I’m often asked how to calculate the social media return on investment. It’s a challenging question with no easy answer. For many channel partners, the biggest expense in executing a social media strategy is the cost of time. And it can add up fast.
What marketers need to communicate to those managers with an ROI yardstick in their hands is that new media is measured in a different way. Rarely can you account for sales as a direct result of blogging or social networking. Sure, you’d love to have a prospect email you as a result of your brilliant tweeting about your products, but that’s not the norm here.
Social media is all about brand building. You are not engaging in direct selling here, and that’s okay. The Web has created a culture that links people in relationships. Businesses communicate directly with the customers they serve, and these end-users connect with real human being in the companies they choose.
Amber Naslund posted a great blog on AltitudeBranding.com that outlines ways in which you can apply metrics to your social media efforts, including measurements for lead generation and conversion, cost savings, brand awareness, and customer loyalty.
There is both quantity and quality in the social networking world. Your job is to get the right combination of both!