Connect and share your insights with thousands of subject matter experts from other companies, industry analysts and thought leaders in the area of Social Business. The Jam will continue for 72+ hours (ending Thursday, 11 February at 12:00PM Eastern Standard Time), so you can come and go as your schedule allows.
This Jam will provide valuable insights relevant to many roles including those in marketing, operations, human resources, IT and line of business executives. We encourage you to invite others from your organization and your network to join us. They can register at http://ibm.co/joinsbjam.Today, one of the most active threads has been the one started by Lauren Walker of IBM asking the question: "Can you measure the ROI of social media?"
"How are companies assigning value to their social media activities? What is the measurement of "successful" social media for business?" she asked.
In a reply to one of the respondents, Lauren later referenced the ROI Pyramid put together by an Altimeter study here.
I thought I'd share my reply to Lauren's question and see what you all think?
Lauren, I did see that Altimeter report. I ended up copying a bunch of the slides and blogging about it recently: Three Goals of Corporate Social Media Strategy in 201
Thank you for sharing them here and commenting on the possibility of gauging ROI.
I believe it is very much possible to at least work toward tracking and measuring as many quantifiable metrics related to social media marketing and social business operations, and then using those to at least directionally understand if improvement (in internal collaboration efficiency, or in brand visibility) is happening, even if you can't gauge a true ROI from those metrics (i.e. actual conversions or sales).
With some types of businesses (Dell, for example, using Twitter to drive sales) it is providing a measurable and obvious ROI.
Regardless of whether you're selling actual products and can measure direct ROI or your sales cycle is 9 months long and you just won't know for a while how it pays off, do what you can to measure every metric possible and use smart tools to track progress.
From my experience, It's still worth playing in the space, understanding it and doing your best.