A lot of people seem perplexed about why it’s hard to get some CEOs or others in the C-Suite excited about Social Media.
“It’s cheap,” they say incredulously. “What more can a CEO want?”
If you are trying to convince your CEO or another executive to support a company blog or a more full corporate Social Media plan, using the “cheap” word will not get you anywhere. In fact, you are more likely to lead your CEO to think that you don’t really understand how business works.
Here’s the thing. Social Media sites are, for the most part, available for free. You can enhance the experience for not much money. So far so good.
Now, let’s say your CEO catches an article in the Wall Street Journal about how important a corporate Social Media policy is. She wants to get one of those in place before you go any further with the conversation. That means a lot of people, a lot of meetings. That means, potentially, a lawyer. That means a meeting or a series of meetings to make sure everyone understands everything.
Once you have your corporate policy in place, it’s a really good idea to figure out what you are going to do, what you want to achieve, and how you are going to measure all of that. That’s a lot more time. That might be getting your agency involved, or it might mean bringing in a consultant.
Now let’s say you walk your CEO to the point of having a Social Media plan. You’ve made it this far. The company has decided that a blog is a really good idea, and you want to promote each post via Facebook and Twitter. It’s decided that you and 2 of your co-workers are going to work on this. Suddenly, though, you realize that this Social Media stuff is a 24/7 proposition. But things are going pretty well. Your Facebook page has a lot of fans that are interacting with you. Same with Twitter. If you stop now, you’ll look awful.
Now your CEO is looking at hiring a Social Media manager, a position your company has never needed or had before. A whole new salary tied to a whole new category of work that was not an issue before you walked into your boss’s office and said that Social Media was cheap.
This is not an argument against Social Media. It’s an argument against saying that Social Media is cheap, or easy, or free. Your CEO may realize that before realizing the value of what you are proposing. Meet him or her where they are, and see if you can find a way to bridge the gap.
Image by Jenny Rollo. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/buzzybee