Mack Collier writes thusly in his post about finding the return on investment with corporate social media efforts:
Some people will argue that if you mention the ROI of social media, that you have to speak in terms of dollars in, and dollars out. I’m not going to argue that point, but based on what I’m hearing from BIG companies that are having success with social media, they are getting C-suite buy-in and continued support from their efforts because they are creating something that the c-suite sees the value of for their companies.
That’s a great shift that we’re seeing, especially in the PR field, where ROI is often something that’s difficult to grasp since, as I stated yesterday, the metrics used in PR aren’t always as cut-and-dried and easy to understand as those used in advertising, which PR people are always in conflict with in terms of getting budget and approval.
But as others Mack has interviewed state, not needing to see a direct ROI in sales and such doesn’t mean there aren’t metrics to use to determine success. Buy-in is much easier to get when you can say to C-level execs “Here’s where we are and here’s where we hope to be with the help of this program.” At the end of the day a needle – whatever it is – needs to be moved. What that needle is, though, is something that needs to be agreed upon by all stakeholders in the planning phases, which is where the “value” you’re hoping those C-level folks will see is decided upon so that all involved know where the goal line is and how it’s going to be reached.