It’s a question we get asked a lot, and despite the temptation to reply with Scott Monty’s (the head of social media for Ford) famed response – “What’s the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning?”, we usually say something more considered. We talk about how, despite the fact that we can measure the outcomes of the work that we do (and that we’re getting pretty good at it) and that we work with our clients to set meaningful KPIs at the beginning of engagements, it is still really hard to map those back to business metrics like ROI.
This is why we’re working closely with the rest of the IAB’s Social Media Council to get our research into the effectiveness of social media at a campaign level off the ground (you would not believe how hard it is to devise appropriate and affordable research methodologies to do so), and also one of the reasons we’re active participants at MeasurementCamp.
However, those that tell you can’t measure anything are wrong. If you’d like to know more, Jon 'yongfook’ Cockle has a great presentation and accompanying blog post that outlines an approach to measurement that pretty much mirrors our own: