If you are a marcom or sales manager who is actively using social media for business, you are probably convinced that your company would benefit from a strong(er) online presence. But what if your manager or boss does not really prioritize social media? What if the social media efforts of your organization are limited to a few updates per month and no real results are gained in terms of brand awareness and new leads?
If you would like to convince your manager that a more strategic approach is needed and that more time and money needs to be allocated to social media, there is homework to do. Below I have listed 7 steps to get social media at the top of the agenda within your organization.
1. Analyze the company’s current social media activities.
On which platforms does your company have a profile? Are these profiles up-to-date? When was the last update done and how consistent has your company been on social media in the past few months?
I often come across companies that think they are active and do well on social media. However, once you start analyzing what they actually do, it is limited to a few updates a month and a consistent approach is missing. To make your social media efforts pay off, a strategic approach is needed; Goals need to be set and content must be well planned. Consistency and continuity are important too.
2. Analyze your competition.
List your most important competitors and analyze their online activities. If they have a strong presence, then this could be a good reason to start taking social media more seriously. At the same time you can learn from what they do and use this in a later stage. If your competitors are not so active yet, it could be a reason to start expanding your presence in order to gain a competitive advantage.
3. Be an example for others.
If you believe that social media can play a role in your company’s success, you should walk the talk. Start building a good LinkedIn profile and use LinkedIn to get in touch with relevant people. The same applies to Twitter and other relevant platforms. Use your own activities and results to build your case.
4. Team up with other social media believers.
There might be other people within your company who use social media for business and who are convinced of the positive effects that social media can have on brand awareness and sales. Meet up with them to exchange ideas and discuss how you can get social media higher on the agenda. Go beyond your own department. As a marcom person it would be great to find out which colleagues from sales or research could be your sparring partner in convincing decision makers within your organization.
5. Monitor your customers online.
Make a list of the most important customers and prospects. See where they hang out online and what updates they share. There is nothing more convincing than showing your boss that your customers and prospects hang out on social media too. At the end of the day we all want to be where our customers are.
6. Schedule a meeting.
Now you have done your research and found some partners internally, it is time to arrange a meeting with your managers or boss. Once you have gone through the steps above, you will have built enough proof that social media should be addressed more strategically. You might have addressed the issue before, but with all the research you have done, you will be much better prepared. Ideally, there will be no other topics on the agenda. In your presentation include suggestions on how to take social media to the next stage; who should be involved internally? Is social media training needed?, etc.
7. Be patient.
This might sound strange as all the points above are focused on taking action. However, after you have built your case and discussed it with your boss, it could take some time before a decision is made on time and resources. If nothing happens immediately, address the issue some time later again. Remember that you have planted some ‘social media’ seeds now at the right place . Your input will automatically make your manager or boss more aware of social media and the activities on social media of customers and competitors. Sooner or later he will get back to you.
Do you struggle with getting more time and resources for social media marketing?