In search of a robust method for Social Media ROI we started with social media’s closest ancestor “marketing” (feels like the evolution from ape to men) and tried to find well-proven methods for marketing ROI. So I checked first Yahoo then Google for “Marketing ROI method” the results were most extreme – try to enter some random key strokes like “dfasdf” you get 172,000 “findings” non for a METHOD on marketing ROI. This lead us to believe that we are hunting a ghost if we are looking for a Social Media ROI.
But in social media we have a few very powerful mechanisms like customer referrals, customer advocacy, customer content contribution and several other contributing factors which all help a company financially to make substantial improvements, when done right way beyond any of the previous market interaction models.
Without going too deep into all the methods and techniques here is a financially verifiable and mathematical doable ROI calculation for Social Media:
Contribution Margin (CN) in currency generated from externally referred customers
over interaction cost (IC) in currency for human interaction and other cost to manage and engage in the ecosystem
= Social Media ROI (SM-ROI).
With the “SOMA-Formula” for social media ROI we have US$ or “currency” on both sides of the equation. And guess what we have benefits from the investment for both: the business AND the customer community. Of course this is only possible if you know your ecosystem and if you did your “customer mapping” as we call it, but with the tools we have today this is easily possible. Here is a bid more on Social Media Academy
The ability to finally calculate a Social Media ROI is another important piece in the corporate social media puzzle, that can be taken into the books by a CFO.
Thanks to all the students of the Social Media Academy who contributed to formulate this model – hence “SOMA-Formula”.
Let us know what you think, if it helps, what else you may add to this. Do all of us a favor – run it by your CFO for feedback.