This past Friday, I got the privilege to attend PR Real World 2010 in Atlanta. The conference was packed with information. We attended session after session about PR issues and different aspects of PR. In the last session of the day, I got to attend a session called Hospitality, Travel and Tourism. One of the speakers made a comment that stuck with me: “Who owns social media?”
Let me give you the context of this comment. The speaker works for Intercontinental Hotels Group based out of Atlanta. She was asked how her IHG was using social media. She said the company had a Twitter and a Facebook fan page. The thing was that they weren’t pouring time and money into it because they can’t measure the return on social media. Then she posed the question of who actually owns social media.
The more I thought about it, the more I understood it. I guess it had never occurred to me before. Yes, social media is an amazing thing but how can companies measure it? Companies can measure returns on investments but they can’t measure returns on social media. And with it not being measurable, companies are weary to pour time and money into it. Social media can benefit companies but with it not being measurable they are not being able to reap the benefits.
So, how can companies measure their returns on social media? Who owns social media? Will social media fade away if companies can’t find a way to measure it?