The Basics of Social Media ROI

registerToday I sat on a panel at the IBM Websphere Commerce Leadership Summit, with panelists Brant Barton, co-founder of Bazaarvoice, Duke Marr, VP of Product Management at, and Stan Payson, VP of Interactive Media at David’s Bridal, moderated by Forrester‘s Sean Corcoran.  The panel was called Answering the Burning Question of Social Commerce ROI. I enjoyed the discussion, especially with the varied perspectives of the participants.  There were lots of lessons learned shared – in particular Duke and Stan had terrific insight at different ends of the social media maturity perspective.  Stan’s company is just getting started, building a strategy, while Duke’s team has a foothold in just about every social and new technology (especially mobile) tactic out there working hard to be first. was the first to do commerce on Facebook, for example.

Some key thoughts about ROI shared on the panel:

  • Measurement and ROI are not the same. Use measurements to calculate ROI (Return on Investment).
  • Practical experience shows that sometimes ROI doesn’t come right away.
  • When just getting started, it’s helpful to be able to attribute web traffic through links shared in social networks, promotion codes, specific landing pages, etc.  But that is just the tip of the iceberg for measuring ROI.
  • Longer term, lifetime value of a customer is a key metric to understand the net results of leveraging advocates.

What’s clear: businesses can measure ROI, they are focused on the long term, and there is much room for education of marketers in this space.  With my mind on ROI I spotted this presentation shared on Twitter today (feed readers may need to click through to the post to read).  Between the panel and the presentation my mind is overflowing with social media ROI goodness.  Yours will be too after going through this – Olivier Blanchard captures the essence of ROI from social media in a humorous, easy-to-understand way.  Worth browsing through.  While you’re figuring out who Olivier Blanchard (aka TheBrandBuilder) is, you may also want to check out his post today debunking social media myths.

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