Apparently someone forgot to tell the social media crowd about the recession. This past week, Forrester Research predicted that social media sector spending in US will grow from $716M this year to $3.1B in 2014. That's about a 34% CAGR.
According to Forrester, it driven by the need to innovate despite the downturn and social media offers a relatively low cost way of doing so. This is interesting because despite the hype, many larger companies are still cautious about social media. In fact, according to a study by Society for New Communications Research, only 16% of the Fortune 500 companies actually have a public facing blog. I'm sure there are many reasons for the slow adoption in that segment but part of the issue could be related to the fact that there are still no effective means to measure social media ROI.
We all know getting social media going for a company isn't free, especially for a larger organization, so being able to measure ROI effectively is a big problem. Solving the social media ROI challenge isn't just about measuring blog traffic or how many fans you have on your corporate Facebook fan page. It's ironic that while those measurements are quantitative, they aren't very meaningful. In a way, it's so Web 1.0...similar to measuring "eyeballs" - remember that?
The real issue is about measuring engagement in a way that links back to revenue or customer satisfaction. And, there's still no answer for that one..