Altimeter founder Charline Li and social media thought leader Brian Solis are inviting you to participate in some useful research on why so many “social strategies” fail; head over here to add your voice and opinion in a short questionnaire.

From a social commerce perspective, the simple reason why so many social strategies fail is that we’ve yet to have our “Show Me the Money!” Jerry Maguire moment. We don’t know the business value of social media.

Without knowing the business value of social media, it’s impossible to integrate social media successfully into your customer service strategy, your market research strategy, your marketing strategy, or your sales strategy.

Do you in all honesty know how and how much value social media helps you create or capture?

Ultimately, whatever your business, you have two core objectives; create customer value and capture customer value.  Any strategy you may have (and despite how anyone tries any complicate the idea of “strategy” – a strategy is simply the “how” in how you seek to achieve your objective) should help you create customer value and/or capture customer value.

So does social media help you create customer value and capture customer value more effectively or efficiently than alternatives?

Sure, you can use social media as a tool for market research, for customer service, internal communication, for marketing or for sales.

But is it worth it? Is it more effective or efficient than investing your social media budget in other tools?

The jury is still out on the business value of social media, that is, relative to other tools – but the reason we like social commerce – using social media as a tool for sales, is that social commerce cuts through the hype and spin of social media squiggle-babble and snake oil by putting social media on trial.

Does social media really help me create and capture value for customers? Stick it next to a cash register to find out.

A social commerce Jerry Maguire approach to social media may sound simplistic in a world where agencies, consultants and service providers have a vested interested in complicating things.  But it can help answer the question of why “social strategies” fail by revealing that the very idea of a “social strategy” is as vacuous as a “paper strategy”.

Social media is a tool, not a strategy – and only makes sense within a business strategy designed to create and capture customer value.

Only when you know the value that social media can deliver will investment in social media as a tool make sense.