Over the past 6 years that we've been managing social networks for business, I've often heard this question. "Why do we need to be on social media, and what does it really do for my business & brand?" To be real with you, I don't think that there is an easy answer to this question! Being that social has so many benefits and outcomes, it's really hard to pinpoint this answer with a quick elevator pitch. However as I work with a lot of advertising agencies, PR firms, and digital agencies we've seen this to be one of the biggest challenges they face. Clients want to know why you're charging me to do posts, when they can have one of their assistants do it. This is where the education, research, and case studies play a vital role in showing the value of social networking. Of course anyone can do posts on social media, but posting is less than 10% of the real efforts that it takes to social network. Most businesses think that is all social media is, and it might be really hard to change their thinking, but let's try!
1. Connecting to Customers - The core of social is connecting people to people, and it goes the same for brands. The biggest part of social for business is all about connecting to customers. For CEO's or marketing managers that still can't grasp this, take them to your news feed and show them how brands are trying to connect to you. I've found that the best way for people to learn is to SHOW THEM!
2. Delivering Content Daily - My favorite analogy is with social networking it's is like you're Good Morning America; you're the mail man on the daily basis and the people getting the mail from you... want your mail. They've signed up to get your content, and now it's our job as social marketers to deliver! The biggest challenge I see here is the content is usually ME, ME, ME talking all about the brand and forgetting that the audience cares about content that affects their lives. The best content you can produce will be helpful, valuable, fun, and will give your social media fan/followers a reason to ACT!
3. Everything is Trackable - One of the biggest reasons that I started a social media management company in 2009, was that I was frustrated with the lack of accountability in tradition advertising. Most media was then and still is for the most part based off of estimates which don't tell the true picture. When the internet came along, and allowing for insights and analytics, it has completely changed the game. The #1 reason I believe businesses should take social more serious, is because of the amazing data that is being harnessed for you through your social INSIGHTS!
These are the core three highlights to explaining the value of social networking to an "old school" thinking manager, executive, or CEO. If they still don't get it, then I would tell them just Google "Social Business" and see what pops up. I believe that you can do your best to make it easy for someone to understand the facts, but beyond that they will need to do their own research to make the decision that is best for them. I'm still quite surprised by how many big brands still have not fully embraced social networking, but I know in the next 10 years there will be even more business, brands, non-profits, and associations leveraging the amazing power of SOCIAL!!