What is the ROI (define) for social media? It’s zero. That’s because there’s no such thing as “social media.”
People’s conversations are not media; they can’t be purchased as such by advertisers. In other words, people don’t talk whenever advertisers want them to and they won’t say whatever advertisers tell them to — so it isn’t “media” like TV, print, and radio.
If you treat people’s conversations as media, you’d be doing it wrong. Social marketing done right means asking for and respecting people’s conversations and giving them a public place to talk so others can hear. If the advertiser’s product is already great, much of the conversation will be positive. But even if it isn’t the advertiser will have the benefit of free “product research” because people will give them ideas for improvement.
Untargetables are hard to reach. Unreachables are not reachable by traditional advertising media or channels.
read more about the ROI of social media on ClickZ … http://www.clickz.com/3633341
in a budget-constrained environment, the best thing an advertiser can do is shift more attention (notice, I didn’t say money) to social marketing and stimulate social actions among target users and customers. While paid media used to just get people to some place (like a website), social marketing is about stimulating social actions — so the people actually do something — share, rate, comment, recommend, etc. These actions lead to an accumulation of value over time such that future visitors will get the benefit of all of the actions that went before (e.g. I only watch the highest rated or most viewed videos on YouTube; I don’t have to wade through and find the good stuff myself). Furthermore, social actions are free to the advertiser — think “advocacy.” When real people carry the message forward to their friends, it is free amplification for the advertiser — social amplification.