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The ROI of Social Media DOES Matter


Author: Anand Pandya

I was surfing through my Twitter timeline from overnight, and saw a friend of mine who runs an agency retweet the following message:

“Re: Social media ROI: “Did we calc the ROI of email, IM, phone? No. We measured overall perf of biz objectives.” (via IBM Social Media Jam)”

If you’re putting social media in the realm of corporate communications, i.e. email, IM and phone, then you have an argument to make.  It isn’t necessarily about the ROI, but it is about being able to communicate intra-company and with customers, vendors, partners, etc.  So, there’s a validity in the statement.

However, most organizations also use social media as a marketing tool.  If you’re not tagging some ROI measurements to your marketing endeavors, then what’s the ultimate goal of marketing?   In the marketing world, you would definitely apply an ROI to phone campaigns, emails campaigns and IM advertising.  Those are channels that are going to apply to multi-channel campaigns and those campaigns are being run for the express purpose of driving revenue either directly via sale/promotion or indirectly via brand building.  That, inherently, is the business objective of those marketing campaigns.

To say that ROI doesn’t matter is a myopic way of looking at how you’re using the media itself.  What are your thoughts?

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