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When ROI in social media doesn't matter, with David Meerman Scott

For many companies, social media and enterprise 2.0 are uncharted waters. Perceptions about lack of proven techniques, time-honored strategies, and demonstrated ROI can stave off social media initiatives, whether inside or outside the firewall. That's not a criticism. It's a reality, or one might say, an excuse, to not move ahead with social media, especially in an economy where companies are trying to minimize risk.

At the same time, however, there comes a point where inertia is a company's worst enemy. And the "that's not how we operate" tact won't fly when your competitors are testing out social technologies and gaining competitive advantage.

And that's why we bring you this interview with David Meerman Scott. He's one of the best sources if you want to understand the counter argument. David is a marketing strategist and author of several well-regarded books on marketing and PR, including the award-winning BusinessWeek best-seller, "The New Rules of Marketing and PR"; and his latest, "World Wide Rave". He's keynoted numerous industry events, led seminars around the world, and worked with SLA members.

In our podcast, David says, "The ROI thing, I see frequently as simply an excuse for trying something that's untested. Barack Obama, if he was obsessed with ROI, would not be president right now. He wouldn't be president because nobody could have determined the ROI of him focusing so much attention to his online constituents ... A guy with a name Barack Hussein Obama with funny ears, and he's half black and a junior senator from Illinois became the President of the United States because he said to hell with ROI."

Click play above to hear David's full argument on the role ROI should play in deciding whether to implement social media initiatives. A big piece of it is how we measure ROI, and why those traditional metrics need to change.

David gives insight into how companies can get started socializing their content -- that is, their external content in the public relations sense, as well as their internal content, in the enterprise 2.0 sense. He also looks ahead into the future of the industry, and identifies what he sees as the biggest strengths and weaknesses of social media for businesses.

You can learn more about David by visiting his Web site,, and his blog, WebInkNow.

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