Saturday 6 February 2010

The ROI of Social Media: The Water Cooler Gambit

I am quite bored of people asking to be shown the actual monetary ROI of Social Media. Not that I get asked but it seems a persistent topic of discussion on the web and through business & consumer media in general.

'What is the value of twitter/facebook etc to our business?'. When the person being asked predictably struggles to satisfy their cynical inquisitor, said inquisitor jumps in and rejects wholsale the very idea of Social Media as a fad etc.

Social Media is something they usually don't understand and so under the guise of 'well, it has no measurable value' they feel happy to claim it is a waste of time.

But that's just an excuse. They are throwing the baby out with the bath water.

If I asked most MDs if they could calculate for me the ROI of their phone system, or their water cooler, or their carpets, or any of the other functional utilities their business depends on they would struggle in exactly the same way as we all struggle to establish the actual ROI of Social Media to an organisation.

So the next time someone asks you to show them the Social Media money just tell them you will as soon as they show you the ROI of their water cooler.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Al - bang on the money. Lesson being we sometimes overthink this stuff and miss the very obvious?

    I'll be definitely using these analogies in a meeting or 20 to come ;)