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How to get CEO Buy-In For Your Social Media Strategy

By 29/03/2017August 12th, 2022No Comments

The world of social media spins at a rapid rate – evolving daily, with new tools, techniques, and approaches that seemingly must be adapted to on the turn of a dime. As the complexity of this landscape increases, so too does its importance – presenting a conundrum for businesses that must funnel more resources in order to simply keep up to date. Budgets are rising, whilst impact is falling – and as competition gets fiercer, struggles are being felt as to how to harness this vital medium. Lying central to this issue, is the lack of social media tool buy-in – whilst 92% of marketing departments and sales execs clearly see the value in such tools, the CEOs they must convince are often reticent to take the plunge – a notion backed up by the staggering fact that 68% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies have no social presence whatsoever.

Bigger budgets, bigger campaigns, but where are the tools?

Marketers now spend 12% of their budget on social media, and as more and more financial commitment is being made to the social arm of a company’s marketing, frustration is being felt – the task of analysing campaign statistics and crunching the numbers of KPIs are all too often impossible, without the right tools. A catch 22 situation has arisen – with budgets rendered ineffective as marketers attempt to grapple and grasp with a vast wealth of data.

What lies behind this isn’t a flat out refusal of CEOs to embrace social, but rather a misunderstanding as to what this medium can deliver; the C-Suite are concerned – worried about reputation and ROI, and lacking in first-hand experience as to how this world really works. And the result? Almost 50% of all boardrooms undervalue the importance of social media.

Employees – A rich social resource that remain (mostly) untapped

In an ever tougher social landscape, the concern about ROI may be a worthy one to address – at which point, it’s worth looking back to 2013, when 37% of employees believed they could do their job better, if their organisation’s management was more supportive of the use of social tools. Some four years on, and few businesses are yet to empower their employees in this way. Our research has put this under the spotlight – and the stats that emerged were even more compelling than we’d predicted…

  • 76% of employees would happily share marketing information as content on social media if the company would make it easier
  • More than 60% of employees said they would create or share company content if employers made it easier
  • Only 31% of employees consider their company “very effective” at sharing internal information quickly

[source: DSMN8 “The Social Employee” Whitepaper]

It’s a clear cut case – the social tools that marketers rightly deem so important are every bit as underused and undervalued as employee social advocacy. So the question is how marketers make more of their social campaigns and the efficiency and effectiveness of the workforce, if CEOs are so reluctant to embrace tools that could drive sales whilst reducing costs.

3 Steps to get CEO Buy-in

1. Demystify the world of social
Fear of the unknown is one of our most primal instincts – and the lack of first-hand experience is the most fundamental road block to boardroom buy in. This can be overcome with ease by simply introducing CFOs, CEOs and CMOs to social media, encouraging them to post via their personal accounts or corporate accounts.
Offer support and training – free from complexity and jargon, to demonstrate the potential of social media and to avoid any faux pas.

2. Create a (Simulated) Crisis
Boardrooms know risk, yet in the mind of the reluctant CEO the scales of risk are tipped firmly in the favour of not investing in social tools. Re-dress this balance by simulating a crisis – demonstrate to them the speed and influence of social media in spreading positive messaging and reaching an audience unparalleled by any other medium. Contrast this with the challenges of crisis management, and indeed avoiding a crisis altogether, when you lack the ability of social media listening.

3. Drive Home the Risk of NOT Investing in Social Tools
Vulnerability – it’s a powerful word when you’re stood in front of C-Suite execs – and no better can this be demonstrated than by highlighting where your website traffic is overwhelmingly reliant on certain sources. Take search traffic as the prime example – any corporation’s ranking is uncertain, the high ranking, page one placement you hold today could see you buried at the bottom of page ten should a Google algorithm update take a disliking to your search strategy. Alongside this prospect, Google et al. are increasingly placing weight on social media to influence their search results. A double whammy of risk that makes the case for social tools without exception.

Knowledge – in one word, this summarises the refusal to buy into social tools around that boardroom table. By following our simple, three-step process, you’ll put your C-Suite in the complete picture – clearly communicating exactly why social tools are so critical today, and why they’ll only ever become more important as time, and social media evolvement, marches on.