Does social media ROI mean Return on Investment or Return on Ignoring?

The 3 monkeys who don't see, hear or speak (courtesy Anderson Mancini at Flickr CC)I wanted to call your attention to my Aussie friend Des Walsh’s excellent post on why social media ignorance [is] not an option for business.

One of the post comments, from Carlos Hernandez, mentioned a moderator’s remark during the recent 140 Characters Conference (about Twitter) in New York.

While moderating a panel, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Kodak Chief Marketing Officer, noted that ROI (in addition to its usual “Return on Investment”) can also mean “Return on Ignoring” if a business or organization sticks its collective head in the sand about the fundamental changes wrought by the social Web.

Couldn’t agree more.

The connectivity of the Web and cellular technology, in the hands of humans who desire connection, is equivalent to the impact of the printing press in Western culture or movable type in East Asian culture. In fact, it has MORE impact because we can reach around the world with it almost instantly.  The “Return on Ignoring” is finding that one’s business has been left behind.

Yet, the scoffs and laughter continue amongst those who will not see, unfortunately many of them around my age (I’m 48.)

I see it, though.

I see it even with bifocal contacts and gray hair. I’ve seen it ever since I wrote about network-centric warfare and Navy organizational structure.

I see the path and I’m heading down it with confidence, even if I have to leave a few folks wandering behind in the wilderness. They see a mirage called “the way it was,” but my feet are taking me along the path carved by “the way it is.”

Want to travel with me?

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5 Responses to Does social media ROI mean Return on Investment or Return on Ignoring?

  1. Connie Reece says:

    I’ve always called it “Risk of Ignoring,” but mean the same thing by it. Since I also believe it’s not an option for businesses, I’ll go take a look at Des’s post. Thanks for pointing it out. Kudos on what you’re doing with this blog.

  2. Des Walsh says:

    Thanks for the mention, Sheila. I remember clearly the conversations in the mid 1990s (literally *so* last century!) with business people skeptical about the Web: won’t last, fad, don’t need it, etc etc.

    I like *both* “Return on Ignoring” and “Risk of Ignoring”.

    About the scoff+laugh types, I imagine there were once some buggy whip makers who saw and heard those noisy early autos lurching by and laughed, assuring anyone who would listen that such a contraption would never take the place of a well sprung buggy and a good pair of horses.

    BTW, I would pay a tidy sum for some gray hair, Sheila. Make that any hair!
    Des Walsh´s last [post] ..New Look Twitter Borks Backgrounds- Adds Features- Challenges Branding

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