Because everything needs an arbitrary dollar value.
Not to name and shame here, but I was fascinated by @DionneLew’s Tweet the other day [NB: I presume it’s automated by the service…]
Luckily it appears to be an accidental signup for a service that doesn’t seem to un-authorise (although rather than removing yourself from their service you can easily revoke its access in Twitter’s 3rd party apps console):
But really, regardless of whether it was ‘for fun’, the tool is blatantly rubbish, claiming they calculate value based on:
the number of followers you have, we also take into account the number of people you follow, lists and account age when giving your Twitter account a value.
Sadly, there seems to be a pervasive attitude that ROI is ‘easy’ to measure, or simply requires a handy tool. If only this were so…properly measuring value isn’t just taking a look at some numbers (just look at how companies are valued…), and it’s most certainly not a multiple of ‘Likes’, ‘Followers’, ‘Views’ and so on. I say this as a (reformed) statistician with experience in measuring ROI and econometrics for social media or all kinds of other channels, platforms and assets.
ROI is about the capability for social media to produce an outcome, not an activity.
The outcome might be a sale, a successful customer service enquiry, or something else — every company, organisation or individual is unique in their particular outcomes. And activities like ‘Likes’ or even ‘engagement’ is a meaningless metric unless it is tied back to something of actual tangible value. And yes, brand equity/awareness is tangible and measurable, so don’t argue that engagement/likes == ‘awareness’. They might indicate some rudimentary form of it, but certainly don’t provide enough confidence to designate meaning.
If you or your executives won’t commit time and dollars to effective measurements of how well social media executes objectives, how can you argue for a budget, let alone increasing it?