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Have been in talks with companies, different industries and scale but similar ideas when it comes to social media. They want ‘moneys worth’ which brings us to the question of ROI for social media activities. I actually agree there should be an ROI.. of course the activities should be measured and analyzed…

The difference is in the understanding of ROI.. a lot of onus by companies is on

“how many clients does it bring me or how much revenue does it bring to me”?

When this is the main question the idea is that social media directly helps bring customers. This is not really the case. Social media helps create an ecosystem of sorts for your brand online.. it would increase customer retention, brand recall, visibility and a host of other things, but it all can be slowly built on as one builds a community around the brand. So onus of social media can always Only be on community building…

I was trying to explain to one lead that SM is a little like getting a website design made or a logo made. Often people spend a lot and make a kickass logo done, does that directly bring customers.. not really! But it has its importance for a company.

The flip side
There is a time when a company can start investing in logo, branding etc.. Like when I started DigiWhirl the point was to have passably good logo, website, twitter etc.. so if you look at all of it, its umm okay.. because then that was not the crucial stuff for my company. Now though after few months and few clients I am giving a thought to biz dev so I should soon be revamping the creative design properties.

As @gavin_remedios a designer, I was talking to was telling me that “design needs to be looked at as an investment, not a cost” its similar for social media too, a subtle difference but sums it up well.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/will-lion/2595051813/