In this special feature of 'Ask Entrepreneur,' Facebook fan Robert Oliveira from Newport, R.I., asks: What is the ROI of social media? If it exists, how can you track it? Instead, consultants will talk about "building your brand." It feels like snake oil.
Be sure to tune into our Google Hangout with Jason Falls tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST. We'll be discussing all things social media and business.
Return on investment (ROI) is something every businessperson should ask about the various aspects of their business, from accounting to legal and customer service to marketing. Marketing consultants or agencies should be prepared to answer the question, even if the actual, numerical answer is not easily predictable.
When your consultant is instead talking about "building your brand" and seems to avoid the ROI question -- remember, you may have to ask -- he or she likely doesn't have the requisite experience in working with businesses and brands that are bottom-line focused. Social media offers volumes of intangible or intrinsic value such as brand building, reputation protection and strong customer service. When used strategically and with business goals in mind it can be used for extrinsic value, too.