3) You need an executive champion
Any new initiative needs executive support otherwise it is doomed to never get off the ground. My team began to make small wins, but I neglected to engage our C level folks. Bad move. It wasn’t until our new managing director joined our company that he began to ask questions about our social media channels. Interest is always a good indication as it leads to the ability to share your plans in a open forum. Working with the managing director helped me understand what the C suite wanted. Did he care about how many followers we had? Interesting fact to me, but not to him. He did want to hear how we help customers via social media and increased engagement with our client and prospective audience. By sharing mini case studies with the team based on different internal and external wins, I was able to leverage our wins in terms of what C level executives care about: minimizing risk to the organization, increasing our awareness (which leads to more people know about our company and potentially buying our service, aka revenue), and sharing our client success stories that peaked our trades interest.
I learned rather quickly my executives didn’t care about how many followers we had, but did care that we were able to resolve customer services issues quickly. Example? Recently at our user group meeting we were experience wifi issues and our attendees began to post on Twitter how slow the wifi was. Since we monitor the feeds, I saw this issue and was able to connect to our events team and solve the issue. Big deal you say? I was able to resolve the wifi issues within 3 mins. 3 mins sounds impossible, right? Not really. Once I say the feed and let people know that we were aware of the issue and were taking care of it, people responded with” thank you(s)” and “awesome(s).” Mitigating risk will always get the c suite attention.
When I presented to our chief executive officer on our strategy, he supported it not because that’s what our other competitors were doing because I sold him on the ability that we could mitigate risk. He saw the value that using social media from that point forward. Also, I was able to get some of our executives to perform in a variety of social media activities from participating in tweet chats to setting up Twitter accounts and actively engaging with our market.