Finding ROI on the Social Web

Years ago a retail executive famously quipped that only half the money he spent on advertising was really worthwhile. The problem was that he couldn’t possibly identify which half it was.

Not surprisingly, the same question comes up about the social web. Certainly it is home to an immense amount of traffic. It’s estimated that more than 500 million Facebook users sign on and more than 300 million tweets are sent on Twitter daily. But does any of that traffic matter?

Figuring out how to gauge success—and evolve to improve in the future—is an important part for any company on the social web. In some ways, the process is clearer than other forms of communication as it’s relatively easy to find out if people are talking about you, passing along your messages and even reacting to what you have to say.

The measures might be somewhat unconventional, but as the social web is such a new and powerful media it demands that your company get involved and get experimenting quickly.

To help fellow business leaders understand the challenges and make better choices, the executives on the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council set out a bold goal: to produce a report explaining the scope of the social web and offering detailed advice on how to build successful plans.

The entire report, Untangling the Social Web, can now be downloaded at The first five parts help outline the realities of this new environment. The three newest parts, 6, 7 and a joint executive summary, help describe the steps companies need take.

It’s a roadmap that any company can find useful and relatively easy to follow to take productive steps and better understand what actually constitutes success.

Michael Sansolo

Research Director

Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America


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