Social Media ROI is About the People

March 28, 2009
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If you want to understand the return on investment of social media, look no farther than Andrew Krzmarzick and me.

We met online–initially on Twitter (thanks to his mother and her and my mutual connection to Chris Brogan)–about five months ago. Befriending each other, we extended our investment in each other with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Skype, along with routine email messages and many phone calls.

Social media introduced Andy and I to each other; and until Tuesday afternoon, we’d never met in person. This was important, though, because 48 hours later–or some 30 hours ago–we co-presented at the final workshop of the Advanced Learning Institute’s Social Media for Government conference in Washington, DC.

From the ForeSee and United Nations data in the above slide deck to a series of crowd-sourcing exercises asked in real-time at the workshop, everyone enjoyed our presentation.

I recognize that ROI of lead generation or constituent relations from Facebook or Twitter interaction is hard to quantify.

But here’s the kicker: If two guys from Massachusetts and North Carolina can build a

If you want to understand the return on investment of social media, look no farther than Andrew Krzmarzick and me.

We met online–initially on Twitter (thanks to his mother and her and my mutual connection to Chris Brogan)–about five months ago. Befriending each other, we extended our investment in each other with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Skype, along with routine email messages and many phone calls.

Social media introduced Andy and I to each other; and until Tuesday afternoon, we’d never met in person. This was important, though, because 48 hours later–or some 30 hours ago–we co-presented at the final workshop of the Advanced Learning Institute’s Social Media for Government conference in Washington, DC.

From the ForeSee and United Nations data in the above slide deck to a series of crowd-sourcing exercises asked in real-time at the workshop, everyone enjoyed our presentation.

I recognize that ROI of lead generation or constituent relations from Facebook or Twitter interaction is hard to quantify.

But here’s the kicker: If two guys from Massachusetts and North Carolina can build a virtual relationship from the bottom up over half a year and stand united, steps apart, in the nation’s capital speaking to a plethora of federal, state, and local government officials about the best ways to measure the impact of social media and determine next steps; and if the attendees can walk away with smiles and a head-full of questions and ideas to raise at the next staff meeting, then that can only be a successful ROI, no?

The “return” of Andy’s and my investment in each other has already shown satisfactory results and much more is in store.  Next up, tentatively scheduled for early April, will be a to-be-announced release of our groundbreaking SurveyMonkey results, in conjunction with the Federal Web Managers Council.

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