How many cars is that retweet worth?

Planit Agency
June 29, 2011

A recent Fast Company article discussed the lacking measurements for return on investment (ROI) in social media, as well as the fact that big brands and companies don’t seem to be bothered by this.  

So I ask—who decides if a social campaign or presence is successful? For large brands like Audi and Home Depot, who have a steady stream of customers, it’s easier to not focus on the revenue results. They are proving themselves savvy in this new frontier while reinforcing a strong, “engaging” brand. An easy message to bring back to the team and the board.

But what about the little guys? What value does my “Like” have for Poppy & Stella shoes in Maryland? I’ve only purchased one pair of shoes and a purse from their store (and that was before they had a Facebook page). Although I comment on and like some of their posts, I haven’t been to the store in approximately a year. 

Unfortunately for both, there is no tool or equation that can tell us the exact value of a “Like” or tweet so they’re still wandering around in noman’sland. It will be interesting to see how far brands will go to “engage” with consumers without worrying about the bottom line. I also wonder if this will lead to a change similar to whattelevision is going through. Will someone create an ad-free or ad-skipping Facebook option (e.g., DVR, TiVo, and OnDemand)? Will big brands sponsor popular places’ social media sites and nudge the smaller local brands out (e.g., large brands edging out local companies for Hulu or OnDemand advertising)?

So what do you think? What is the future of social ROI?