How To Tell Your Boss Social Media is Important

by Eric Melin on October 26, 2011

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Is your boss suffering from an anti-social media bias?

Convincing the higher-ups that your company needs to be involved in social media still isn’t easy, even though social networks and blogs reach nearly 80% of active web users — and interacting with social media represents the majority of Americans’ time online.

If they aren’t just downright dismissive, the social media skeptics will often hand you the keys as a “trial run” and ask you to prove how social media works.

(This is a mission that’s specially destined to fail, especially if you have been given no clear goals or business objectives.)

Scott Stratten from the Unmarketing blog made a pretty funny (and useful, frankly) video of a typical conversation you might have with your boss when that fateful time comes:

The ROI conversation will be inevitably linked to the “Why social media?” conversation, and I like the way Scott frames it here. “What’s the ROI of your phone?” is a perfect response, especially if you have found online mentions of your company from customers.

I believe that there are plenty of ways to link a social strategy to ROI, however, especially if you have benchmarked your online presence and can compare web metrics and traditional business metrics. But that’s a more advanced deal for sure.

I posted the simplest thing I could think of to help somebody out in this situation — two tips that will help you bring something awesome to the table once this discussion starts. Be armed. (And it doesn’t really matter in what order you do these…)

  • Start listening online. This will inform every other decision you make in developing your social media campaign.
  • Integrate social media into your business model. Start thinking creatively about what it is that your company does and how you can provide additional value for your customers online.

And now, thanks to Scott, you can start role-playing scenarios! What other responses have you gotten from higher-ups at your job about social media?

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