Social Media ROI = A Business Kryptonite

In the spirit of today’s Social Media Junction event, I thought I would dive into the complex world of social media ROI.

ROI stands for Return on Investment, and has traditionally been difficult to assess in the area of social media, as the ‘return’ is incredibly difficult to evaluate. What exactly does one measure? Do greater numbers of Twitter followers equal greater sales? Do hundreds of Facebook Fans equate to hundreds of in-store visits? It’s a difficult question to answer.

Social media is on a meteoric rise globally, and New Zealand is still catching up on the social media wave, with many businesses keen to jump on board but not sure how to measure their success. Here’s my take on social media ROI.

There are no set guidelines on how social media ROI should be interpreted. If someone has created some, then they’re wrong, because all businesses are different. Some businesses pride themselves on customer service, and in that case that is their ROI – you are investing in your company’s strength of putting customers first. This might take the form of answering every question on your Facebook Page, or flicking off individual replies to your Twitter followers.

Social media ROI is purely an extension of traditional return assessments. What are your business strengths that help you stand out from the crowd? And how can you utilise social media to enhance these strengths? Ultimately, this will have a positive impact on your bottom line as all you’re doing is applying key offline attributes to the online world. Simple, right? No metrics or anything that makes social media unnecessarily complicated.

Social media ROI is like learning accounts or maths for the first time, some are put off by it and the best way to learn is know to it’s true core essence and work from there.

Editor in Chief at here SMNZ, I have a passion for social and digital media. When not writing and managing SMNZ I am the Head of Innovation at TAG The Agency, a digital ad agency and the Head of Sales and Marketing for End-Game, a software development agency. I'm also involved with a number of startups and I am always keen to support those that are bold enough to give things a go. Start something, better to try than to live wondering what if...

One Comment

  1. Julie_warmington Reply

    Great topic and I wish I had been able to attend SMJ today to hear. Just yesterday I had a client ask me what I thought was the measure of success. It is always different for each campaign. You can have thousands of followers but little engagement, and vice versa. In my experience success comes from the brand loyalty established. Sometimes this can be difficult to accurately measure especially when WOM is the result.

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