5 Things Your Boss Doesn’t Want to Know About Social Media [& Strategies To Win Him Over!]

Social media has been around for a while now and has become an integral part of many consumers’ lives. As a result, the composition of older social media networks has changed. For example, Twitter is now 53% female.

As a marketer, this maturing of social media has serious implications for your business. For competitive reasons, you must be present and engaged on a cross section of social media platforms because over 90% of businesses have established outposts there. Shouldn’t your boss know this? Doesn’t your boss want to know about social media?

Here are five things your boss doesn’t want to know about social media and strategies that will win him over.

  1. Social media ISN’T free. When it was the hot new thing, social media was sold into businesses as “free” because social media networks don’t have fees. But the reality is that establishing a presence on one or more social media platforms requires both human and financial resources! The difference is that social media requires roughly 60% less than outbound forms of marketing according to Hubspot. (Here’s how to make the case for using social media.) Actionable Social Media Marketing Strategy: Ensure that your social media is integrated with your other marketing efforts to maximize your effectiveness. Further, leverage those other efforts to promote your social media presence.
  2. One Size Fits Doesn’t Fit all on Social Media. You can’t just take your marketing from one social media or traditional marketing platform and place it elsewhere. It’ll be out of place and your target market will sense it! Instead you must adapt your content marketing to be appropriate for each social media platform based on your target audience’s interests and objectives. Actionable Social Media Marketing Strategy: You need to understand your target audience. To make your social media efforts more efficient, establish a social media calendar and plan out the your content creation to ensure that it can be adapted effectively to each venue.
  3. Social media doesn’t yield quick sales. Often, it’s more effective to refer prospects to your page on a specific social media site than to your website (of course, you can direct them to a targeted landing page but it still requires additional steps.) Social media has its power at the top of the purchase funnel with activities like brand awareness and lead generation that help get prospects into the consideration set. Actionable Social Media Marketing Strategy:  Use contextually relevant calls-to-action and promotional codes to capture customer behavior. The more integrated your marketing becomes, the more difficult it is to attribute specific sales to different aspects of your process.
  4. You MUST answer customers’ questions on social media before they’ll buy. When it comes to social media content, customers define sexy, not you. Therefore it’s critical to answer all of their product related questions. Actionable Social Media Marketing Strategy: Take the time to develop a list of customers’ purchase-related questions including describing the product, comparing competitors, discussing price and other purchase-related issues.  Marcus Sheridan refers to this as the secret sauce. (Here’s additional information on the type of content you need.
  5. Not being on social media doesn’t avoid PR firestorms. Many senior executives believe if they and their firms aren’t active on social media nothing bad will happen to them. They’re like a kitten that hides under your covers thinking that you won’t see it because it can’t see you. The reality is that the opposite is true. You need to be present on social media to help mitigate the impact of a PR issue.   Actionable Social Media Marketing Strategy: Build your community on social media before you need it. Establish a presence on one or more social media sites and engage with prospects, customers and the public. Here are tips in case your social media goes bad. (aka a Social Media Firestorm).

While your boss may not want to fully understand social media and what it can do for his business, it’s still an effective way to support and supplement your other marketing efforts. Use these Actionable Marketing Strategies to help convince your boss of social media’s marketing value.

What other things doesn’t your boss want to know about social media and why?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Hat tip to the DMA2012 where I presented many of these recommendations.

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/



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