My two cents on the issue:
The ROI is in the learning – You’ll gain a whole chuck of return from the learning that you get from just being involved in social media. Return on Investment doesn’t always have to be a financial return on investment.
Marketing is no longer linear – It’s unconventional. You don’t just plug in a strategy and get results anymore. You list. You respond. You make mistakes. You learn. You try again. You keep trying.
Marketing, like it or not, can’t always be measured in a spreadsheet. It’s serendipitous. That’s not a bad thing.
You don’t need a strategy document to listen to your customers – At the end of the day, all of this social media stuff is just a vehicle hear what your customers are really thinking. And if that’s not part of your plan, you’re in trouble.
Social Media keeps you ahead of the game – The innovators didn’t wait around to see if their social media campaign delivered ROI. And as a result, they’re already ahead of the game. Take a brand like @Zappos. They’ve expermented succesfully with social media tools such as Twitter. And now they’re two steps ahead of everyone else.
Who says 1.0 tactics are working, anyway? – Before we start going after social media, let’s not forget that the traditional marketing approach isn’t exactly working its socks off. Does anyone think that Coca Cola actually generate ROI with a new bottle shape or any other futile marketing exercise?
It’s free! – You don’t even need to spend money on this. Just time.
So the question should no longer be, “Is it worth getting involved in Social Media”. The questions is, can you afford not to?