December 6, 2010

ROSI | Return on Social Investment

Imagineif you don’t alreadythat have your own company.
Let’s focus on the social aspect of your business your people.

They work 1,800-2,000 hours a year. They have bills, families, dreams and career aspirations. They want to contribute to your company but they also want to reach their own goals. Your team wants a reason beyond compensation that inspires them to show up every day.

As company owner, you have identified that career advancement is essential to ensure your team is well equipped to deliver results. You allot budget for things like external consultants and seminars as well as internal collaborative sessions and conferences all to arm your people with the best tools possible. Call it your social investment.

Dollars and sense

How often does a company owner or manager perform an audit of social investment? Some may be able to get the metrics close but these are estimates at best. It's tough to say if you spend $X on your people, you will get $Y in return. But it's not something most measure on those terms.

You can make the same claim with regards to any outbound marketing initiatives. You figure out a percentage of revenue to spend on telling people about you but it's not an exact science. It is not automatic that you spend more and make more. Buying wisely and choosing the right channels are as imperative as choosing your team.

Social investment needs same care as external investment.

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague last week about a prominent company's dissatisfaction of the results from a recent initiative. In base terms, they were not happy that the millions spent didn't move the needle much. It happens to companies small, medium and large.

So you invest in social improvement aka your people. You spend money on letting the public know about your offering. Yet you are unable to measure the actual return on these investments to scientific certainty. But you know you need to do both.

Then there is the onslaught of online and mobile channels that aren't so easy to measure. Time spent building trust channels seem insurmountable.

Social media: return on commitment

Before you can expect a return, you need to make an investment. Time, patience, focus and most importantly your willingness to participate in the process will be of great benefit to the growth of your company.

Having a YouTube channel and starting a Facebook group is not the investment. Neither is tossing a binder at the new guy and hoping he makes his numbers.

What is your ROSI?

knealemann | email

image credit: flickr
© Kneale Mann people + priority = profit
leadership development business culture talent development human capital