Like many progressive marketers, you believe that social media has the potential to propel your business to the next level. You discuss its merits with your friends and your co-workers — but you just can’t seem to get things moving. Maybe the executive team isn’t listening, or maybe you just haven’t done what it takes to be heard.
Ever since we touched on DuPont’s social-media evangelist’s recommendations for selling social media to executives, I’ve been keeping a list of tips about what has worked within companies — including ours.
- Start small and test. Regardless of what your job function is, find a piece that you think may benefit from social media. In sales? Prospect in LinkedIn or Twitter. In HR? Build out your presence and post open positions on Facebook. Just make sure to keep close track of the time that you spend — as that will undoubtedly be asked of you.
- Record victories. You’ve been keeping track of your efforts and now have made progress. Anecdotal wins are great, but hard data is what is going to resonate with the most senior of audiences. Document any numbers you can: page views, conversions, leads, hires, sales, etc.
- Communicate. This is a critical juncture. When enough victories (and the accompanying data) have been amassed, it’s time to let key people know. Start with your boss– mentioning the wins and focus on efficiency. Think, “I spent an extra two hours this week networking and sharing information on Twitter, and I have landed three new, strong leads.” While you may be excited and want to go direct to the C-Suite with this information, I caution you to communicate in ways that show you’re in this for the long haul. It’s important to generate as many allies as possible– and your boss is key.
- Assemble an interdepartmental team. Meet individually with the heads of each function/group/department. In all conversations, try your best to leave out the phrase “social media” if at all possible. The point of these “new strategies” is to help meet existing goals. If you introduce the group you’re assembling to senior leaders as a “social-media team,” they might assume it’s an experiment of sorts. This is about using new channels to achieve company goals, not about trying to get more fans on Facebook. Allow the heads of each department to select his/her own representative on the team. If you align the team with core goals, department heads will be less likely to appoint junior staff members.
- Produce. Now that you have a interdepartmental team, the collective voice is stronger, and “vetted” projects can take shape. This team should continue to test, record and report victories — now with the attention of the C-Suite.
One final piece of advice: Check out the upcoming Social Media Success Summit — which SmartBrief is helping to organize — where you can learn business tactics for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and more. The summit is entirely online, so there’s no travel expense, and for the next week or so, registration is half off.