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VP and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research. Dion focuses on the topics of digital engagement, customer experience, enterprise collaboration, digital workplace, digital transformation, social business, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), open business models, and next-generation enterprises. His thought leadership can be found on ZDNet, On Web Strategy, Constellation Research, ebizQ.

3 responses to “The Value of Social Business: Exploring the ROI Question”

  1. Doug Hadden


    Excellent visualization! There are two aspects of social media return that are rarely considered: network effect and holistic returns.

    ROI is typically cause & effect based. It seems to me that pre-social media also suffers from this problem. It’s hard to determine the cumulative effects of marketing, recommendation and validation on buying decisions – or retention decisions. The network effect is more material in social media, so hard to measure the impact per tweet, per like, per blog entry etc.

    Many commentators focus on the revenue returns of social media rather than the efficiencies achieved in customer support or product management/research. Social media breaks down the specializations that produce organizational barriers. Holistic effects.

  2. Michael Weir

    Dion, It’s crazy how often I agree with you! Your careful research and thoughts around enterprise social really confirm my decision to dive into the space.

    I had this to say about Deb’s post “Tools have emerged that make it easy to discover and collaborate with your peers and colleagues but a key component of managing collaboration has to be accountability. It’s imperative that organizations track, analyze and constantly improve their collaborations and the work that results from them.Then you can use these measurements to track ROI. I suspect that in the near to mid-term, we will be measuring familiar types of things (productivity, efficiency, etc), but soon, methods will emerge that can start to analyze intangibles, like the “social effect” on business. I hope I’m not the only one who thinks this is fun!”

    You have really put a pin it with your 8 steps, specifically with making sure we go after transactional engagement, engage with feedback loops, and most importantly, solve a real business problem, I see a lot of enterprise social projects kick off with a goal of “transparency” that lapse into low value corporate social voyeurism that then leads to a “failure to launch” scenario.

    I am encouraged by the “getting work done” movement. It’s a good first step to creating deployments where measuring the ROI and impact of enterprise social will be easier and more effective.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Blog :: Scribe Software » Weekly CRM Recap – April 20th

    […] The Value of Social Business: Exploring the ROI Question By: Dion Hinchcliffe, Executive Vice President of Strategy at Dachis Group Dion provides some incredibly helpful tips to help senior executives think about social business and measuring ROI. Source: Enterprise Irregulars […]