December 13th, 2011 Archive

Convincing Your Boss to Make Your Business More Sociable

December 13th, 2011 by Adaire in Sharing Success

Do you remember how schools, companies, and business entities used to block social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter from their internet servers, much to the dismay of many of their students or staff members? It was completely understandable at the time – social networking sites were often dismissed as mere distractions and nuisances back in the day, and they really were.

As Donna Price points out in her Small Business CEO Magazine article, If You Are an Entrepreneur You Should Be Using Social Media to Grow Your Business, social networking was simply something that the younger generation used to get into for fun. According to her, “Like much of the Internet, [social networking] was developed at college campuses. These media sites were a way to stay in touch with friends when they weren’t right there with you. It also became a way to make new friends in a less stressful social situation.”

As the years rolled by, adults started getting into social networks just to monitor the younger generation’s activity. Eventually they started using social networks for similar personal purposes – to reconnect with old friends, colleagues, and the like. It didn’t take too long for business owners and entrepreneurs to pick up on the benefits of using social networks to promote their businesses and establish their presence on the web.

These days, social media integration is no longer a nuisance; in fact, it’s one of the most important aspects of any business’ marketing campaign now. Every business that’s serious about getting more exposure online has at least two accounts on popular social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter are staples, of course, but there are plenty of others that cater to different kinds of audiences.

Even with the variety of social media networks available out there, it’s surprising to know that there are actually still businesses out there that don’t bother using them. If you work for a business owner who doesn’t see the benefits of social media, you should take the initiative to convince them to hop onto the social media bandwagon. Wendy Suto’s Healthy Wealthy nWise article entitled 7 Steps to Sell Your Boss on Social Media Marketing provides us with seven steps that will help steer your boss and your business in the right direction, but I can summarize them in just two major pieces of advice. :)

Show what the actual benefits of social media marketing are, and back-it up with proof

Some people aren’t keen on entering the world of social media marketing because they aren’t sure what sort of benefits an effective campaign provides. So the first thing you need to do is to come up with a list of the benefits that social media can provide for the business, and make sure to have examples of websites, successful campaigns, and statistics that prove your claims. Some of the benefits you may want to focus on include:

  • Effective Research: Communicating with your customers, audience, and colleagues directly through social media always provides you with a good idea of what the people like and dislike about your business, and the demands of the market niche that your business belongs to.
  • Creating a Community of Supporters: If you do your social media campaign right and remember to respond to your fans and followers’ queries and complaints in a timely, polite fashion, you’ll be able to show just how much you value their support and opinion. Sharing your interests or other content related to your business, as well as starting up and encouraging conversations will attract more followers, fans, and potential customers, too.
  • Reputation Management: The internet is rife with naysayers and rumor-mongers, and falsified or erroneous information is easy to spread around the internet. The presence of these negative elements can have a detrimental effect on your business’ reputation, and you have to find ways to help mitigate those effects. Having social media accounts in place will help you crush any unfounded negative statements about your business, and will serve as official, trustworthy resources for news and information about your work.

Be prepared to counter all doubts
As with all business and marketing proposals, your boss is bound to throw back some of their questions and doubts at you as you present them with this social media proposal. Donna lists three common arguments that people often resort to when not willing to start up a social media campaign, and these are:

  • “Our customers aren’t online.” – This is probably one of the oldest excuses in the book when it comes to social media campaigns. Thanks to the accessibility of the internet as well as the development of technology like smart phones, this line of reasoning has been rendered obsolete. Make sure to point these facts out when speaking to your boss – in a polite and reasonable manner, of course. :)
  • “What if someone posts negative comments or Tweets?” – As mentioned above, opening yourself up to your audience will make you more prone to being victimized by negative feedback. It happens to everyone, really – the trick is to know how to handle them properly. The best way to go about it is to handle complaints out in the open in a polite manner, and simply ignore the “complaints” from people who are just looking to pick a fight with you. This displays a degree of involvement, understanding, and responsibility that your followers will come to respect.
  • “It’s too much work!” – Another main reason why your boss might be hesitating to start a social media campaign is that they’re intimidated by the amount of work that they think they need to put into it. If this is the case with your boss, then make sure to show them that it’s not going to require as much effort as they believed it would. As Wendy says in her article: “Start small.” You don’t have to start your campaign by signing up for ten different social networking sites – you can start out with creating a Twitter page and start engaging your customers there, just so your bosses can get a feel of how simple it is.

Since social media marketing has become more commonplace in the past few years, you shouldn’t have any trouble convincing your superiors to get your business’ own social media campaign up and running. Just make sure to emphasize all the great things social networks can do for your business, back it up with proof, and reassure them if they have misgivings, and they’ll be sure to agree to your proposal. :)


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