David Spark of SocialMediaBiz.net makes the case that social media isn’t all about ROI.
“We’ve been trained that everything gets measured down to a sales lead. If that’s how you measure social media, then forget it,” said David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR and World Wide Rave.
Here’s my two cents: There’s a reason I argue that social media is best left in the hands of public relations and communications rather than marketing (where I’ve lived for most of my career). The corporate-reputation guy can think long term about the value of the company and its brands, while the marketer generally has to sell product quickly.
It’s also true, however, that the sustainability of social media by corporations relies on an even value exchange between people and the enterprise. There needs to be a perceived financial return to substantiate the continued investments by corporations in social media.
Just as a consumer will “tune out” interruption marketing that is too company-centric, corporations will eventually fatigue of soft programs that can’t be tracked to something: improving reputation, increasing awareness, and ultimately driving sales). There is a happy medium.