I’ve just returned from an insightful lunch and presentation with @GordonMakryllos held by kinship digital.  The topic of conversation was why CXO’s need to embrace social media. The interesting outtake for me, was a conversation we had about the term ‘social media’ and what image this conjures up.

What does Social mean?  

Amongst the socially immature, the term ‘social’ means Facebook and Instagram.  Social is something that is done by people who have too much time on their hands apparently.

What about media? 

My colleague Paula Rodgers made a really insightful comment:

“Media is handled by PR.  Many of us, who have worked in large corporate companies are trained on how to handle the media, and you shouldn’t speak to the media unless PR is involved”.

Doesn’t exactly fill you with excitement to start blogging, tweeting and connecting on Linked in does it?

We’re not about to change the name social media…

Unfortunately, for us social practitioners, who already believe in the value of social media, it’s often hard to convince peers, bosses and budget holders to invest in social when they have a narrow view as described above.  Social media encompasses so much, as such it’s value can be very broad. It really doesn’t help when every channel has a different set of value metrics (followers, likes, shares, views, influence etc)

In my humble experience, what typically has worked for me has been selling colleagues on these 3 values.

Top 3 killer blows for getting social buy in:

1) People are already talking.  Employees, partners, customers, and competitors.  You can’t control what people say, but you can influence.  Listen and learn – then influence with credible responses.

2) 83% of B2B buyers research online before making a purchase.  Where do they start?  Google.  Google incorporates social media as part of their search rankings.  Still think you don’t need to blog or have a social profile?

3) Measure and share real value – for programs to be successful you have to measure and then share success.  But don’t share likes, tweets, and followers because that speaks your language not theirs.  Share business metrics.  Sales opportunities generated from social,  website referrals from social, increase in SEO or if your really good revenue from social tactics. Even the hardest non-social media colleagues can’t argue with that.

The perceptions of social media are not going to change overnight, but the value is there.  Happy selling.