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Things We Should Ask the ROI Question About Before Social Media

Things We Should Ask the ROI Question About Before Social Media

Guest Blog from Scott Stratten

“What’s the ROI of Social Media?”

That’s the question that gives me ulcers when asked it.

Easy now, old-school business folk, I don’t have a problem questioning the value or return of something that takes potentially both time and money from your business. Any smart business person would do that.

My problem is we hold social media to a higher level of judgement than most things in business.

So, at no charge, I will Skype into any of your companies and explain exactly the ROI of social media, if you first can tell me what the ROI is of the following common business practices:

1. Meetings. Especially meetings about how social media is a waste of time. Weekly meetings…. with 10 people at them.

2. CC’ing everybody on every email. I figure the time it takes to read every “official” corporate email, you could’ve built a Twitter empire, ruled Facebook and had time for some Angry Birds (on Google+)

3. Meetings.

4. 2,000 mugs with your logo. I know when I need a lawyer, I search my coffee mug shelf. I know, I know, you bought them in December so you could spend your budget so you’d get it again next year, but still.

5. Overpaid conference keynote speakers No, wait. Scratch that. Nothing to see here. Move along.

6. Meetings.

7. Making your employees commute. Your business is mostly done over the computer or on the phone. Why do they have to sit at a desk again? Face time FTW!

8. Leather boardroom blotters. Ask the admin assistant that is on year 5 of a wage freeze how impressed he/she is that you just spent $2000 on leather squares.

9. Meetings.

10 Your Yellow Pages Ad, Direct Mail pieces and Tradeshow Booth. If you know the exact ROI on these three, awesome. You’re ahead of the game. Most have no clue.

11. Fax machines and toner. Seriously. I had a vendor say I couldn’t email a scanned version of a contract to them, since they needed me to “fax the original”. You know the actual piece of paper doesn’t travel through the phone line right? Right??

And even the smarter ones in business know that to be successful, you have to:

– Answer questions about our product or service

– Educate consumers

– Offer post purchase follow up

– Market research

– Discuss industry best practices

Read those five things out to a social media naysayer and ask if they agree about them being smart for businesses. Because that’s a checklist for what social media is used for. Just sayin.

Combine these with banning employees from using social media at work because it “distracts workers” and you see why I’m losing my hair. (Social media didn’t create distracted workers, Minesweeper did).