The ROI of Social Media

This morning Chris Brogan’s blog featured a great post about the misunderstanding of the ROI of Social Media; the basic idea is that anyone who is looking for a simple, hard number for the return on time and money invested is way off track (chrisbrogan). Of course this rang true with me because those of us who utilize Social Media on a regular basis as a tool for both our business and personal lives understand how much value it has. Often business owners struggle to see the value of all of the time and energy their employees put into implementing their Social Media Plan. If a plan is well developed with clear goals in mind and consistent follow through, this is your Return on Investment:

1. The ability to reach millions of internet users, which includes half of the US population, and 70% of those users are on Social Media.
2. The opportunity to have your own voice and create your own message rather than waiting for Traditional Media to craft that message for you, if they even know who you are.
3. A vehicle to draw prospects and customers to your products & services with no geographic or financial restrictions.
4. The ability to HEAR what your customers have to say, if you listen, and enter into a conversation with them, thus building your relationships in ways that were unthinkable a few years back.
5. A tool that allows you to create a highly targeted message that is delivered only to your top prospects at the time they are most likely to see and read it.
6. The ability to stay on top of your industry, the experts & the newcomers, and hear their message without having to spend hours searching for it.

As with all of my ‘lists,’ this one could go on and on, and if the power of this tool isn’t strikingly obvious I will never know how to explain it.