ROI for social media? AAARGH!

As I read my numerous publications regarding marketing, PR and new media (not to mention whilst networking and in discussion with clients) it is becoming apparent that return on investment is a rather sore point when investing in social media.

I firmly believe that for a business to see any results using an outsourced service provider or an inhouse team of dedicated creatives it is integral that they follow a few simple rules of online engagement:

Ensure that your brand engages with the customer; it is integral that you create a dialogue, not only to show that you are respond to a customer query, but that you are prepared to listen.

Remember that social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook are not set up for businesses to merely advertise their services and quash complaints. The internet is governed by user generated content that is controlled primarily by the public. I fully agree with Mark Choueke, editor of Marketing Week, who states that this is not fad and that following conversations is key, not controlling them.

Once upon a time the public accepted that businesses knew best, and that they could use big words and complicated language. We may have pro-biotic yoghurts with L. Casei cultures and miracle creams containing pentipeptides, but what you really need to adopt is a human voice. A conversational approach will work well in sites that are made for relaxed and informal discussions – too standardised or complex and your customer may assume you are not listening.

At this year’s AAAI Conference on blogs and social media the Hebrew University of Jerusalem revealed its discovery after a study using a sentiment tracker. It revealed that the public weren’t averse to brands not being 100% accurate, and enjoyed humour – especially through the use of sarcasm. Coca-Cola’s Rubberduckzilla amassed a following on Facebook of more than 700,000 and was hit with hundreds of positive comments. So try being creative.

Admittedly these are just a few suggestions as to how you can help to turn your activity online into working for you. Building it into a digital strategy is integral to ensuring that your business realises the importance of your move towards building brand awareness online – something that Cookie PR is passionate about!

Adam Thorndike

Adam Thorndike is our resident PR expert that currently works as a freelance PR consultant to numerous businesses through Cookie PR. Adam specialises in both traditional and digital PR services, including social media.

If you need any help with your PR requirements then dont hesitate to get in touch with him via


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