Measuring the ROI of a Handshake

Today I was asked for the thousandth time what the ROI of a social network is.

I answered with my own question: “You mean the network of people who care about your cause, participate in conversations that create greater awareness (not to mention good ideas) about your nonprofit?”

Not getting that my question was intended to show how silly his question was, he replied “Yes. I want to know if my efforts are worth anything.”

It suddenly dawned on me that maybe the only reason why people seek to measure the ROI of their social network is that they can. Or maybe measuring is the only thing they feel at home with.

We now have the ability to measure clicks, shares, comments, hits, conversions, retweets and more. But all this data doesn’t really tell us the value of our network.¬†For example, I can count how many people I shake hands with, but that won’t tell how much value I’ll get in return for my efforts.

Don’t get me wrong, measuring and monitoring will show you where to spend your time, and might give you hints about what direction you need to go.

But the value of those efforts? My answer is “yes”

What’s yours?

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John Haydon