Friday, November 8, 2013
With mood of the people upbeat about social media, it is also important to know what is return on investment for social media. Public sector expenditure is met from taxes paid by citizens, and as a responsible administrative machinery, one should have clear and satisfactory answer ready as to what we achieve by investing in social media. However, impact of any investment made in the public sector is difficult to measure, and social media can not be exception to it.
While measuring the impact of social media, one should not consider only short term benefits. Long term benefits, which are not visible at the early stage, should also be taken into account. Donna L. Hoffman and Marek Fodar have rightly held that impact of investment for social media should be measured in terms of number of visits to and time spent for blog comments, facebook updates and twitter pages etc.
So far social media is concerned, one has to change his/her mindset seeing returns in terms of monetary benefits only. Developing meaningful engagements with citizens takes time, and therefore result of social media usage present a fair picture only if a long term view is taken. We have to change our mindset viewing social media as just another communication vehicle. The shortsightedness prevents more valuable aspects, such as citizens' inputs, coming to fore. From a knowledge management perspective, one has to accept that knowledge is easily shared and managed by social media, benefits of which are difficult to be measured. The rapid growth of social media has revolutionized how people communicate and collaborate, and this can not be measured in quantity.