The Secret to Executive Buy-In for Social Media

Sulemaan Ahmed, Principal, Servo Annex

Sulemaan Ahmed, Principal, Servo Annex

A recent study (Are Digital Marketers Delusional?) found that 70% of marketers surveyed believed that their CEOs were fully committed to internet and/or mobile marketing, but 32% of them have no or almost no staff devoted to digital marketing. Disconnect!

In this week’s interview, Servo Annex Principal, Sulemaan Ahmed, and I chat about why CEOs are nervous about social media, and how to overcome those fears. His company focuses on teaching senior executives how to use digital media.

3 Things Every CEO Wants To Know

When it comes to social media (or, I believe, anything else that is totally new to your company), odds are that your CEO wants answers to these three things, says Sulemaan:

  1. How does it help top line revenue?
  2. How does it lower expenses?
  3. How can we do it without significant risk? 

So prepare to answer those questions if you are looking for funding for a digital media project.

Now even so, they are still likely to be uncomfortable with digital and social media if it is something they’ve never used.

The Secret: Let ’em play!

The secret for buy in, according to Sulemaan, is to let them play!

Start with one tool (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, etc.), and show them how to use it. Then get them to try. Let them play with it. Let them find out how it works. Give them time to get comfortable with it. Then they will start to see the potential of what it has to offer, and they are much more likely to buy in to a test project.

Others Mentioned in this Episode

The names Doug Stephens (aka Retail Prophet) and Mich Joel came up in our conversation. Here are links to my interviews with them:

Doug Stephens – Can Your Company Survive in the New Retail Era (podcast & blog post).

Check out his book too: Retail Revival

Mitch Joel – Ctrl Alt Delete Your Marketing (podcast & blog post)

Check out his book too: Ctrl Alt Delete

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