The last post of our guide to Getting Started in Social Media looked at measurements and how brands should be ruthless about ROI. This presentation from Oliver Blanchard is a great introduction to social media ROI and how you should conceive of it and then measure it. It’s also quite amusing in parts and so is Required Reading this week at FreshNetworks
For me the most insightful part of the presentation is the distinction between a non-financial ROI and a financial one. Blanchard’s model is that you get the non-financial ROI before you get measurable financial return. They are part of a continuum – your investment leads to something that will have a non-financial impact first and then a financial one. This is a model that really rings true in our experience of building online communities. Financial ROI can take time to achieve, but good planning and strategy should start to give you non-financial ROI relatively quickly. Brands often need to have this trajectory reinforced – just because you don’t have any hard financial return yet does not mean it isn’t just round the corner. It probably is if you persist with your efforts.
Image by Hey Paul via Flickr