A recent article in BRANDWEEK Magazine, http://tinyurl.com/yg9s6dc, asks "Does Social Sell" and focuses on return of investment, ROI, and how social media measurement continue to be the single greatest challenge to social media adoption by companies.
Many of us are working on ways to better measure social media for clients and just as the industry is evolving so will measurement. In the mean time I'd ask, what's the return on non-investment in social media. The measurement for that one, I think, is easy. It's zero, at best, and loss, of some sort, for sure. Brand that are not part of the social media conversation will be by-passed by brands who are, regardless of proper measurement in the short term
That concept rings true especially for brands that are targeted to women, which covers about 90% of the brands out there. According to research that I feature in my book, http://www.amazon.com/Too-Busy-Shop-Multi-Minding-ebook/dp/B002DYMB7G/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2, women turn to friends and family, both real and VIRTUAL, 90+ percent of the time for recommendations when they want to make a purchase. If a brand is not a part of the conversation that 90%of its target consumers are having, they can't help but lose, no matter the measured ROI.