There are 3 essential kpi’s for measuring ROI in online networking:
ROI based Corporate online networking strategies
The new Social Economy is all about Creativity and targeted interactions matching your personal networking & communication style. This is very present online and therefor the new social media tools play an important part in this process. Social media tools and networks can be a great help in discovering these, if used correctly. If you think that using a Social Media Strategy is just about having presences on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, you will not succeed in getting any ROI out of these activities for your company.
Social media ROI for companies can be found in establishing metrics for the following goals:
More than 93% of corporate social media strategies sadly fails to deliver a return on investment on any of these metrics so be sure that you are able to distinguish 'Value' from enthusiasm first in using new media first. I can recommend reading this paper by the IRIS institute on Social Media ROI if you are interested in some scientific research.
Be sure to:
...activity in social media using the proper tools first. There are a lot of nonsense social media analytics tools around, instead just focus on using website analytics instead such as Omniture or Google analytics to determine what the success of your social media campaign is.
Following that, create your social media go-to-market strategy suiting your Brand and company culture.
Targeted Communication is essential
'Be as personal in your social media communication as possible'. Don't just target anyone, find out who the greatest Influencers (Top-Advocates) are for your brand in the Social Media landscape. You will only succeed to create Value online for your Target in social media.
In Holland I give seminars about adopting successful social networking strategies and applications. My system is known there as the 5 G's of Van den Bel. Sadly the 5 G's don't translate very well in English but nevertheless you can read all about ETOS (the translation) by clicking 'more information'.