The social value of your relationships


This has been on my mind lately. It was amplified yesterday by a tweet by David Armano who tweeted the following:

Have you ever bought something from someone you felt you had a relationship? That’s the ROI of social business…

At which point I responded back with:

@Armano Value..think about your offline relationships-the ones that mean the most, are the ones that carry substance.-same with buying habits

So here’s the deal. In your offline every day world, what relationships mean the most to you? They are the ones that are not superficial. Right? The relationships that have substance, meaning, and value.

Less chit and more chat

The ROI of social business. the ROI of your relationships, as hollow as that might be, are both the same- The ROI is the value that you have built up in that relationship. Both from a business and personal standpoint. If you have cultivated a relationship, then you place a high value on it and what it might return. The less that you have put into it, or what you have received, should be consistent with your expectations and effort.

The same applies to any “online” social network or offline. Though it may seem shallow at first to only say that you only put stock in the people that bring value to you and what you do-it’s actually the truth. It has nothing to do with the technology, the platform, the hardware or the software.

Whether we care to admit or not. We all look for value, we may not say it, but it’s true. Online and offline, value in the people that we connect with, drives our relationships.


7 thoughts on “The social value of your relationships

  1. The moment people stop using ROI when talking about social media is when people will understand each other much better.

  2. I hate using it in reference to people to begin with. We’re in essence determining the value of a person-but like it or not we all do it, maybe not the person, but perhaps the value of the conversation, or what they bring to the table, and how it jibes with us…If the value is deemed a good fit for who we are and what we do then..ok.

    I’ve always maintained, that ROE made better sense- return on engagement in social media, made better sense- but then again, there are some that want to actually make money..

  3. @ariherzog Ubiquity re: relationship-building via social engagement tools should definitely be the goal of anyone using them, IMO. But it can’t be forced.

    People need to stop thinking about social media as some new and revolutionary technology. All it is, really, is another tool for humans to be human. And with that comes all of our human vices – that is, thinking about people in terms of ROI or demographics or statistics. Offline, the best relationships between companies/organizations and their stakeholders/audiences depend on trust, transparency, and honesty developed over a longer term. That has never changed.

    What has changed is the way we build our reputations. The internet and 24-hour news cycle have made it increasingly more difficult to hide anything, forcibly bringing to the spotlight the best and worst of humankind. If the playing field is level, organizations that are mutually engaged with their key stakeholders will thrive; organizations that aren’t, won’t. It’s always been about “value,” it’s just never been so obvious, I think.

  4. Marc, Good post.

    Ari, The ROI question keeps popping up because that’s how business works. As much as I wish the question was framed differently, it will never go away and we’ve got to figure out some type of response that will get large organizations making the right kinds of investments.

  5. Marc,

    Good post! I like your “ROE” view. Obviously there are a lot of different ways to incorporate ‘social’ that would make it worth someone’s time.

    I am always intrigued with ROI views in social media. I think one of the reasons that it’s such a hot topic right now is because most people/organizations/companies whatever… are still trying to figure it out. They are not sure how to best adopt social into their model. I’m sure the feeling is that “if there is no ROI, then why waste my time?” Also, there is a lot of noise within the industry on social, so it just adds to the confusion of how to use it.

    Now, I am sort of seeing a shift in how people are viewing social for business purposes. When viewing social media as a “Business Service Solution” (an enhancement to their business with social solutions) it’s a lot easier to understand its value or how to get ROI.

    At NA we make it easier for our clients to grasp, design and launch applications that do things like: generate new ideas and solutions culled from a vast audience, active ongoing focus grouping of a larger universe of respondents, internal and intuitive knowledge centers where remote groups of teams can collaborate quickly and easily. We call these “Business Services” and from this viewpoint it’s a much easier way to get adoption and foresee achievable “ROI.”

    David, I totally agree with you, it’s not going to go away. And let’s also keep in mind it’s still very early in the ballgame. Other note: Congrats on your move to Dachis Corp!

    Sorry about my comment looking more like a post Marc 🙂

  6. Ron my question is, you speak on an enterprise level, what would you suggest the value is for smaller or medium sized groups?

  7. My answer is the same for any organization, not just the enterprise level ones. You have to ask yourself “what do I want to achieve?” And “how can I use social solutions to HELP make it happen?” But yes, every situation is different and there is no perfect answer. There never will be an answer for everyone.

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