This week’s blog is a little different from my usual posts. Instead of providing answers, I’m asking questions about a topic I haven’t yet figured out (and I know I’m not the only one). My hope is to begin a dialogue, since many of my readers have lots of experience worth sharing. So, please do!
Here’s my question for business leaders: Is there really such thing as a “Return on Tweet?”
In other words, what’s the quantifiable business value of using Twitter or any other social-media channel (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc)?
A recent Fast Company article, The $1.3 Trillion Price Of Not Tweeting At Work, suggests that social media produces a direct ROI by providing companies with a more efficient, productive way to communicate—both internally and publically.
Wow, there must be some bad communication going on out there if improving it could save $1.3 trillion! I must admit I’m a little skeptical. And I’m not the only one.
Many experts believe it’s impossible (or at the very least, still too early) to tie ROI to social media. But does that really matter? One author in particular says it’s OK that ROI can’t be verified, because “social media is a first impression. A blind date. A first dance.”
Though only 20 of the CEOs from Fortune-500 companies have Twitter accounts, there are plenty of business experts, leaders and visionaries out there extolling its merits. Richard Branson, for example, is adamant that too few CEOs take advantage of social media. In his article, “Why aren’t more business leaders online?,” Branson writes, “Embracing social media isn’t just a bit of fun, it is a vital way to communicate, keep your ear to the ground and improve your business.”
So, to all you social-media gurus out there: What’s a business owner to do? How much time should busy executives devote to social media, and why? What’s the most productive way to spend our time online? And from which social-media activities do you yield the greatest benefit?
Really, I could use some help. Just take a look at the pitiful (in)frequency of my tweets from @BluecoreBiz and @Rtaussig. It’s not that I’m without anything to say. Maybe it’s just that I’m uncomfortable blurting out my thoughts in 140 characters or less to no one in particular.
One thing is for sure: I will have at least one tweet this week, because this blog gets automatically sent to the tweetisphere.
Please share your comments, as well as your social-media success stories. There’s a lot to learn here.
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