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How to convince your boss to use social media

How to convince your boss to use social media

February 18, 2013 by Jonathan Dempster

How to convince your boss to use social media/thumb and likeSocial media is the driving force behind a wave of start-up companies. Finally, a platform exists which allows access to a huge market without traditional barriers to entry. Simply put, the benefits of involving your business with social media will be — you will still exist in five years’ time.

Although you might know this, your boss or colleagues might not. Getting them involved with social media sites can be challenging. However, follow these simple steps and it will be impossible for your boss to say no!

Measure and analyse

One of the simplest ways to convince your boss that social media is the future is showing how much profit they can make. Show them how your competitors are using social content to attract potential clients, showing the strengths and weaknesses of their campaigns. Use your website analytics to monitor the flow of visitors to your website from Facebook, Twitter or organically, and how many convert to leads or sales.

Remember, this is a way to win over your boss. Start with something like, “currently we convert 6% of our online leads. With a social content campaign, we could increase conversion rates by 4% in the first six months”. Back this up with facts and don’t be tempted to oversell, this will come back and get you when you don’t deliver.

Competitors are already in your online space

Your competition is already in your online space, and they will continue to grow and become harder to beat. You need to be establishing yourselves as leaders in your field. You may supply anything from radiators to a new digital service — don’t think your industry is too boring. Becoming established in your niche is important and social media is one of the easiest ways to do this.

SEO benefits of social content

SEO plays a huge part in boosting organic traffic and that is obviously a huge factor in being found online. And social signals are playing an increasingly important role in giving some websites more authority — and that affects where you come in Google rankings.

Save money with FAQs

By creating content that answers the questions your potential customers have means you can save your employees valuable time and spent answering phone calls. With the right content on your website, the only phone calls you should be getting should be warm or hot leads looking to find out more about prices and details before making a purchase. As customers ring and enquire about certain issues, encourage colleagues to share what they were asked. This could give you inspiration for your next great piece of content, in the knowledge you will be answering the issues people see as most important.

Show returns

A well-executed social campaign will show returns. However, examine your resources carefully and create a strategy that plays to your strengths. It’s well worth having a blog, for instance, as great content is the driving force behind any social media campaign. Not only will you get the SEO benefits and get long-tail organic traffic, you can use analytics to show directly how much traffic it has driven to your website, and how many conversions have come from it.

Once you can show the blog is successful, you may get more budget or resources to push a Twitter account. And before you know it, you will be in charge of an entirely measurable social media campaign, and your boss will give you a pay rise — we can always dream!

Takeaway benefits of social media:

  • It is fully measurable so you can calculate ROI
  • Competition is already in your online space
  • There are significant social and organic SEO benefits.

Jonathan Dempster is writing on behalf of ResponseTap.

Comments

 

Hi both.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article, and I think you have both brought up some very valid points.

Your point about content is interesting; as I think the only way to implement a successful social media presence (especially for a startup) is by offering a "linkable asset" on your website. By making a quirky, interesting or insightful piece, sharing it on Twitter can open it up to potentially millions of eyes. Having a Twitter account and simply Re-Tweeting others won’t really get you anywhere.

I think an FAQ can really add value to your business by establishing yourself as an authority. People worry about giving too many "business secrets" away, when if a web user doesn't find their answer on your site, they will simply click back and look elsewhere. An FAQ might not prevent phone calls, but they are a lot more likely to be a source of callers who are interested in your product or service, which should be embraced! People on the phone convert a lot more frequently. 

As with anything, social media isn’t free, but if you compare it to traditional print or TV advertising, it is a lot more specific, relevant and costs considerably less to the returns you are getting. Even if you are stretched, a little bit of project management can go a long way. By taking a collaborative approach, your social media presence is a lot more personal, informative and engaging.

For examples of social media working, look no further than Kickstarter, which has used social media from day one to get where it is today. Or maybe “will it blend?” specialists BlendTec, utilising a completely innovative social media campaign, leading to sales 700% up year on year.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a thought from Ryan Kuder, VP of marketing from Bizzy:

"There are several platforms that never existed back when some of these other sites were getting going. There wasn't an iPhone, there wasn't Facebook, there wasn't Twitter. The spread of information from person to person happened a lot more slowly. One of the key things right now, when anybody is working on a startup, is recognizing how information spreads and leveraging the tools that already exist in order to add value to the user experience."

Would love to hear your thoughts.

 

I have to agree with unconsultancy's comment. For many small businesses, extensive use of social media is a drain on resources that they may struggle to accommodate - particularly if they're just starting up - and the sheer number of social media websites and networks can be overwhelming and difficult to manage. Just look at all the companies that are failing to make an impact on Facebook now that the game has changed and people are having to pay for exposure. Social media rarely creates the kind of ROI that could warrant a pay rise.

Also, it's important not to confuse social media with content production; the two work well together, but they are not one and the same. Content is the cornerstone; social media is a layer on top and helps content to be seen, but the content must be good enough to warrant publication if social media is to have an effect. I'm a web copywriter and technical writer and I've never seen a FAQ page substantially cut down support requests; this is something only professionally-written help content can do.

I enjoyed reading this but I'm afraid that for me the only substantive point in No 1 measures nod analyse.  Sadly that objective point was a bit short on objective measures. The number of case studies of substantial businesses making profitable use of social media is very limited (anyone got ANY such examples). For another view on this whole subjecti suggest a trip over to The Ad Contrarian blog for some startlingly negative data on social media results   

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