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Getting the C-suite to warm up to social media

I came across this article in The Guardian about various reasons the c-suite may not understand or see the value in social media. At the end of the article it lists 3 useful ways to explain the value in social media. However, not every c-suite is alike. This is why I’d like to add a tip of my own to the list: show them how other organizations have benefitted. Especially organizations in the same industry.

Get the c-suite to use social media

The first piece of advice listed was getting the c-suite to use social media. Create profiles of their own so they have a hands-on experience. but this can be time consuming and who knows, maybe they just don’t care for it. Like how some people don’t care for one network over another. I can already hear the potential replies.  Too busy to engage, why should I let anybody know what I ate for lunch?, I’m not young enough, I don’t understand technology. Show them how members of c-suites in other organizations use social media on their own accounts.

For example, Peter Aceto, CEO of Tangerine (@PeterAceto) provides a more human personality to his brand while newly appointed CEO, Leslee Thompson (@Leslee_KGH), turned the dismal state of Kingston General Hospital completely around along with engaging with patients and physicians like never before.

You can also show them the social media profiles of other organizations are doing. You don’t necessarily have to only show them c-suite profiles.

Simulate a crisis

This is a great tip. The c-suite likes risk management. But what if no one’s got the time? Other fish to fry? Again, show them what other organizations have done by using social media to save themselves. You should show them the worse case scenarios as well since the lines between personal and professional are blurred now. Explain how it’s best to be prepared by having a social media policy and crisis plan in place. Remember the Ornge scandal? That took a lot of in-the-community events and activities online to help the company bounce back.

Show them where web traffic is coming from

Chances are there’s lots of traffic coming from social media. Especially if your brand is being talked about. Showing the c-suite this can be hard for them to continue resisting or being afraid of engaging social media.

But what if there’s hardly any traffic coming from social networks? You can show the stats about how much people are using social media rather than going to websites. There are infographics galore on this topic. All backed up by facts and research.

Another tip

The c-suite also like projections. So give them a map. Show them where the organization is currently at with social media, where it should be (a.k.a. how the organization can benefit from social) and how it can get there (goal making).

What other tips would you like to share?

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