Frogloop (“Catalyzing Expertise in Non-Profit Online Communications”) think you can. They even offer a tool for calculating exactly how much return your ten hours a week in Facebook will give – assuming you’re a non-profit running a campaign solely intended to bring in donations, anyway. The number of variables is frightening, but still one-dimensional – surely the value of social networks goes way beyond simply collecting dollars and cents, kroner and ¯re?

screenshot of Frogloop's calculator
(This screenshot only shows the top of the calculator – trust me, you’ve got to look for yourself, the level of detail is astounding.)

2 thoughts on “can you calculate the return on investment for social networks?

  1. Justin Perkins

    Hi Jill,
    Thanks for picking this up. You showed up in my google alerts! Actually, the calculator is designed to enable one to input variables that are real (or hypothetical). The starting variables are based on experience and a few conversations with people at nonprofits doing this sort of thing.

    The outputs also calculate into some common metrics that nonprofits use, or should probably use, for comparing costs. One of those outputs is obviously fundraising. The other common metric is outreach and advocacy.

    One way to measure the “intangibles” is to look at the costs involved to arrive at a similar result from another activity. Are 20,000 friends on Facebook as valuable as 20,000 people on your email list? Right now, at least, they aren’t. There are at least some benchmarks for email that are tied to real results, both for advocacy and fundraising.

    That said, be everywhere, but prioritize. It would be nice to have 20,000 friends on Facebook, and 20,000 friends on your mailing list, to notice when you have a crisis and need gobs of people to respond quickly.

    cheers,
    Justin

  2. […] For example, through Espen I recently came across an excellent blog written in English by a woman in Norway doing research at the University of Bergen in “telling stories online.” […]

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Machine Vision

Cultural Representations of Machine Vision: An Experimental Mixed Methods Workshop

Call for submissions to a workshop, Bergen, Norway
Workshop dates: 15-17 August 2022
Proposals due: 15 June

The Machine Vision in Everyday Life project invites proposals for an interdisciplinary workshop using qualitative approaches and digital methods to analyse how machine vision is represented in art, science fiction, games, social media and other forms of cultural and aesthetic expression.