A September 2010 survey by Econsultancy found nearly half the respondents said they were not able to measure the return on investment of social media activities or even compare it to the return of other marketing activities. This comes on the heels of another study in April 2010 by R2 Integrated which showed that the biggest obstacle to using social media is the respondents’ belief that there is not enough data or analytics with which to calculate a return.

This is not terribly far-fetched if you consider the following: 1) “people are talking about my brand;” so what? 2) “we have a dashboard which shows pretty red, yellow, and green graphs;” so what? 3) “we just paid a celebrity to tweet about us;” so what? Do any of these things drive sales for the brand? Maybe. Maybe not. Most likely there is simply no way to tell. This is because there isn’t a metric or a series of metrics which can directly and accurately correlate social media actions to sales.

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One thought on “The ROI of Social Media Is Still Zero”
  1. The author lost me when he states “that social media is not media”…essentially because you can’t buy it. There are plenty of examples of “media” for which you can’t buy an ad, yet it’s still media. That is a narrow, advertising point of view…so yes, from that narrow point of view the ROI is zero. But from a more enlightened perspective, one can find value in social media…maybe even a return on the time spent working on it (which, by the way, does cost money).

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