The Intangible ROI of Social Media

When my company decided to make a commitment to social media 18 months ago, I asked our consultant about measuring ROI.

Yes, I know the question is asked ad nauseum so I choose to address it in different ways. In my experience, ROI ranges from traceable direct sales to the intangible. Today, I am pondering the latter. 

I recently have been participating in job seeker Twitter chats. This real-time networking outlet gives managers and HR professionals an insight into the mind of the candidate as he/she shares thoughts about how it feels to be sitting on the other side of the interview desk.

This week, while vetting recruiters and sales people for the Workway team, I recalled tweets from recent chats. I remembered the one about being direct if you know the candidate is not the right fit, I considered the advice of another to offer a package sooner rather than later if you believe the candidate to be the right match, and I felt for those who had decidedly worn inappropriate outfits to the scene. 

One of the many personal benefits of social media to me is a new empathy for the individuals presenting themselves for our jobs. By listening to Internet strangers generously sharing experiences, I found I was able to better hear candidates in real life (IRL).  Now, I thank them for graciously spending time to learn about my company, patiently (or not) driving in Los Angeles traffic and generously sharing precious minutes of their day with me.

Empathy is the intangible ROI of social media for me. What is it for you?

Photo credit iStockphoto

About the Author

Diane Prince Johnston

Diane Prince Johnston is an experienced entrepreneur with a background in staffing. Diane has participated in founding multiple companies; taking them from start-up ventures to purchase offerings resulting in owner exit strategies. Diane is a social media educator and speaker, volunteer mentor at JVS Los Angeles, job seeker advocate and career counselor. Diane enjoys beach living in Malibu with her 3 daughters and Havanese puppy. She loves to hike, write and read.


Lyn Hoyt

Diane, this is so true. Especially within the demographic that uses the internet as a business tool. While there is so much more tangible that can be measured now through keywords and clicks, there can still be gray that makes someone follow a link to mine that information. Your influence and the influence of others around you will move the stream of thinking. When decisions are influenced off line you loose your “measurement”. But, you know you made a better decision because of that influence. And for that we are all better whether we can measure it or not. You organization benefits. I wish more companies could see that intangible value in social media. Thanks for the post.


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