What’s the ROI from Social Media?

Although the enthusiasm for social media is booming, so too is the reluctance; mostly due to the fact that very few of us have found a way to truly measure its success. Not to say that internal metrics for a given platform don’t exist, they do and can be quite helpful in gaining a better understanding of the interactions on a given page.  Nonetheless, without something external to tie it to, those stats are little more than high scores in a social media popularity contest.


Think Outside the Box

Be it lack of tools or simply not knowing what to measure, the barriers to social media measurement have been dissuading users since its inception. However, business leaders and innovators are slowly catching on to the belief that social media may not be primarily about ROI. In fact, when it comes to social media, if you are looking for exact dollar returns on your investment, then you are going about it the wrong way.

The ROI of social isn’t about dollars and cents; it’s about the risk of ignoring.  Consider thinking outside the box with some of these indirect measures of success:

  • PR Comparisons: For example, take a look at the implications that social shares could have on your business’s bottom line. Whether your business receives one share or thousands, it’s free publicity—and to millions of users might I add. (Roughly 1 in 8 people on the planet have a social account and over half of them use it daily). Imagine what you would have to pay a PR company for that exact same type of publicity. This may not be a traditional business metric; however it is a valid approach, you just have to look at the comparisons. 
  • Customer Service Comparisons: Major savings can also be realized in the customer service aspect of your business. By engaging with customers and showing them that you are listening, your business will be able to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and improve its service across the board. Not to mention, social media can lower your customer service costs thanks to faster, first-time resolutions.

With that being said don’t be surprised when social media doesn’t produce a ton of immediate results—it is an investment of your time and unrealistic expectations could thwart your efforts from the beginning. However, if done correctly, you will be able to determine what strategies are worth investing in, and what strategies need to be avoided. This will make for a more well-rounded marketing campaign and will ultimately lead to returns.


So, Is Social Media Worth It?

Every business is different and should determine their own course of action when it comes to diving into the social media waters, but I will leave you all with this: Borders didn’t believe in social media and they went out of business; blockbuster didn’t believe in it and they let Netflix take over. The next couple of years are going to be lax, with many companies not understanding the ROI of social media and therefore not investing in it. Unfortunately, those same businesses will be at risk of being left behind and ultimately driven out of business by those who decided social media was worth investing in. Please contact us to learn more!