Social Media & Business Objectives
When it comes to selling Social Media to the CEO or leadership team, most of the confusion and reluctance comes from the lack of understanding of how exactly having a Twitter, Facebook or whatever account is supposed to bring in revenue. The other side of the coin is that most creative and marketing agencies can’t really verbalize this connection and make a clear, logical case for using social media in a business environment… with the exception of “let’s make this really cool thing that’ll go viral”.
Unfortunately, some in-house marketing managers have another battle on their hands. There are already lots of brilliant and innovative folks manning these positions, but their voices get lost in the shuffle. Most often it comes down to risk aversion or lack of trust in their abilities to make company-wide strategic decisions. Again, it really comes down to making a compelling case for social media.
So, how DO you make social media palatable to the folks in the C suite?
By making a clear, logical connection between business objectives and social media is absolutely necessary. In my work with clients, I developed a 3 step process that I call Digital Objective Mapping and it looks something like this:
If we break it down into individual components:
Core Business Objectives
What is your organization in the business of doing? 99.9% of the time (unless you’re independently wealthy), it all boils down to one objective: To Generate Revenue.
In this column, we want to have 1 to 3 CORE business objectives and less of them there are… the better. Cut the fluff and false goals.
Broad Marketing Objectives
The next column makes the transition into the marketing space. Most business professionals will have absolutely no issues getting here. The way to define your broad marketing objectives is to ask your self: “Will achieving any one or more of these UNDOUBTEDLY lead to our CORE business objective?”
So, for example you could ask “All things remaining as they are, will increasing our REACH help us generate MORE REVENUE?”. And the answer is yes. If your conversion and retention rates remains the same, increasing reach will increase revenue.
This column should contain no more then 5 points.
Digital Marketing Objectives
Here is where we make the leap into digital space. This is where your job as an advisor or communications professional comes into play. Thinking strictly in digital marketing or social media terms ask: “Which objectives, if achieved, would UNDOUBTEDLY lead to an achievement of one or more BROAD MARKETING OBJECTIVES?”
This column should contain 3 to 5 objectives and may sound something like this:
- Increase our database subscribers
- Increase search engine visibility
- Establish and grow an online community
- Increase the sharing of our content
- Generate user created content
- Develop relationships with relevant media
From this point forward, we can make an intelligent decision about which social media channels we should be using. Based on the outlined objectives, each channel is assigned a clear and specific purpose. For example, if your goal is to increase search engine visibility, it could mean using a Blog and YouTube videos with content specifically titled and tailored to keywords your intended target audience may be looking for. On the other hand, Twitter might be a great channel to connect with and build relationships with members of the media.
At the end of the day, you should have a very clear connection all the way from a core business objectives down to a specific social media channel. And that, my friends, is one way to sell Social Media to the C Suite.
This post is part of the “Social Media in the C Suite” series. In the next article of the series, we will discuss how to define Social Media ROI.
– Ernest // Follow me on Twitter