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Don’t be a Pest with “This Social Media Stuff”

February 16, 2012

Social media pestsI spoke recently to a group of PR and marketing professionals about how to use social media in their work. One woman told me that she was trying to get the CXO’s to use social media as part of their brand awareness. She’d send them emails with links to blogs they could comment on, tweets for their information, etc. They were ignoring her. Several other people in the room commented they had similar issues. One said her CEO simply said, “That’s what I pay you for, you do it for me.”

She doesn’t and she’s right. Any Marketer worth her salt knows that pretending to be the CEO and writing tweets–god forbid commenting as– the CEO is social media poison. If and when it comes out that it’s not really the CEO but a marketing person it’s going to be ugly.

I’ve seen this a lot in corporate trainings. CXO’s are busy. If they’re not up to speed on how to use social media they won’t adopt. It reduces the marketing or PR professional to an annoying mosquito who keeps bugging them and those emails with all that great info go straight to the trash.

How do you deal with the CXO who won’t make time to learn how to use social media?
Instead of trying to address this in a Chinese water torture fashion where you are constantly dripping “great opportunities” on their heads, do your homework and build a presentation for the C-suite. Get them all together in one place and show them the impact they could have if they were only engaged.

  • Do some searches and pull metrics to show the impact of a positive social media outreach from a CXO level. Then show them some data on a social media nightmare story that could have been better handled through social media.
  • Show them some numbers on how the C-suite is using social media effectively.
  • Find you biggest competitor and show what their social media presence looks like. Either they’re doing it well and it’s a challenge to attack, or if they’re not doing it either it’s a window of opportunity to be there first!
  • Find their peer group and show them what they are missing, how they could use social media as a collaboration tool and for professional development.
  • Let them understand you’re not asking them to spend all day on social networks and that training is available to help them learn the right way to engage if they need it.

But I don’t have time for this!
There are lots of ways to use social media efficiently. I’m not saying you have to get the CXO on Twitter all day, they’ve got work to do. Give them the tools to work smarter.

  • Set up a social listening dashboard, maybe Netvibes so they can quickly scan for important news to share with their networks.
  • Set them up with Cotweet or Hootsuite so they can post efficiently and schedule posts out in advance
  • Get them an admin or social media manager who can help set up their accounts, do some searches for appropriate connections and information (but NOT pretend to be them).
  • Send a daily or weekly update on progress and the impact they are having (atta boy!). Show each CXO and what their Twitter reach is, for example, and then the combined company reach.

If they still aren’t interested?
Fine. Social media is not for everybody. Stop being a mosquito and do what you can around them. Feel free to say I told you so if it makes you feel better, but better yet, just do a kick-ass job and someone will hire you away…..

If they’re interested but you don’t feel qualified to train them?
I’m a social media coach, I do this for a living. Hire me to come in and give them a presentation that will make it very clear how they can use social media, who else in your space is doing either well or poorly, and then train the team how to use social media efficiently and effectively. My success is your success!

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  1. I think I was at that meeting you reference in this post! Your
    presentation and discussion Q&A were excellent.

    Your suggested approach of building and laying out the case
    for social media, and why it matters to the business or organization is stop on.
     Telling a compelling story in a business
    case format is far more effective than simply spoon feeding bits of social
    media information here and there.  Reverse
    mentoring is another possibility to consider in this equation.

    I am voracious reader, I’ll be sure to check out your book.    
    Lina at cafelina.me

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