Social Media ROI? Not So Much… Think Again Genius!

Repeat after me:

  • Social media marketing is not advertising.
  • Social media marketing is not advertising.
  • Social media marketing is not advertising.

I can already hear some of you getting warmed up for the comments, so ok, riddle me this. Yes, in social media you can buy advertising. But social media in itself is not advertising. If we can all agree on that, then why are some of us still talking about social media ROI???

Social Media ROI? Think Again Genius! – SmackTalk

You can’t measure relationships. You can’t put on paper the depth and complexity of the human experience with a brand. Sure you can track web traffic, click through rates, and even your follower/following ratio. But none of that explains real influence.

So then why do CEOs, CMOs, and even brand managers insist on this pointless discussion? Because, too many of us have been enchanted by the tools. Too many of us have been caught up in the hype and glory of amazing technology to recognize that social media marketing is essentially the same old ball game using different tools.

Think about it this way, when was the last time you attended a networking event or trade show and had your boss ask you, “so what was your ROI?”. I am willing to bet never, because those types of events aren’t there to act as advertising channels they are there many times to create relationships.

If you utilize offline social events as advertising channels, two things happen. 1) You don’t make any friends. 2) You don’t create any customers. This happens because instead of coming across as the cool girl or guy that everyone wants to do business with, you come across as the annoying jerk passing out postcard adverts. So why is it that some of us think that social media is any different?

Calculating ROI for advertising is easy because it is based on definite variables that can be measured. How do you measure the emotion from a positive exchange with a favorite brand on Twitter? How do you calculate the feelings of community in some forums? You can’t, and you aren’t supposed to.

If your company or client requires social media ROI, then maybe social media isn’t right for you. Or maybe you just need to learn more about being social and come back to the media later.

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