Beyond the Bottom Line: 3 Ways to Convince Execs That Social Matters
Have you ever tried cold calling a busy executive? If you’re a salesperson, feel free to shudder now. If you’re a social media marketer, you might not even know what a cold call is — considering how social media has revolutionized the way we now interact with individuals and businesses.
Nevertheless, many corporate executives are still unconvinced of the value of social media for business. With a median age of 55, most CEOs are familiar (and were quite happy) with a world before Facebook. In fact, 73% of CEOs actually think marketers lack business credibility!
So, should today’s corporate marketer pack up his or her social media management tools and start designing the new yellow pages ad? Well, we’d advise against that. Instead, here are three ways to convince executives that social really does matter.
1. Demonstrate External Examples of Social ROI
Executives who need still convincing about the value of social media will likely respond to a “show, don’t tell” methodology. The good news is, there are many examples of social media success stories. Provide your corporate bosses with tangible evidence on how enterprise organizations are effectively leveraging social platforms.
For example, show them how Wells Fargo was able to use Twitter to scale up its customer service capabilities. Need hard numbers? Show the execs that people who arrive at your corporate website by way of Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to make purchases.
The examples don’t stop there. Whether it’s demonstrating the true reach of your Facebook Page, or even how using YouTube annotations can increase engagement with your brand, no matter what social platforms you pick, there are tangible examples of corporations using them effectively.
2. Demonstrate Internal Examples of Social ROI
If you’re already involved in your company’s social media management, it’s almost impossible not to find internal examples of how social media is helping your business. Record these examples and present them to your company’s executives.
From here on in, every time you see a really positive tweet mentioning your company or brand, take a screen shot, favorite it, and let your executives know about it.
On Facebook, spend more time analyzing your Page’s data through Facebook Insights. Use Google Alerts to flag both positive and negative mentions of your brand online. Don’t forget to copy and paste positive mentions from any LinkedIn Groups that you’re involved with as well.
Though we’re probably preaching to the converted, there’s likely no shortage of examples of how social media is positively affecting your bottom line. If you fear that you might be missing some of these important interactions, consider using a social media management tool like, Sprout Social, to track, respond and report progress to your C-suite management.
3. Demonstrate Trends in Enterprise Social
One of the reasons that marketers are particularly enamored with social media is that they’re extremely comfortable and fluent with the tools needed to navigate in this world. The same may not be true for your managers; social media may be a disorienting experience for them.
However, whether it’s coming from digitally native employees or from executives who are leading the charge themselves, social media is gaining much wider acceptance and implementation at the corporate level.
In a recent interview with Sprout Insights, Yammer Director of Community Maria Ogneva said that people who share the most information are now becoming the real power players within organizations. She even went on to say that the “ability to curate the right information is the new currency of the information age.”
Other data reiterates the fact that enterprise social is transforming corporate culture. If your executives are still not convinced, let them know that a CEO’s participation in social media actually increases customer spending. Then see how they feel about reactivating those social media accounts that have been dormant for years!
It’s easy to be skeptical about something if you don’t fully understand it. Help your corporate executives understand the immense benefits of social media for the enterprise. You just might establish yourself as an invaluable asset to your organization in the process.
How do your executives feel about social media? Are they advocates, Luddites, or something in between? Let us know in the comments below.
This article discusses Sprout Social, our social media management tool for businesses. To learn about our editorial ethics and our commitment to objective coverage of the social media space, visit our About page.