can you calculate the return on investment for social networks?
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?
(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?”
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.
Measuring a Return On Investment with Social Media « BlogCampaigning
[…] 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.” […]