Return on investment is a big part of justifying PR programs. The means to determine ROI are usually built into a campaign before it is launched. But how do you measure the return from social media?

In his article for Mashable, Brian Solis reveals that most organizations that participate in social media have no real way to measure the ROI from those activities. Of the survey respondents, 15% believe that Twitter does not provide a ROI.

Solis says, “I believe this is the direct result of a disconnect between social media activity and a clearly defined end game. We must establish what we want to measure before we engage. By doing so, we can answer the questions, ‘what is it that we want to change, improve, accomplish, incite, etc?’”

Clearly, PR practitioners need to work hard to show the ROI on social media campaigns. Some have started using social media channels in a tangible way. They are using customer stories and suggestions to shape their products and services, gaining trust and loyalty from those customers in the process.

Solis says that the effort of participating in social media is worth it: “We can adapt business processes, inspire ingenuity, and more effectively compete for the future.”

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