SM Monster Yesterday I moderated a social media monitoring and measuring panel for PRSA Chicago. Amber Naslund from Radian6, Brandon Noel from AllState, and Ian Sohn from Ogilvy 360 Digital were the panelists…and they were really good!

We talked a lot about both monitoring and measuring social media, but one of the points that kept coming up was “how do I sell this to my executive team, including our general counsel?”

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog post about that very topic and you can read it here, but I thought yesterday had some great material to add to the conversation.

* Do an analysis of what your competition is doing and show that to your executive team. It’s pretty amazing what happens when you show the CEO that his/her competition is using social media successfully. Suddenly you no longer have to sell the idea!

* Create not just share of voice or volume share charts, but also share of conversation to show the c-suite that social media is not only driving traffic (eyeballs) but also that it’s contributing to the conversation, in terms of referrals or recommendations. Companies such as Radian6 can help you with this, pretty inexpensively.

* Go to the Arment Dietrich Delicious page, where we’ve bookmarked social media policies for all types of businesses. Download the ones most like your company and share them with your general counsel.

* Demonstrate your knowledge of how social media affects the entire company, including human resources, customer service, marketing, communication, sales, and the executive team. Show case studies on how each department, even if they’re not using social media directly, benefit from the company’s use of it…from a dollars and cents position.

* Provide the executive team with a real analysis of how social media will increase sales. This happens through increased online sales, better and qualified leads, a referral network from your community, and/or sampling.

* Know which buttons make your executives excited and use those to your advantage. Some CEOs are egomaniacs (did I say some? I mean most!) and think seeing their name in lights is going to help increase sales. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. But if you can help create an expert of your chief executive through the social media channels, show him/her how it will benefit the business, as well as stroke their ego.

* Be prepared. Have a plan. Develop a strategy. And don’t forget the benchmarks. It’s OK if your benchmark is zero or if you have to create a new benchmark that has never been there before. Just make sure you have something, with goals for increasing in 30 days, 90 days, six months, and a year.

What other ideas do you have? What has/has not worked for you?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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