The question of whether or not social media drives ROI still plagues many marketers and brands. The issue is not always as straightforward as it seems, as there are multiple ways to measure the benefits of social media and it isn’t as simple as looking for a direct sales return at one end, with the social media imput at the other. Smart tracking and measuring is needed to fully capture the benefit of a social media campaign and while looking for direct ROI is one way to do it, there are other values to be measure from social media marketing. I’ve put together a list of case studies that prove the ROI of social media, both through direct monetary return, customer loyalty, repeat traffic and more. Viewing social media holistically to gain a better understanding of how it can work for you is more beneficial to any brand than looking for one single return. Remember that social media marketing is not the same as online advertising ; it’s not necessarily something that can be switched on and off to directly produce revenue.
People are going bananas over ROI for social media.
I can understand why – you need to know what’s making you money – but in the context of other communications, I just don’t get it.
Consider your website. Apart from e-commerce, how much money did it ever make you? Or save you? Did you ever measure it? Or did you just set up a website because you felt you should?
I think this is because websites came about during the late 80s and 90s when we were all awash with money. Perhaps it’s because we’re in such straitened times that everyone’s shouting Show Me The Money. Maybe when we emerge from this black hole social media too will become just something you do.
But even today it’s kind of unfair. I’m not sure people put the same pressure on PR to account for itself. Even advertising is a waste of approximately half your money (although online can and does provide greater accountability).
Anyway, what do I know? The Next Web gives you 10 nice case studies where ROI factored, either by direct causation or indirect assocation.