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Well worth thinking about as you think about your marketing, PR, social media or any other media efforts. #ROI #notROI
 
I am so weary of hearing references to ROI that are not about money. ROI is an accounting term. There's a formula. The formula is gain minus cost divided by cost. If that's not what you're talking about, do not call it ROI. It'snot. Are we so limited we can't use other labels that matter to leadership? If your goal supports a business problem or opportunity, you set objectives and can prove you met your objectives, that's gold. There's no requirement or bonus for calling it ROI. If we want respect from the c-suite, knowing the c-suite's language is a good way to start.
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Funny, if you don't call it ROI, then they don't want to hear about it, and ask you: "But What about ROI?".  They tell you, "running a business costs money, and unless the equation tips towards a positive ROI, I am not interested".  Maybe that is why some people use the word ROI, to get people to listen.  I am not saying they are correct in doing so, just offering a reason for why they are doing that :)
 
There are only financial returns on an investment? What is invested in social media? Usually more time than money. ROI can be stated in revenue but also in less quantifiable things like good will, customer evangelism, new recruits, customer loyalty, perceived approachability of the organization.

What's the ROI on new carpet? Golden parachutes? Business cards?
 
When you have to make a decision to spend money, and you have several choices, you still have to decide which one will contribute the most to the success of the company. If you're an auto repair shop, new carpet probably won't do much for you, but investing in a new tool will. If you're a law firm, new carpet is probably important. But as an owner, you have to decide which investment will return more than it costs. Hence ROI. 
 
But some things are not quantifiable in money terms. Smiling at customers and chatting with them in your store? How do you put a monetary value on that?

There are some things you do because you know you need to do it, they are necessary for good will, customer loyalty, customer retention.

Customer service is a profit center, but what is the ROI process for evaluating it? You invest money into customer service training and equipment and overhead, but tracing it to sales gained and customers retained is not easy.
 
The 'ROI' of investing in Social is easily demonstratable, it'll be those companies still in business.
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