3 Ways to Convince C-level Executives to Invest in Social

Every communications expert worth his or her salt knows that social media is an integral part of a brand's PR strategy. However, convincing the higher-ups to give a significant amount of budget to social media can be an uphill battle. In fact, an exclusive PR News study found that "a majority of senior managers and communications executives said they devote an average of less than 10% of their PR budgets to social platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter." So how do you convince the boss to invest in social media?


Show them the metrics: "To most C-suite execs, social media is something that people do on their own time; they have yet to see the value for business. You [need to] demonstrate that you are using social media effectively to listen to your customers and change purchase behaviors. Those activities can all be monitored, measured and reported on. Those outcomes are what the C-suite understands." Marla Bace, GM of marketing and operation, Circles, Sodexo


Get them more involved: "The CEO is the primary trust ambassador of your company. Once they’ve established themselves on a social media channel by posting personal updates and news of the day, go deeper. Move past “who,” “what” and “where” information—get to the “why.” This is how a CEO becomes more than trusted leader, but a thought leader, even the voice of an entire industry." Carreen Winters, executive VP, corporate communications, MWW Group


See social as more than a supplement: "For an executive, the idea that social media channels can drive sales or business leads in a more efficient and measurable fashion than traditional marketing and communications methods is an appealing promise. That is why brands such as Procter & Gamble and Salesforce.com are pushing deeper into social media. For them, social media is replacing their traditional efforts instead of supplementing them. Examples like these can illustrate the value of social media to skeptical executives and managers." David Patton, editor-in-chief, Waggener Edstrom


Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis

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About Lucia Davis

Lucia Davis is community editor for PR News. Prior to returning to NYC, she was associate editor at iMedia Connection in Culver City, CA. In addition to PR News and iMedia, Lucia's writing has appeared in minonline, "The Minetta Review," "EQUITIES Magazine," and "The Foothills Paper."

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