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Many of my friends, prospects and people I engage with ask me this question: What is ROI of social media? In this blog post I have tried answering the question which triggers in every individual planning to invest in Social Media. For a business, ROI of social media depends upon the objectives they set. For a social media campaign companies can set following objectives mentioned below:

• Collaborating employees, partners, management team and customers in an online office.
• Identifying what are consumers talking about you, solving negative issues.
• Set a unique online value proposition.
• Create an impactful online presence.
• To educate clients and keep them informed.
• Increase the personal and company network.
• Shift to green solutions.
• Easy, inexpensive and effective way to communicate.
• Discuss and share innovation to make it popular.
• Explore collated ideas and intelligence
• Brand exposure and awareness
• Easy platform for brand evangelists to get associated with you.
• Long term revenue
• Word of mouth marketing

These are few objectives that companies set when adding an element of social media to their business strategy. It is necessary to make a long term goal and short-term social media strategy for better success and convenient measurement. POSTING/MONTH model created by my team is one such model that can help you create the right kind of social media strategy.

Oh, am I lost from the question what is ROI of social media? As mentioned, ROI depends upon objectives and how you take it further. ROI doesn’t mean how much sales you do, there are chances you may sell more but have less ROI. When it comes to ROI of social media, sales is not a tangible feature, it is not a direct component of your performance.

ROI on Social Media can be in these forms; increase number of customers, increase how much people spend, increase how often people spend, increase customer retention, maintain better relationships, save on research costs, time spent, product development costs, save on technology, save on communication, save on business strategies and lot more.

As mention above, ROI depends upon the kind of strategy you use. It depends upon the right choice of social networks, amount of activity performed, type of campaigns, proper response and lot of other things.

The ROI needs to be measured in form of number of clicks obtained, number of people approached via blog or presentation on slideshare, number of impressions and page views, time spent on the site, comments, re-tweets, size of the network, number of viewers of video, user generated contents on network, enthusiasm among the users, number of subscriptions, amount saved on resources and ultimately on its OVERALL impact on business.

As the number grows so does your brand visibility and awareness, as people converse about you there are chances of brand recommendations. Nothing happens overnight other than few exceptional cases, Social Media isn’t among those exceptional ones. It’s still unique and it needs time and interesting strategy to prove you that it works well.

Finally, I would just want to add, it is not about ’getting an ROI’ by itself, it is regarding using the ROI to optimize your return by saving money on expensive resources and by directing where you spend your resources.

Good Luck with your campaigns.

You can add me on Facebook and on Twitter for a conversation.

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