In the context of internet marketing, this quote directly applies to two things specifically: traffic diversification and niche selection. Next, when selecting small niches to dominate, be aware that yes there are large money making opportunities in small niches (aka a little river). Sign up for our weekly round-up and get great tips and posts delivered to your inbox for FREE. First, it’s always worth checking whether or not your ROI case is needed to convince people that social software is a good thing, or to get your social project formally approved. Second, it is easier to make ROI cases for social software projects which involve collaboration between people who know each other, as opposed to projects designed to help you find people you don’t know.
Third, there is a good reason why social projects to help you find expertise and innovate with people you might not otherwise know have such trouble with ROI. Hi Matey, thought I would share this preso with you – talks about RoC ratios as a way of measuring benefit.
Reducing search chains (to find experts) and collaboration have tangible benefits, albeit hard ones to quantify in a material manner. To the point logged in March, 2009, I agree that the investment in minuscule to the benefits. We’ll all get to the real value, but without getting out of the starting gate with something blasse like storage savings, there will never be a chance to realize the true point.


A lot of affiliates on the web get caught up in the pursuit to find  an obscure traffic source that no one else is using and then dominate it. However, be diverse in your selection of niches because during certain times of the year, some are very hot and some are very slow. Part of my talk was around ROI where I had the opportunity to speak about why ROI is so difficult for social software. When I was working with Portal products several years ago, we often sold them on the basis of collaboration and productivity, but got them approved by making a case that due to single sign on the number of calls to the (outsourced) technical help desk would be reduced.
This is because the former is more measurable, you know how many attachments you send to your team and how often documents are reviewed. But getting out of the gate is extremely difficult in these times of flat or constricting IT budgets.
If you choose a large niche that is always in demand, and thus there is always a lot of money to be made, the little streams of revenue likely won’t dry up. An approval ROI can be very different from trying to convince a client of a project’s value. Social software can often be approved on the basis of time saving, even if the true value is innovation.
An organisation knows how many clients they sign up per month, how long that would take their staff over the phone, and what that cost is in terms of salary.


As roll-outs get bigger, try to get the ROI approved on something more tangible, such as time saved on email, even if this isn’t the focus of the project. They can therefore work out how much they would save if 50% of their clients signed up over the web instead.
You can do similar calculations with IT solutions that improve a manufacturing process, or speed up invoicing.
Whereas traditional IT supports business processes, social software helps you when the business process breaks.
You don’t know what benefits could be realised if Joe in Finance talked to Sarah in HR. Social software is a serendipity lubricant that increases the chances of valuable interactions occurring – but it makes no guarantee on their frequency or their value.



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