"What is the ROI of Social Media?" An Answer…
Skeptical executives love to ask the hard questions. With social media, normally the hard question looks something like this:
"What is the ROI of Social Media?"
The common snarky response to this question looks something like:
"What is the ROI of your pants?"
The snarky response is probably not the best way to get buy in on a several thousand dollar initiative. An initiative that will likely change the way the a company functions. Let’s be honest, pants do not constitute a several thousand dollar investment and hopefully do not result in a monumental change to an organization.
The better approach is to make an honest attempt to answer the question. The correct start is actually a broad question:
"How do you currently measure ROI for Marketing, Customer Service, Product Ideation, and Lead tracking?"
Hopefully that question will increase the scope of Social Media in the executives mind. Consider the first question, “What is the ROI of Social Media?”, it’s loaded! A response to the executives question can point to cost savings, revenue, organic impressions, customer satisfaction, product ideation, Sales, Lead Nurturing, and that is a short list. The skeptical executive often suffers from an overly focused view of Social Media. The broad question opens this up.
The broad question also starts a dialogue and provides data points actually enabling ROI measurement. The lesson Social Media ROI should always align with other measurements of cost, return, and effectiveness.