Can You Measure the ROI of Social Media Marketing?

I was recently invited to the UK to deliver a series of workshops and presentations for the eBusiness Champions project on the general topic of “Social Media for Business”. The SMEs participating in the program had expressed a certain amount of weariness regarding all the ‘hype’ around Social Media, so, determined not to add any further froth to the mix, I focused instead on the topic of measurement, and specifically whether or not SMEs can show a measurable return on investment in Social Media marketing.

So can it be done? In a word: maybe. Possibly…it depends…

What strikes me from speaking to SMEs both here in Ireland as well as in the UK is that very very few companies are setting any sort of objectives for their use of Social Media Marketing. Without objectives, it’s nigh on impossible to show return. The other side of this is that despite having access to floods of data about the way their customers are engaging with them online, very little strategic decisions are being taken based on this data. Chris Brogan has an excellent blog post about this issue, specifically examining the different ways you can look at outcomes from online engagement.

You can see my slides from my presentation to the eBusiness Champions project embedded below. The video of the presentation is up on YouTube here, here and here. There’s also some video footage of an interview I gave to the eBusiness Champions project manager, Dorte Kjærulff Knights-Branch, here and here.

How Do You Measure the ROI of Social Media Marketing?