Social Media ROI

People keep discussing this subject, yes or no, is there a measurable ROI on your social media activities.
Can you measure the effect? Yes.
Is there a concrete ROI? Sometimes yes, most of the time (RIGHT NOW!) no. But I have no doubt in the world that within a year or two most businesses will see a clear ROI on their SM efforts.
The main problem at the moment I think is that most companies don´t really know what they´re doing, and why they´re doing it. Their competitor is in SM so they should be too, and so the friend of the cousin of the owner has a FB page so he can do it right?

Lets be frank, with this approach, it will be almost impossible to have any ROI, simply because you don´t know what you´re measuring and what to benchmark against.

A clear example of Social Media resulting in cost savings is when it´s used as customer service. Reduction in call center activity is absolutely a proven fact.
Media impressions (Burger King), increased product awareness (Ford Fiesta), physical sales through Twitter or through F-Commerce (DELL) are some other examples of Social Media ROI.
Sure these are big businesses with a large existing community. If you are a smaller company you will need to have lots of patience and think long term.

But still the situation is what it is. Most companies are not investing appropriately and by no means should they - when they don´t know where, how and why.

Education is one important part of this. Try and fail is another.
Companies looking for 10 years of experience in their social media person will have a hard time finding that person, simply because we are all relatively new in this area. But make no mistake, there is a HUGE difference in hiring a "community manager" who knows or do doesn´t know.
First thing ALWAYS have to be about listening. Companies talk to much. Find influensers, people who have a large following and who represents trust. If you can manage to enter into the Trustosphere you have a huge advantage.
Credible people within your area might wanna guest blog for you? That creates an added value for the client which is the ultimate goal here. We have to offer something extra, some reason for a person to come back to our Facebook page or website. More than 80% of the people never return to a fan page after they have pushed the like button.

Evaluating where is the customer. On Facebook? Blogs? Twitter? Is he/she a video consumer? Then comes the Goals. How much money can we save on customer service? How much can we increase sales through online activities? Can we increase the average size order or build more loyalty among our customers? Can we build awareness about our product through a cool application on Facebook or create momentum around an event through a live Twitter chat?
Then comes the planning... Much much later comes the actual posts on Facebook, Blogs or Twitter...
No ONE strategy fits every company. The ROI has to be evaluated case by case.

A lot of the information in this video is not new anymore but I found it good anyway.

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