Don’t get me wrong, ROI is important because it’s part of social media’s evolution from a corporate novelty to a key strategic and tactic asset. But part of the challenge in attempting to define ROI is the metrics are hard and soft – everything from Web site traffic and click-throughs to better customer service and a higher profile brand.
Some you can easily measure, and some are abstract but just as valuable.
So, what do you do?
Perhaps a small step forward on the path to an ROI that satisfies the corporate bean-counters is defining what success looks like. For some companies, “success” is better customer service or having as strong a social media presence as the competition.
For other companies, success is simply higher sales. However success is defined, it’s how companies begin to get a handle on their social media investments.
Even the most basic metrics (e.g. establish a social media foothold) are a way to do some kind of assessment. In time, corporate metrics can become more complex and sophisticated but everything needs a starting point – even social media ROI.