Social Media ROI: An Interview with Olivier Blanchard

This post is is the first in a 5 part series based on an interview with Olivier Blanchard, author of Social Media ROI.

This book couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as my role has naturally evolved into a social media strategist.  If you are involved with strategizing, organizing or managing social media activities for an organization, than you have to read this book.

I was really interested in learning more about the book and what went into it.  Olivier was more than willing to spend some time with me to discuss his book, social media concepts and answer my questions.

This post answers the following question:

With all the social media books available, what motivated you to write this one?

What I first discovered is that Olivier didn’t seek to write this book. He was sought after by the publisher who wanted to produce a book about social media ROI.  Olivier was discovered, because he had been focusing on social media ROI because of an apparent aversion that “social media experts” were having to the topic.  Olivier was concerned that not connecting activities to strategic goals and tying to business objectives would actually damage this revolutionary communications opportunity.

Olivier recalls when social media began to be scrutinized; “social media experts” became cynical and offended.  They began to develop alternatives to ROI measurements.  Everything from Return on Influence to Return on Engagement was suggested.  Olivier indicated that these are not substitutes to true ROI measurement.

At some point in your implementation of social media, someone will ask about the return on investment.  Being able to present concrete moments and justifications is important to the future success of your social media program.

Olivier is very clear that ROI is simple math.  The inputs and outputs you measure need to be the same currency.  For example if your social media costs are financial (eg. ad costs, giveaways, payroll, etc.), then the returns needs to be financial (eg. sales, time saved, etc.).

In addition to the focus on social media ROI, Olivier’s book provides instructions for developing, implementing and managing a social media plan in your organization.

Next Post: Weaving Social into Clients Business Strategy

  • Olivier Blanchard

    Thank you. :)