October 20, 2011 Michael Bickerton
I came across a short article in the American Express OPEN Forum by Rohit Bhargava, “The ROI of a conversation”, which certainly made clear to me my ongoing concern regarding business insistance on ROI in Social Media. For the old school, what is the ROI of a handshake?
The article asks – what is the ROI of a conversation, or as pointed out by Charlene Li, the author of Groundswell, what is the ROI of that handshake? The article is clear that small business understands relationships, friendships, networking and positive experiences with your brand and your company.
The point of the article is that not everything you do in marketing fits in a spreadsheet, not every touch is quantifiable, and this is very true in social media. As the article points out your social media profile is NO different than attending an industry event, you meet, you get a chance to put a positive touch on your brand and your company.
We can quantify and measure social media, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. The number of friends, the number of views, and the number of positive reactions to a post or a long-term communication can’t be measured. Not any different than providing ROI on a newspaper or magazine ad, or a mail drop in years past!
Just because it can be measured, doesn’t necessarily mean you should measure it. The fact that we can measure is nice and provides value, but keep in mind the touches in social media are about as measurable as a handshake.
As your digital agency, we recommend you embrace your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube and Slideshare accounts. You know that not everything you do fits nicely into that spreadsheet.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, Toronto, October 2011