You probably already get social media, and see its value, and think it’s really nifty cool. But if you can’t articulate the benefits and the return on the effort, and several other little details to the folks upstairs, it’s going to be hard to get your ideas moved from “wouldn’t this be great?” to “let’s assign a project manager and get started.” First and foremost, you have to jump over the fence from where you’re thinking, and get into their mindset. From there, look back at social media, and create values you believe they can understand. Here are some ideas.
Twelve Ways to Sell Social Media to Your Boss
- Social media tools like blogging, social networks, and social bookmarking are more effective in reaching the millions online than a traditional website.
- Blogging can act as a way to reduce customer service calls (if there’s helpful how-to information on the blog).
- Cost of implementing a blog is free or cheap. No more than $100 for a year of hosting. And most software is free. (There are some benefits from professional blogging software, but for most people, free is plenty fine).
- Social networks are now used frequently by your customers, your prospects, and your competitors. Connect with people, learn their business needs, and respond more simply and flexibly.
- Social media provides robust tools for listening, ranging in price from free to inexpensive, to reasonably expensive. Even the free tools help an organization find out who’s talking about them, so they can choose to respond.
- First steps can be simple, like establishing a blogger relations process to go along with your press relations process. You might find bloggers who will want updates on your space, and even this is a good first step.
- Internally, social media tools can be used to help with status information, training, project collaboration. Most tools like blogs, twitter-clones like identi.ca, etc can be set up internally instead of used on the public web, for more privacy.
- Building an online social media component to most marketing and PR efforts ensures a better reach for the media created, and potentially better tracking through clicks and other metrics captured online versus in traditional media (like TV, newsprint, magazines, radio).
- Blogging helps a business differentiate and establish a thought leadership position.
- Using social network sites helps in customer prospecting, HR background checks, product marketing, and community awareness.
- Building a social network group (either on someone else’s platform or around your primary site) encourages customer retention (a huge metric for lots of companies).
- Another way to help is to find other companies or organizations, either in your vertical, or similar, and present information on how they’ve used social media.
Your mileage may vary, but consider these starting points. Any others that you would want to add? How have you encouraged them in the past.
Photo credit, foundphotoslj
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