Social Media ROI – why do you even care?


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ROI = Return on investment.
Now, what do you invest in?

LinkedIn – it’s basically free
Twitter – It’s free
YouTube – It’s free
Facebook Fan Page – It’s free
Blog on Blogger – It’s free
So the technical infrastructure is free.

1) Finding out what is on top of your customers mind:
Let your sales people read your clients ‘time line’ in the morning for 30 minutes. It’s the same amount of time they spend grinding through email spam. It’s free.
2) Socializing with your customers:
That’s what you hired your sales force for. No extra cost, it’s free.
3) Listening what your customers want:
You spend thousands on market research to find out in surveys what your customers want and let your product managers guess what they should build next. Now you get that information unfiltered for free. You actually save the survey.
4) Many other things you want to do to create a better customer experience, build advocacy…
You get the idea. There is all that cool stuff you can do with your existing team – if only you and your team cares. The only investment – think through it and align your team to the new reality.

So what is the mathematical ROI on zero investment? Right – so why do you even care than.

Initial cost
OK – you may spend $5,000 for a solid social media education or $25,000 for me to come in and coach the exec team to do the above. But than we discuss ROI on education – not ROI on Social Media 😉


Axel Schultze
CEO of Society3. Our S3 Buzz technology is empowering business teams to create buzz campaigns and increase mentions and reach. S3 Buzz provides specific solutions for event buzz, products and brand buzz, partner buzz and talent acquisition buzz campaigns. We helped creating campaigns with up to 100 Million in reach. Silicon Valley entrepreneur, published author, frequent speaker, and winner of the 2008 SF Entrepreneur award. Former CEO of BlueRoads, Infinigate, Computer2000.


  1. Upfront, want to say I agree with you, and I haven’t heard a great answer to the question yet. If you were to look at sales, you would say, “All that really matters is the result. Then we’ll talk about whether you can do it more effectively for less.”

    That said, there are real costs. If someone is spending a day using social media, that person isn’t making widgets and is using up office space, internet access time, etc. So businesses will always be looking to quantify that.

    Anyway, this is definitely one of the best questions out there right now. Hope you get more responses–will be interesting. Thanks!


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