Social Media FAQ #5: How Do I Talk to my Executives about Social Media?

I’ve started a new series, called Social Media Frequently Asked Questions. It’s a collection of the top asked questions I hear over and over. I’m putting them here on my blog is a great place to help everyone quickly get educated, convince their boss, or be able to help their clients get over these hurdles, so please, pass them around.

If you’re seeking advanced topics, cruise through the web strategy posts (it goes back pages and pages)

Social Media FAQ #5: How Do I Talk to my Executives about Social Media?

I enjoy feedback, but was surprised to see a few votes come into my uservoice page, one suggesting I help convince management on how to deal with social media.

Your job: To convince your peers, stakeholders and executives that don’t use social media (or don’t believe in) on why social media may be important to your business.

I’ve actually written about this before, so I’ll highlight some of the previous posts that I feel are helpful:

Start with Technographics

First, obtain the technographics of your market segment (we’ve made a sample free), if your customers are using social media tools, then you’ve a strong business case. Secondly, we’ve already concluded that decisions are based on trust, and trust is highest among peers, not from marketers. This disruptive change is enough to kick start the thinking gears of your executive.

Ascertain if this is right for your company
It’s important to note that social media may NOT be the best for your market or company, if the inactives are a significant amount of your technographics, or you’re in a very conservative industry, you may be ready to deploy a listening program, but may not want to participate. I really believe that social media isn’t for every company, and you’ll have to do an internal reality check to see if this is the case for you.

Focus on value, not technology
Next, don’t focus on tools, instead focus on the end result: value. How To: Effectively Talk to Execs and Clients about Social Media. This post teaches you how to talk about the end results of what’s expected, ever lead with “we want to start a blog”

Learn how to talk to immigrants about natives
Getting Your Digital Immigrant Executives to Understand the World of Digital NativesFrequently, the decision makers, are my parents age, and often their technographics usage is very low. I’ve found talking about Generation X and Y as the new workforce a quick way to open their eyes about the changes in communication.

Be prepared for the business questions

Lastly, before you go to your execs, be prepared to answer the tough questions, the one Legal, the CFO, the COO will ask. Be prepared.

Hope this is helpful, if you’ve other suggestions, please leave them below.