For me, the value of social media marketing is something I can see clearly.
Having already known my way around almost every platform before being introduced to the concept of social media for business, I quickly became passionate about the opportunities for reach expansion, engagement, and networking.
While many of you may be nodding your head in agreeance, it's likely that your bosses aren't willing to jump on board without a fight.
With budget, risk management, and a weak understanding of how the platforms function in their corner, you have to put forth one helluva case for social if you wanna make any headway.
So if you're feeling like you have your hands full with C-level naysayers, we're here to lighten the load. Simply follow these 3 steps to help you prove the value of social media marketing to those who may need just a little convincing.
1 - Do Your Homework (& Then Some)
When it comes to new business ventures, your higher-ups care about one thing: ROI.
Before you even make mention of social media marketing, you have to dig deep to turn up the type of information that they'll be willing to set a few minutes aside for. Case studies are a great places to start because they clearly define the process in which other brands have benefited from the incorporation of social media.
If you need help getting started, these examples are worth making note of:
Challenge: "Reach as many college students as possible to raise brand awareness and promote deals on textbooks."
Result: After aligning their efforts with the #PolarVortex hashtag, "@Chegg received 13,000 post-engagement purchases from Twitter users. The brand also surpassed benchmarks with an average engagement rate of 9.17% and a peak engagement rate of 23% on Promoted Tweets. @Chegg had a low CPA of $4."
Challenge: "State Bicycle Co. wanted to increase fan engagement when communicating product releases and upcoming events, and encourage Facebook fans to purchase from its website."
Result: Due to their Facebook marketing efforts, State Bicycle Co. saw: "500,000 in annual incremental sales tracked to coupon codes and traffic exclusively from Facebook. 12% of traffic to the State Bicycle Co. website came from Facebook. 20% of cost per click compared to other advertising platforms. 10X growth in fan base within 12 months"
2 - Highlight the Benefits
Once you've hooked them, it's time to reel them in with some more value talk. It's likely that you're going to be met with a little resistance here. You might here things like: "Social media is just a trend" or even "I doubt our audience is even on social media."
If that's the case, feed them the benefits:
It has the ability to humanize your brand
It will help you achieve customer loyalty
It can be used as an outlet for customer service
Your social media presence can be used to position your business as a thought leader
Social media interactions keep you at the top of prospects minds
It increases your businesses visibility
Social engagement serves as social proof
It helps to reinforce your business' voice
It provides us with an opportunity to engage prospects
We can use the channels to distribute some of our blog content and premium offers
It provides us with a chance to develop co-marketing opportunities
It has the ability to impact our organic search
It gives us a chance to gain a competitive advantage
It will increase traffic back to our website
Take these benefits and build upon them. Use statistics to reinforce your points so that there is no question as to whether or not you're conveying real value.
3 - Have a Plan in Place
If the fact-based groundwork you've laid out has them nodding in approval, you better have a plan for execution... or else.
While proving the value was your first priority, being sure that you know how to carry out a social media marketing campaign should be a close second.
When asked (and trust me, they'll ask), be sure that you have taken into account all outside costs, internal changes, and resources required to bring your social media efforts to life.
If you don't already have a marketing automation software with some form of social publishing tool, you'll wan't to do your research to be sure that you find the most effective tool in terms of performance and price.
Write out a plan for what platforms you'll employ, how often you'll be posting, what type of content you'll be distributing, and most importantly, how you are going to measure your efforts.
Remember, your boss(es) care about bottom line numbers. Before you move forward, set some goals that you'll be able to report back on in order to reinforce the value of your efforts.