The Social Media ROI and Cisco systems

This week’s blog is about identifying and discussing Social Media ROI case example. Talking about how ROI was calculated and where if it include all the tangible and intangible benefits? What are the strengths and weaknesses in the chosen approach if any applicable?

In the beginning, let ask this question

Traditionally, what is ROI?


The formula for return on investment sometimes referred to as ROI or rate of return, measures the percentage return on a particular investment. ROI is used to measure profitability for a given amount of time.

But Social media ROI is a bit different story …                  ROI_arrow

While in the financial world, the ROI is a way to measure the financial efficiency of a financial investment.

The Social media ROI is unique and more about measuring the digital social media traffic in relation to a company, brand, product or marketing campaign and how to put a dollar value on that as a return.

What is Social ROI
  • Increase in conversation.
  • Open line of communication between your customers.
  • Increase in profits.
  • A return Sale.
  • New potential customers seeing a POSITIVE EXPERIENCE through your social channels.

How to calculate the Social ROI?                calculate_social_media_marketing_roi_return_on_investment_id329093_size485

Searching for ways somehow can calculate the social media ROI, I found a model to be interesting can cover most aspect, It’s called:

The Six Models

  1. The Amplification Model: how much would it cost to buy these impressions/social actions through paid media?
  2. Value of Social Traffic versus Display: how much does it cost to get a visitor to your site via social promotions versus display advertising?
  3. Quality of Visitors from Social Media: how well do the visitors being driven to a site via social media performs?
  4. Revenue from Facebook Fans Model: how much incremental revenue do Facebook fans generate?
  5. Revenue from Social Media Marketing: how many sales can be attributed to your social media marketing programs?
  6. Social Promotions Sales ROI: how many sales can be attributed to a special social media marketing promotion?

As case example I choose Cisco systems for their amazing results.



Founded 1984, Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Jose, California, that designs, manufactures, and sells networking equipment.

Cisco engaged with customers, dealers, partners and anyone who interested in their work over the social media networks from an early age. They started with blogs and they went more as the social media networks grow bigger. Cisco realized the value and the important of social ROI, as result they set up SMLC Social Media Listening Centre.

Some of Cisco social media ROI stats:

  • Blogs: 22 external, 475,000 views/quarter
  • Twitter: 108 Cisco feeds with 2 million followers
  • Facebook: 79 groups with 100,000 fans
  • YouTube: 300+ channels, 2,000+ videos, 4 million views
  • Second Life: 150,000 visitors, 50+ events
  • Flickr: 300+ photos, 400,000 views.

And the number has got bigger as the study stats were published in 2010.

The highlight of Cisco social ROI success

  • 9,000 people attended the social media product launch event – 90 times more attendees than in the past
  • Nearly three times as many press articles as with traditional outreach methods
  • More than 1,000 blog posts and 40 million online impressions
  • A Leading Lights award for Best Marketing
  • One-sixth the cost of a traditional launch.
  • Social media helped Cisco shave $100,000+ off a product launch.

Most important fact is that Cisco social ROI drive the company ROI to be 281% annually.

What are the tangible and intangible benefits of the Social ROI?

It is mostly mean short term and long term benefits.

Some tangible benefits “short term”:

  • Inbound Traffic
  • Distribution Channels.
  • Increased “Sharability”.

Intangible benefit is basically described as keep up the good work over time e.g. building digital brand name, delivering the brand experience and most importantly is changing the way to conduct business for the best. These are not always captured by first-click.

Some of the Intangible benefits are:

  • Brand awareness
  • Customer loyalty
  • Engagement through social conversations
  • Engagement due to content
  • Offline channel transactions
  • Personal referrals due to awesome content that adds value

These are hard to put a value against but they are real but soft metrics and should be in your marketing tactics tool box.

Not sure yet more cases to check out in this video, and please leave a comment and share your thought. Thanks…


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