Not all C-suite executives are sold on the value of social media. In the B2B realm, some say it's the rare CEO who buys into the value of investing resources in Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter.
You may have no doubt about social media's value, and convincing senior managers of the negative value of not investing in social communications is one way to go. The other is to present metrics that they can grasp at a glance.
To keep his CEO up to date on the company’s social media efforts, Albe Zakes, TerraCycle’s global VP, media relations, sends him a report every two weeks, then has a face-to-face meeting with him in the other weeks. Here are some ground rules he follows:
- Make the message visually engaging: Using screen shots of the company’s social media profiles is more interesting than charts and spreadsheets, and still shows the numbers of shares, comments and fans. Social media is all about the visual, “so trying to put the real impact that your social networks are having into a chart or graph is actually shorting the value of social media,” says Zakes.
- Include the raw data anyway, otherwise, it may feel as if you’re trying to hide something: Senior leaders can choose to look at it or not, but knowing it’s there is reassuring.
- Share the bad news, when there is bad news: Don’t let the CEO get caught at a press conference or other event where someone could bring up a negative moment that occurred in a social media venue. “Addressing the mistakes is a great way to show the CEO that we’re being honest in our reporting,” says Zakes.
- Cut to the bottom line: Dashboards and other social media monitoring programs spew out tons of data, but that doesn’t mean the senior leaders want to see all of it. “You know you’ve been too verbose in a meeting when he says, ‘Bottom-line me,’” he says.
Get more insights and best practices on social media metrics and strategy in PR News' Digital PR Guidebook, Vol. 5.
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