Taylor great post. What got me thinking was your statement:
One of the first question I'm asked by a potential client is always, "What's the Return on Investment for using social media?"
My response would be immediately that people asking such questions may not use the right language. As I have said before, ROI comes out of the accounting/finance industry and has one meaning only:
Social Media Marketing tools I looked at all end up tracking clicks. Unfortunately, you cannot track return on investment or ROI from social media. Not directly, anyway.
Don't set that expectation, and smash it anywhere it shows up.
As you point out so succinctly in your response to Dan above:
"... to get to the bottom line relationships need to be cultivated."
Hence, social media including relationships or having office furniture and air conditioning are mediating factors that affect your bottom line.
Therefore, we need to focus on KPIs (or Key Performance Indicators) that provide us with the actionable metrics needed:
You also say: "Considering Businesses want return on investment, and want sales as a way of justifying using social media."
Here my response can only be that I am so thankful that my clients are beyond that. They are realising that while air conditioning and social media are needed, we cannot directly link them to sales if we are an engineering firm or a non-profit organization. Nevertheless, it helps our efforts to engage better and improve customer service as well as retention.
Thanks so much for sharing your insights, I look forward to your next pointer on this.
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