Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How to Get Buy-in from the Head Honchos on Social Media

This is a great (and entertaining) presentation on how to convince your boss/organization that social media will further the company's marketing goals.

And if that's still not enough to win them over, below are some practical tips to help you effectively communicate to the CEO/CFO/CIO about the importance of social media, courtesy of the PR Princess.

TOP TEN ways to get buy-in from C-Suite on Social Media:
  1. Introduce social media in a "non-techie," non-threatening way. This might include sending links and screen shots of comments on Twitter or blogs that involve the company. Be sure to provide context in your message so they will know what they're looking at.
  2. Talk individually with execs or board members before you put it on the agenda at board meetings. Know who the supporters and detractors are ahead of time. Have answers for some of the detractors' stumbling blocks before you bring it up.
  3. Keep your passion for social media to a low flame. If you go into a meeting with demands and failure predictions, you will get shut down quickly.
  4. Offer to do a "Lunch and Learn" presentation for your leadership team. Keep it focused on results and not too technical.
  5. Point out successful social media programs in a "case study" format, showing that social media is measurable and generates results.
  6. Showcase how other companies in the same industry are already using social media. Chances are someone is already using it well, which may spur a call to action or a competitive response.
  7. Start listening to the brand in social media as part of your normal duties. You should never need permission to do this. Report any good things you're hearing, and alert your boss if there is a crisis brewing somewhere.
  8. Get a third-party expert to present to your board. Sometimes you will not be seen as an expert in your own organization (and that's too bad, but don't let it trip you up).
  9. Ask your current agency or public relations professional to bring it up as part of a strategic planning session or brainstorm.
  10. Anyone who's spent time around executives knows that "allowing" them to take credit for concepts and ideas is a way for things to get implemented quicker. Play the game and you'll eventually get credit for the ideas.

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