The Elusive Social Media ROI

May 18, 2011 at 7:09 AM 1 comment

You hear this complaint a lot: trade shows aren’t cost effective, but if we don’t show up, the market will notice.

They even notice if you show up with a smaller booth to save money, so you splash out – with little ROI – to avoid starting a rumor that your company is in trouble.

For some companies, social media is a defensive investment as well. You need to have them “like” your company or product, just because it’s possible for them to do the same with your competitors.

Since social media involves hard costs, it will ultimately drain your organization, as defensive investments do, unless you look at it from a different perspective.

The best way is to contribute to the community – make it smarter. You could use your social media power to point to webinars, white papers, tips – anything relevant that makes people smarter.

Too much self-promotion in your social media, and you lose credibility. As I was writing this, I came upon Danny’s Brown’s distinction: he calls it the difference between engaged and engaging.

The next step is fitting your social media into your lead nurturing strategy. Be present, entice, engage, make them smarter, and nurture them.

More work, but it’ll pay off better than just blowing your own horn.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Danny Brown  |  May 18, 2011 at 7:13 AM

    Hi Thompson,

    Thanks kindly for the shout, sir, much appreciated. 🙂

    It’s definitely a case of being caught between a rock and a hard place. Perception is everything; but not at the expense of putting your company out of business by taking a booth you can’t afford.

    Like you say, work smarter. Can you partner booths? Sponsor a booth instead? Pay for a branded mobile app that ALL attendees can use as opposed to splashing out on something only a percentage will visit?

    Smart companies will work their way around this, and use their communities well to help. The rest? Well…. 😉


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Thompson Morrison

Thompson Morrison

About Thompson

As CEO of FUSE Insight, Thompson Morrison uses powerful new web interviewing technologies to help businesses better align their brand with the needs and aspirations of their customers. Learn more at


"The single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have is not a good strategic plan, but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organization." -- Tom Peters



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