.” I do believe this will be my first post on the subject. But, I’m planning to dive into this topic a bit more heavily in the coming days — not in small part because we have a new client who is interested in the subject, so I’ve got an excuse to do some research and cogitating!

Let’s be clear from the get-go here, though. “Social media ROI” is a rather silly term in my book. While I am absolutely a proponent of measuring your forays into social media, “ROI” implies a sillily simplistic concept. ROI is a simple formula conceptually, but it is almost always harder to calculate in practice. In the case of social media, tying either a strict dollar amount to the “return” or a strict dollar amount to the “investment” is downright impossible.

Now, one cute way to address this it to say that “return on influence is the new ROI.” Joe Marchese has a great post that explains this concept. The idea is that jumping directly from investment in social media to financial returns is wildly oversimplistic. Return on influence claims that what social media directly delivers is influence — an audience that can be reached out to quickly and effectively with whatever message the owner of that social media realm wishes. If that influence can be measured, then the return that is being achieved based on that influence can be measured.

I like the concept and the thinking…but could really live without the term. Let ROI be ROI, and lets talk about measuring the results of our social media investments. Please!

More to come…I promise.

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