Here’s an interesting presentation about measuring the real ROI of social media that’s been doing the rounds this week. It’s worth it for the picture of the ‘Social Media Manager’ alone :)
I love the focus on getting to the real ROI of social media in financial terms (not followers, friends, fans, retweets, comments…) but it left two questions in my mind:
1) In a large organisation, how realistic is it to benchmark financial performance ‘before social media’ and ‘after social media’? If a large publicly listed company posts great quarterly results after starting a social media programme, could you really assert that social media was the cause when there are thousands of other programmes running in the business to try to cut costs and increase revenue.
2) The presentation says we should try to correlate social media measurements with financial indicators. But there’s the old problem of establishing causation: Did sales increase as a result of positive buzz increasing, or was the company doing some other things right that led to increased sales and positive buzz? It reminded me of this study about the Nissan Pathfinder.
I can see this model working in businesses that are relatively easy to measure like online retail but is it too simple to be a panacea for measuring social media ROI across the board? I’d love to know what others think about this.