The Personal Intangibles of Social Media

Brittany Botti Co-Founder, Social Lead, Outspective

Posted on October 7th 2012

The Personal Intangibles of Social Media

the intangibles of social media

This weekend I was watching football (Go Gators!) and the commentators were talking about a particular player and what he brought to the team. They talked about his touchdowns and rushing yards, and play making abilities. All the reasons you recruit a player.

But then they started talking about his intangibles - what he brings to the team that doesn't show up in his scouting report or post game stats. They talked about his work ethic, how he makes players want to come to practice and perform. They talked about his leadership abilities and how he rallies the team to work together. They talked about his energy and how he gets players hyped throughout the game.

In social media, ROI is a sensitive issue. Social media is a relatively new and scary area for businesses to venture in to, and they're all asking the same question: "Is it worth it? Will our investment pay off?"Do these things have an impact on the team and result in wins? Of course they do. But, you can't find a stat for it. You can't find a stat for every high-five or pre-game speech. Every player already has an incredible amount of talent, but maybe that extra focus in practice allows them to recognize a hole in the defense. Maybe that high five they received on the sidelines motivated them to push harder and get an extra yard for a first down. You can't quantify those intangibles, you don't recruit for those intangibles, but it's those intangibles that help win games and develop a strong team.

If I'm involved in creating any social media strategy or campaign, I make sure I have clearly laid out the results I want to see based on business objectives, and establish a way to measure those results. Like I've said before, social media ROI is not hard to measure. But, it's also important to recognize all of the intangibles that derive from social media when used properly. You can't measure the bond you develop with your customers through interacting with them. You can't count every person that walks into your store as a result of your content, you can't measure the private conversations your customers have online about your brand. But, all of these things and so many more work together to bring in business and revenue.

I'm not saying you should invest in social media only for the intangibles. You would never recruit a football player based on his intangibles. But, when you're working on your social media plan and tactics and measuring the results, keep in mind that those results - those post game stats - are just the tip of the iceberg if you're using social media well.


Brittany Botti

Co-Founder, Social Lead, Outspective

As Co-Founder & Social Lead at Outspective, Brittany Botti gives businesses the outside perspective they need to take full advantage of the opportunities that social media and a solid online presence provide. She has developed social media marketing & online strategy for family businesses, nonprofits, athletes, cities, start ups & mid size companies. Brittany's goal is to make every business she works with as accessible, friendly, & authentic as a small town store. By helping businesses relationally exceed expectations, she works to build positive emotional bonds between her clients & their customers. Brittany is a proud University of Florida alumni, and resides in the Orlando, Florida metro area. Offline, she’s a DIY’er, a country music fanatic, an avid sports fan & a Parrothead.

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Posted on October 9th 2012 at 6:45PM

Great post, Brittany! I love how you worked sports into it too.

I totally agree that with social media, there are a lot of intangibles and "mini-wins" that may not be huge ROI, but they're still valuable in the scheme of things. An engaging and fun way that I've found is helpful when measuring ROI, or at least impressions, is through a social media aggregator like Postano. You can create relationships and impressions both on and off of social media platforms by bringing your social content back to your site. (

Posted on October 10th 2012 at 12:36PM

Thanks Marcellini! I'm kind of a sports nut, and there's so much relevancy between sports and business.  I like your phrase "mini-wins", I'm going to use that!

Posted on October 10th 2012 at 2:33AM

The intangibles of social media are what gives it great power for those who really use it well. The unmeasurable "bonds" with customers and the brand engagement that surrounds those bonds are paramount to building brand-equity and ensuring long-term success. Thanks for the great post!!!

Posted on October 10th 2012 at 12:39PM

Exactly...when you're building a relationship with someone, it's through a series of smiles, handshakes, conversations, etc. To quantify a single action towards the end goal seems insignificant, but the combination of all of those actions result in a strong relationship. Same thing with developing strong relationships with customers. 

Thanks for the comment!