Most marketers recognize the value of social media strategy. But it’s difficult to construct a plan when you’ve got people around you that put obstacles in your way. You know the value of social media but when naysayers and deniers chime in, it’s a challenge to move forward with any sort of enthusiasm.
The trick is to add a value component to your social media strategy.
It’s important for those who are not fully convinced of social media’s power to be given every opportunity to recognize it, especially if they’re the people who are paying for it.
Determining the value of social media and communicating it to others will make you a better marketer.
For lots of marketers, it’s perhaps disturbing to learn that some people are still on the fence about social media’s value.
It’s uber important (perhaps never more necessary) to utilize social media to reach those customers who will benefit from the company’s products and services. It’s never been more lucrative, given the targeting options for Facebook ads.
You must devise a way to overcome the obstacles to buy-in.
In today’s marketing, many people fall into one of these two mindsets, and a few fall somewhere in between:
- You’re frustrated that the boss or new client doesn’t see how valuable social media can be for business.
- You believe social media is not that relevant or doesn’t produce results.
While this post has good info for everyone on the spectrum, I’ll focus my insights here on tips for those that have a passion for social media marketing. Those who are stuck because their boss or prospect needs coaxing to fully recognize the value of social media.
Two Strategies to Convey the Value of Social Media to Naysayers and Deniers
There are two ways to approach a naysayer when illustrating how valuable social media is to a business. Each is just as important as the other.
Approach #1: Rational
Appeal to their reasonable and sensible side by showing how good judgment plays a part in the decision to move forward with social media. Prepare to speak rationally on how it makes good business sense to tap into your market via social.
- Don’t oversell it. Social media is not kittens and unicorns. It’s hard work and requires a solid, written strategy. Don’t make it look easier than it really is. If you do, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
- Speak in their language, not yours. Use an analogy that illustrates it in their language. Example: they may remember what it was like before cell phones. These devices were revolutionary in their day but they’re commonplace now. The TV, radio and even newspapers were relevant in their time. Today, every customer is online. Provide data that illustrates your points – example: 95% of purchases begin online (Google).
- Remind them that word of mouth is the most effective marketing. Word of mouth is the most effective and least costly way to market anything. Social media amplifies your happy, loyal customers’ voice and happy customers are contagious.
- Establish ROI (Return on Investment). Good business decisions are based on getting the best solution for the least cost. Numbers don’t lie. Many have said that social media ROI is a myth. To the contrary, social media is the most measurable media there is. However, ROI can only be established by tracking the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Approach #2: Emotional
Naysayers and deniers are consumers just like the rest of us. Studies show that emotions influence a buyer’s reasoning process. Remember: your goal is buy in. Appeal to those little nudges we all have when faced with a decision.
All buy-in decisions stem from the interplay of the following six emotions:
- Greed. “If I make a decision now, I will be rewarded.”
- Fear. “If I don’t make a decision now, I’m toast.”
- Altruism. “If I make a decision now, I will help others.”
- Envy. “If I don’t make a decision now, my competition will win.”
- Pride. “If I make a decision now, I will look smart.”
- Shame. “If I don’t make a decision now, I will look stupid.”
Every successful sales approach either creates or augments one or more of these emotional states. When enough of these emotions are present inside the naysayer’s emotional state, a buy-in decision becomes inevitable.
- Understand their beliefs. Emotions drive decision-making but so do the beliefs that they’re using to evaluate the emotional weight of anything that you might present to them. The more thoroughly you research your boss or client, the more likely you’ll understand their current state and the better you’ll marshal emotions to change that state.
- Say, “You’re right” when they object. This shows empathy and often diffuses the situation so you can find common ground. For some who want to take a first step, it will make it easier for them to swallow their pride.
- Paint a picture of how good they’ll look. This approach won’t work for everyone but it will with some!
- Outline how the risk will pay off. It’s human nature to avoid pain and seek pleasure. They may be contemplating taking a risk in order to increase business. Our culture today rewards people who take risks.
Instigate social proof to rise above the noise.
Provide data on how consumers behave when their friends’ like something or share their positive experience. Example: 94% of consumers are influenced by online reviews.
Remind them of what they already know.
It’s getting so now that every company’s target customers spend time on social media. If the company isn’t there to engage them, their competitors will be.
Chances are, they recognize that a great digital reputation is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. Welcoming profiles and positive reviews are required to combat negativity.
They’ll also need a solid plan for crisis management.
What tactics have you taken to convince your boss (or client) of the value of social media? What’s worked for you?