Another way to think about social media ROI

Alexander Graham Bell probably got impatient with business owners asking for an ROI on his telephone invention

Alexander Graham Bell probably got impatient with business owners asking for an ROI on his telephone invention

When was the last time you asked the phone company to justify the cost of installing a telephone in your place of business? They would probably just laugh at you. It has probably been over 50 years since that question was last asked of a telephone sales rep by a shop owner.

On April 3, 1973 Motorola manager Martin Cooper placed a cellular phone call to Joel Engel, head of research at AT&T’s Bell Labs, signaling the demise of the land-line telephone. It will probably be several decades from now before the last wired telephone is deactivated, but chances are, it will happen. And sales reps for wireless phones are not probably not being asked for an ROI study prior to a company signing a cell phone contract.

So, why do companies ask for an ROI for the next wave of communication and conversation with their customers? Why do social media experts do it? When will a blog, Twitter account and a Facebook page turn the corner from an “investment” into an expense line item?

Probably at half the speed it took telephones. But, it will happen.

The next time someone asks you for an ROI study on social media, pick up the phone off their desk and ask them to give you the ROI the phone company gave them.

Originally published at: gerardmclean.com

Advertisements