In response to numerous requests from my followers I am going to attempt to answer the question of the decade; How Do You Explain Social Media To Your CEO? As a Social Media Manager this is one of the most common issues I have encountered in the marketing arena. Why? Probably because social media is still greatly misunderstood by CEOs and Directors who see it either as an instant cash cow or as a complete waste of company time and resources.
So let’s take a look at the top three CEO reactions to social media and how we can answer them:
CEO:” I’m Spending X therefore must receive Y”
We are ultimately in business to make money and therefore every action we take must produce results, certainly as a marketing professional I am familiar with this concept. That said, social media is not simply about cash returns nor is it as simple as spending $5,000 per month and getting $50,000 worth of business. Put simply, social media should not be viewed as simply a lead generation tool but instead it encompasses customer service, brand promotion, advertising and an extension of your company website. Advise your CEO that the role of social media marketing is multi faceted and combines these roles- it is therefore incredibly cost effective for the company and cannot be measured simply in terms of cash business.
CEO: “Our brand doesn’t need social media”
Name a brand that doesn’t need social media… it’s like saying we don’t need computers to work. This is a tricky one because often the response will come from a CEO who does not use social media themselves and therefore does not see its value. Without undermining his authority, advise him that an estimated 75% of online adults use Facebook, two in five page views is for a social media network and 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy the brands they follow. That’s huge and highly significant for businesses of all types. If your brand is not on social media then for sure your competitors are!
CEO: “Let’s plow all our money into social media and ignore other channels”
Another common CEO mistake is to get so enthusiastic about social media that they forget all the other marketing channels. Let’s be clear… I believe social media is one of the most successful channels when used correctly but it is not a substitute for everything else. Clients still want to talk to people on the phone, they still want to receive emails, they still want to visit your website and they might even want to receive brochures or flyers depending on your business type. Focusing on social media is fine, ploughing all money into it and ignoring all other channels is not.
Still trying to explain it? Try these…
- It’s a great way to get feedback from customers.
- It’s handy for spying on the competition
- It amplifies the power of your website
- Social media is definitely here to stay
- Social media can help your website get more traffic
Are you a CEO? Tweet me your views on social media!