What’s the ROI on your marriage?

Posted: March 18, 2011 in social media
Tags: , ,

Is this a question you can answer? If so, I applaud you. You’ve figured out the formula to give a monetary value to your relationship without pissing anybody off.

Social media ROI has been a question on the books from the start. To date, I haven’t seen a single person or business who’s put an exact number to their social media efforts be successful in a social media space.

What dollar value do you associate with being present for the first goal your son has ever scored in a soccer game? What price do you pay to watch your daughter at her first dance recital? What dollar sign do you assign to any one of those times that you must pass up?  Please, tell me. I’d like to hear how you price out your life.

When I was working in a call centre, fundraising for my alma mater, my job was to call university alumna and fill them in on the happenings of their faculty. Nursing turned out to be one of the least favourite faculties for any of us to call. The nurses were bitter, they were overworked. Mostly, the era of nurses we called felt like nothing more than a number to the university.

Tell those nurses that their education was valuable. Tell them that for every second, minute, hour, year–whatever statistic you come up with. Tell them how much value it added to your institution. I bet it’ll make them feel like a million bucks. Educate them on their ROI.

Next, jump on the phone with your best friend. Let him or her know just how much being friends with them has added to your life. Don’t do it in terms of verbiage. Put a dollar value to it. “Mary, being friends with you over the years has meant so much to me. I feel like you’ve added at least another $50,000.00 to my life.” Will it matter what value you put on the relationship?

Think about the Mastercard commercials:

Eddie buying his first tuxedo: $500
Eddie renting his first limousine:$250
Eddie’s corsage for his girlfriend: $75
The look on Eddie’s first girlfriend’s face when he picks her up for the prom: priceless

There’s no way to value that moment. For everything else, there’s Mastercard.

There’s no way to put a value to the relationships you build with your friends, community and customers. So why are you trying so hard to do it? If an advertising campaign can capture the fact that there are some moments and some relationships you just can’t buy, why can’t you?

  1. Tze says:

    Good question. Excellent post!

  2. Shanon says:

    Great food for thought! And I will make a bigger effort to let people know how much I value them in my life. Starting now!

    I do read and I do enjoy your blog. Even though I’ve never commented! So keep outing your inner geek!

    Thanks for this, Wendy! Have an awesome day / weekend.

  3. John Tyler says:

    Hey Wendy,

    Very good points. I think the closest thing to providing a ROI measurement in the aspect of social media is the Empire Avenue service. Individuals or businesses are rewarded based on the amount of interaction in social media, assuming that the more interaction, the more influence of such user. Though Empire Avenue provides a measure, there is still no actual ROI.

    In the corporate world, everything seems to be the hunt for the dollar. Can’t spend any money unless the ROI is there to warrant such expenditure. With the explosion of social media into the public realm, that same hunt is like a carrot dangling in front of everyone. “There is wide open access to a mass communication network, I must be able to utilize this network to my benefit.”

    As you said, you can’t put monetary value on relationships.To me, the ROI is not a monetary value, but the satisfaction gained by all parties in a successful relationship. A good example would be companies that have already realized this and are getting a great return from using social media. They are in contact with their customers and clients, and in turn, the customers are satisfied with the communication and response from the company. Other companies that are still looking for the monetary value are looking the wrong way.

    In your last post “Just look at what we’ve gone and done” you pointed out how we have created a great online community in Calgary, well that is the return from investing your time put into building the community.

    The rewards are already there, we just have to see them.


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