How do you sell social media to your superiors?

Lack of measurement leads to the dark side: ego driven websites and social media.

Whether you like it or not, data is important. I have heard the arguments about Google Analytics and the rest don’t tell the whole story about your audience. The question is: if you are measuring nothing, how can you make any comparisons or determine success and failure.

Lack of measurement leads to the dark side: ego driven websites and social media. This is when the website content is based on the whims of someone – usually whoever is in charge – with no quantifiable reasons for the decisions made. It basically boils down to, “I don’t like Facebook, so it is not worthwhile,” or “My wife told me she didn’t like our landing page, so we should change it.”

Beware the Uneducated Boss

In his article “Social Media Measurement: The Numbers Suck Because the Models & Metrics are Wrong,” Sean Carton notes that “Currently only 16 percent of CEOs participate in social media themselves.”

This is huge problem, because people tend to think that things they don’t like aren’t important. Carton also notes, “Most companies (2/3rds) didn’t have any clear way of measuring what they were doing social media-wise and most weren’t bothering to measure the performance of their activities against their social media objectives. Most weren’t even measuring revenue generated by social media efforts.”

With the amount of people on Facebook alone, it seems crazy not to add social media to your marketing plan, but there have to be some ways to measure.  However, with no types of measurement of success, all it takes in a non-believer boss to turn their back on social media, and you are missing the chance to reach millions of potential customers.

No measurement is perfect, but you must pick something! At least then you can set a benchmark.

Pick something

As I mentioned, there is no perfect metric in web and social media analytics, but you have to pick something – some way to show that your efforts are paying off.  A few suggestions:

– Sell the idea of affinity. Try to show the social reach of your posts, noting what works and what doesn’t. This can give your boss the idea of the power of social media.

As Carton says, “The reason that nobody clicks on Facebook ads is because they get in the way of why people are on Facebook: to talk to each other, not to find products and services. “Marketing” in social media has to be about facilitating conversations, not interrupting them. Measuring the impact of social media has to move beyond the idea that it’s going to drive clicks and move toward measuring influence, participation, engagement, and, yes, delight.”

Rather than looking at how many products you sold in a limited amount of time, look at how many people are talking about your posts? The average person on Facebook has 190 friends, so anyone who has interacted with your content has broadcast (hopefully) good vibes about your company to 190 people.

You can measure Facebook Insights right from your page, or you can use a tool like HootSuite some cost) or ThinkUp (free!) to measure it for you and put it into nice, pretty reports.

– If you have made your website a destination, perhaps by posting news articles or blog posts on a regular basis, you can use Google Analytics to track where your visitors are coming from. Share with your boss the amount of traffic coming from Facebook and Twitter posts.

Facebook = Free Focus Group

– Note the idea of free focus groups.  As I mentioned in this post, large companies like Frito-Lay are eschewing focus groups and taking R&D right to the people.  You have your audience right in front of you. Don’t be scared to interact. It’s called SOCIAL media. Be social.

As mentioned before, there are no silver bullets for social media measurement, but if you arm yourself with some type of facts and measurements, you will easily defeat the ego-driven, information-free powers that be.


It’s the content, stupid! Content creation and curation.

Content is king!

When addressing the issues with their web marketing, the first idea is often, “we need a new website.”

Rather than spend thousands on a website redesign, the truth is that many businesses can use sound web content strategy to make their site appealing to visitors.

No matter how beautiful your site is, if the content sucks, the visitors will not come. And, if the content never changes, they won’t come back. The same is also true for social media. People won’t follow your Facebook page just because it’s there – you have to inspire then to visit, interact and share.

Where can I get content?

Generating a consistent flow of content can be a daunting task. Here are some ways to make it easier:

Where does he get that wonderful content?

1)      Curate: The web is full of mofos like me, spewing out tips and opinions. Whatever industry you are in, you can find tons of people writing about it: education, healthcare, pest control.

I recommend finding a few relevant bloggers that you like and subscribing to their email lists.  Then you will get content delivered to your inbox every day, and you can choose what to share with your readers. Also, Twitter is a great place to find a lot of good articles.  Follow some Twitterers in your field of interest and check in daily for some good ideas.

This is not stealing; it’s an accepted practice to reprint other people’s blogs as long as you note where the information came from.

What I often like to do is use ideas/quotes from someone else’s article and then write my own thoughts on their viewpoint or topics.  It’s a good way to get inspired when the idea well is running dry.

2)      Create: Look around the marketplace and find that which would help customers and which you can create.

Say you are an accounting service.  You may want to create videos about tips on deductions (maybe “5 Big Deductions You Might Be Missing”) or a list of tips to keep from exceeding your holiday budget.

These are actual, helpful pieces of information that your customers can use.  And remember that when you create content, it may be cited by other bloggers and people in your industry, establishing you as an expert.

And remember, a content calendar can help you plan out what to say when. This will help you find content that is more relevant to your customer at the right times.  Relevance = timeliness and proximity. Ex: If you are offering tips to eat smarter on vacation, plan to use it in the summer.

With the variety of platforms out there now, like YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, etc., there is no limit to the types of content you can create and curate.  You are only limited by your ambition and imagination.

Until next time…