Business is about dollars and cents… numbers. So it’s no surprise that when making a decision for your company, you want to see how the numbers add up. Sometimes the biggest challenge can be finding the figures you need in order to make the most informed decision.

Take social media.

Despite the efforts of greater minds than ours, there’s not (yet) a mathematical formula to determine ROI from new media marketing campaigns. No “X(likes) * Y(shares) = Z(sales)”. And we understand that when it’s all about the numbers, not having them available doesn’t make your decision easier.

While we haven’t found the magic equation to figure your ROI to the penny, we would like to present you with some other numbers you should factor into your thinking. HubSpot recently released an impressive data collection which includes opinions from SMBs on their social media efforts, and MediaPost has an article up covering social media users and their buying habits. Together, they make a compelling case.

Click graph to view full-sized.More than half of small/medium businesses said that social media plays an important role in their active sales. This makes perfect sense when you consider that 17.8 million people said that social media has “strongly influenced” their purchasing. (In case you’re wondering, that figure’s up nearly 3 million from last year.) 15 million people said that they consult social media before making a purchase decision. (That figure has increased by more than 3 million in the past year. Seeing a pattern here?)

Here’s something else to add to the equation…

Nearly 40% of SMBs surveyed said that social media has increased their exposure, helping new customers to find them. Again, no surprise when you consider what buyers have said. Over 23 million people say they discover new brands and products through social media. (To continue what you should by now expect, that number is also up by over 4 million from last year.) And over 22 million say they use social media to learn more about unfamiliar brands and products. (Do we need to point out that that number is up by almost 2 million, or did you see where this was going?)

Now, we’d love to be able to offer you a simple math formula that would explain social media ROI in an “X+Y=$” format, and eliminate uncertainty…

But we can’t. Yet. And we’re sceptical of anyone who says different.

What we can offer you is “circumstantial evidence”. And while that may not stand up in court, thankfully no one’s on trial here.

Businesses like yours say (in huge numbers) that social media is bringing them buyers. Customers like yours say (again, in huge numbers) say that social media is influencing who they buy from.

Look at it this way:  Relativity was happening before Einstein chalked “E=MC2” on his blackboard. Social media ROI is also happening, it’s just that our calculations need to catch up to the numbers.

We’re no Einsteins… We’ll leave the heavy math formulas to the folks with the chalkboards and crazy hairdos (Nothin’ personal, Al.)…

…BUT we’re smart enough to see that millions of SMBs happy with new media plus millions of buyers turning to social media before they shop equals an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

Do the math. Then give us a call.