Social Media ROI

It’s become the huge discussion in social media marketing: “What’s the ROI? Can we measure it?” Or in a much more obvious way to put: “Does it work? Is it Return on Investment or Return of Ignorance? 

Social media is not free. It takes time; it takes resources; it takes technology. The effort and investment must be justified. The strategies must provide long-term value and offerings to the backbone of business success. But, how do you measure something when best practices and case studies are, in general, deceptive or intangible? The industry is battling to prove its salt of an important additive in the future success of business because models have yet to be tested.

Many companies boasting their success in social media without clearly validating their ROI. But the truth is you can succeed in anything, if success is not defined. But success is definite and attainable. It takes a lot of effort to match the expected results to the return on investment. 

Success is not predefined. There’s no one way to measure the development. To measure the progress one must decide on what he wants to accomplish through social media. Is the goal is to sell a product, engagement, participation, building trust, brand awareness, positive image for the brand. Success is related with actions and its outcome. It’s not possible to measure the ROI without defining the Return[R] or Investment[I].

Even though most part of social media is free, the resources, time, technology, and opportunity cost (what they are not concentrating on or achieve while participating in social media). By relating those costs to the outcome will announce an equation for processing the “I” as investment.

When the true ability of social media is grasped, the action can be measured, we can extend the significance of this new media beyond profit or loss. We can acclimate business processes and more effectively prepare for the future.

Vinoth is social media and search marketing professional at WebSide, a social media marketing company located in India; He is a full time social media enthusiast, digital evangelist and a part time blogger.