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The ROI Obsession

14 Oct

I recently read an article which assigned actual dollar values to social media actions. This Eventbrite blog post explains how they valued our tweets, status updates & emails:

“When someone shares an event with their friends through social media, this action results in real dollars. Our most recent data shows that over the past 12 weeks, one share on Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90, and a share through our ”email friends” application equals $2.34. On an aggregate level across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and our email share tool, each share equals $1.78 in ticket sales. We’re seeing this number improve every week with the most recent four-week average equaling $1.87.”

Finally! A legitimate value placed on social media. And I’m not excited because we can prove that there is real ROI involved; I’m excited because now us crazy creative marketers can shove this onto the desk of our clients who’s only concern is turning every marketing dollar spent immediately into two dollars earned.

What these business owners and executives refuse to accept is that social media is NOT about ROI, it is about engagement. It isn’t about page views, clicks or conversions. It is about creating a loyal, engaged online community. What is the value of each brand-obsessed user? How much would a company shell out to purchase a large community of engaged, loyal consumers?

Look at the companies that understand social media: Starbucks, Apple, Google and even Old Spice. Visit their Facebook or Twitter page. You’ll never find Starbucks tweeting daily about products and shouting at followers. They are engaging, which most importantly requires listening.

So marketers, lets bookmark this article and send it off whenever our client starts throwing out their three favorite letters. Don’t let that chain of command of the Fortune 500 company stop you from using social media the right way. Ready, set, engage!

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