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.


  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

Triple book talk: Watch James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me discuss our 2023 books

Thanks to everyone who came to the triple book talk of three recent books on machine vision by James Dobson, Jussi Parikka and me, and thanks for excellent questions. Several people have emailed to asked if we recorded it, and yes we did! Here you go! James and Jussi’s books […]

Image on a black background of a human hand holding a graphic showing the word AI with a blue circuit board pattern inside surrounded by blurred blue and yellow dots and a concentric circular blue design.
AI and algorithmic culture Machine Vision

Four visual registers for imaginaries of machine vision

I’m thrilled to announce another publication from our European Research Council (ERC)-funded research project on Machine Vision: Gabriele de Setaand Anya Shchetvina‘s paper analysing how Chinese AI companies visually present machine vision technologies. They find that the Chinese machine vision imaginary is global, blue and competitive.  De Seta, Gabriele, and Anya Shchetvina. “Imagining Machine […]

Do people flock to talks about ChatGPT because they are scared?

Whenever I give talks about ChatGPT and LLMs, whether to ninth graders, businesses or journalists, I meet people who are hungry for information, who really want to understand this new technology. I’ve interpreted this as interest and a need to understand – but yesterday, Eirik Solheim said that every time […]