The companies are wondering more about “go or not go on social networks.” The question they ask is “how I start on these new platforms effectively?” And very quickly, the concept of return on investment appears. However, with social networks, should we talk about ROI or ROA?

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While large companies are present in the vast majority of Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Twitter, SMEs are still too few. This can be explained by several reasons. The first is the lack of time or knowledge to get started on these new platforms, relay real marketing to consumers. The second is the internal expertise to support the social orientation of the company (a community manager, what is and what is it like?).The third still lies in the question: how it really relates to me?

I want to talk here of the concept of return on investment for social networks. Does A real meaning and can be measured (only) as a monetary dimension? I asked myself many times this question, and the answer has never been satisfactory. Firstly because the concept of return on investment (ROI) is rather vague when it comes to new technologies (how to actually measure the impact of the creation of a website on the sale of a business? Not so that obvious), but also because it seemed incomplete.

Justify The Investment In Social Networks: ROI or ROA?

Then, during a trip with a colleague, we came to agree on the concept of ROA. What does the ROA? The “return on attention”.

How to Measure the ROA?

ROA therefore measures the impact of your business (or your brand) on the web, how? What relay attention you touch? If you use Twitter, ROA could be measured by the number of retweets you generate and the number of followers of those you retweet.

ROA = Time (Impressions + Reach + Influence)

That this definition brings is the concept of time. We must understand that social media (like any new technology for that matter) will (probably) influence the purchase, but not in a short time. Moreover, they can, 6 months, 1 year or 3 years later continue to influence the purchase of our brand (think videos on Youtube).

ROA: Diversion of the Question?

Finally, why talk about ROA rather than ROI, or another element of measurement? Is it to get a more accurate way of determining how much a “social” action can bring to the business? Or is it rather to put aside all monetary issues often related to technology investments? My opinion is that companies want to know the impact of their “social” strategy, but dare not (and cannot) encrypt all of their actions. In fact, the ROI becomes too complex and often incomplete measure of their strategy. ROA shows a new way of integrating the control of expenditure control and the desire to measure the digital strategy … is it more relevant? Maybe! Your turn… rather partisan ROI, ROA, a mix of both, or other measures? And finally, do we really measure our social presence?