The ROI for Social Media Is Zero

Apr 13, 2009

What is the ROI (define) for social media? It’s zero. That’s because there’s no such thing as “social media.”

People’s conversations are not media; they can’t be purchased as such by advertisers. In other words, people don’t talk whenever advertisers want them to and they won’t say whatever advertisers tell them to — so it isn’t “media” like TV, print, and radio.

That said, most advertisers and their agencies still attempt to use old media metrics — like reach and frequency — to measure social actions and calculate their ROI, but to no avail. Instead, let’s explore the right way to leverage the social realm in support of marketing and advertising efforts.

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