In general, I feel that ROI can be manipulated to include / exclude the projects that people want to move forward with. Issues in ROI did not start in the realm of social media – egregious hourly rates used in ABC costing and cost avoidance phantoms have plagued many.
It’s fine to track the path to sale of social media users on your website. And that may get you a pretty straight answer to ROI. I really don’t have time to write that kind of post for you right now. Plus, I prefer to write in a stream of consciousness; that’s just how I roll.
Here’s my spin on the value of social media:
I trust a company more because they relate to me on a medium I prefer.
Let’s break that out a bit:
Trust – repeat customer, bigger ticket, repeat business, one who refers others.
More – than the other company that has no clue.
Relate – human to human contact. Please don’t make me say “representative” again on your crappy IVR.
Me – you know, that elusive demographic you’ve been coveting.
Medium I prefer – social media. And not necessarily just Twitter.
What’s your take on the great social media ROI debate? Let me know in the comments.