In the beginning, marketers and businesspeople always start with a simple and relevant question –> “What’s my return on investment?” If they don’t start with ROI, they ask this: “How am I measuring success?”

These two questions are two of the most difficult questions to answer when it comes to social media. Yes, you can tie analytics to campaigns that push to landing pages that have promo codes that blah blah blah. But in the end, the magical thing that draws me (and many others, I’m sure) to engage with my social media community is the chance to have a spark.

There’s a commercial on TV that I can’t escape. I hate that it’s from AT&T (because if you’re read past blog posts you know how much I detest AT&T), but it so precisely illustrates what it means to have a “spark” with another person. Distinct moments of stop-lapsed overly romanticized time occur when you’re engaging in that path-crossing “spark” moment on Twitter, or via some blog comment, or in your community.

It’s the thing that keeps you going back – knowing that someone else, somewhere (but who cares where) knows exactly how you feel and what you’re thinking… and it feels “just right”. Have you experienced it, or am I alone in this?

You can’t quantify this. I know I’m being Sunday night romantic about social media, but you know it’s true. We’re all looking for the spark – we all want to connect with someone that “gets us” just for a moment. Businesses are diving into social media as a means to the end, or where they think social media is a tool in building a series of sparks to a relationship…. but to quantify this in marketing terms like ROI and quantitative logical yeses and nos? Not sure if it’s possible. I think you should be okay with that.

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