Building Your Case: Selling Social Media to Your Business
The control of media and marketing messages is rapidly shifting to the customer, driven by technological and social media advancements. In the new world of social media, engaging customers who want to buy, rather than “sell” to customers, is the best way to stay in the conversation and gain a share of the profit. Social media for business requires the complete commitment of business resources to be successful. The most difficult part will be convincing the executives.
Obtaining these business resources requires the same justification for the C-suite as any other project or activity that needs executive support. Proposing that your business get involved with social media without having the data to support why it should be a requirement of doing business today, will do little to help gain support from the top level executives. To start, it’s worth knowing these valuable statistics:
- 20 percent – The amount that annual revenue grew on average year-over-year for companies who engaged in and monitored social media
- 47 percent – The amount of the forecasted sales pipeline generated by marketing using social media
Your first step in building your social media for business case is determining your sources for sales leads and ranking them by quantity and quality. By showing where these leads came from, the quantity from each sales channel and their success, you can paint a picture of which channels are bringing in the most valuable leads. These are the numbers that executives love (Profit, ROI, etc.).
Along with showing that you are getting solid leads from various social media outlets and that these channels are worth pursuing, you need to create a social media plan.
- Which social media services will I use?
- Most businesses (and customers) focus on the big three: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, but don’t leave out industry-specific channels.
- Target industry forums and communities.
- Remember that blogs are social media, too. Use not only your company blog but read and interact on other industry blogs as well.
- How will I track and manage those leads?
- Integrate social media for business into your lead management system.
- Determine rank and action for each type of interaction or social media.
- What do I do with the social media?
- Capture customer feedback for insight into your company’s products and brand.
- Include social media platforms in marketing campaigns as venues for announcing events and products.
- Listen to the channels for valuable input into customer needs and desires.
- Engage individuals, so you understand precisely what they want. Work toward providing what they want, not what you think they want.
In order to keep up with your efforts, find the proper tools available to help you engage, monitor and analyze traffic and leads from these channels. Contact Social Strategy1 to find out how using our tools and services can target and align your social media efforts effectively.
Michael F. Lewis II is a Social Media Consultant and Marketing Analyst for Social Strategy1. He contributes several blogs weekly to the SS1 site. Connect with Michael anytime on Twitter, @mlewii.