Is ROI the most important social media metric?

Is it balls. Post over, we can all go home!

Just kidding; I saw someone online last week idiotically claiming the contrary; obviously the ideology of someone who hears the term ‘social media’ and then sees pound signs. Social media can drive sales yes, but it can be used so much more potently.

I’d put my house on it that the same person considers AVE’s the most important PR metric. It’s this sloppy, dare I say cretinous logic that drove me to write this post but it also gave me a more focussed idea for my last ever academic essay… every cloud ey?!

A year ago, fresh out of Uni, I (naively) considered doing some freelance PR and weighed up how I would charge. AVE’s seemed a comfortable option.

My point exactly; they’re lazy and amateur.

The same applies to ROI in relation to social media. Marketing big wigs get all giddy at the prospect of social media implementation; another strategy to make more money. But social media’s about so much more; it’s about the building and maintaining of relationships with crucial publics and the forging of new ones. If this leads to sales, then its all gravy but it’s the cultivation and establishment of solid relationships that will benefit a brand so much more in the long-run.

I found myself doing some research at work the other week and came across the Roger Smith Hotel in New York. They’re known as ‘the social media hotel’ because social media is such an integral part of their brand. Yes, they’ve converted social media activity into sales; they even have measurement tools in place telling them specifically which sales have come via social media. BUT it’s about so much more for them; they engage back and forth with people and don’t push offers in their faces.

I felt their proficiency first hand. After the research I tweeted: ‘I wouldn’t mind staying at the social media hotel’ with a link to an article about the hotel. Even though I didn’t specifically ‘@’ them, they sought me out. It was impressive; always good to see a brand who ‘gets it’.

Whats ‘it’?

I think ‘IT’, is that relationships are more important than anything else; crafting good relationships can build brand ambassadors; just take a look what you’ve been reading…

So yeh, their use of social media is commendable, but could they get a me a table at Rao’s?! That’s what I want to know…


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