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How To Get Your Entire Company On Board With Social Media

A Snarketing post by Ron Shevlin, Director of Research at Cornerstone Advisors

Ewww. I feel so dirty. I should go take a shower. The title of this post is so sleazy. If you want to accuse me of link baiting and pandering, go ahead — I deserve it. 

But, to my feeble defense, I’m just paraphrasing the title of a post on Social Media Examiner titled 5 Ways to Get Your Entire Company On Board With Social Media.

In the post, the author describes five things you can do to address the “biggest reasons for social media failure,” namely (according to the author) the “lack of top-to-bottom ‘buy-in’ from all employees in a company.” SME list five “ideas for achieving complete social media buy-in from all employees:”

#1: Someone Must Take the Lead
#2: Educate Via an Event
#3: Encourage Employee Action
#4: Create a Company Social Media Newsletter
#5: Continue Training and Education

My take: What a total, utter, and complete load of BS.

If you do these five things, here’s what I can guarantee you: Someone in your organization (hopefully, for your sake, not to close to top of the organizational pyramid) will want to know why you’re wasting so much time and organizational effort.

It kills me that someone left a comment on the SME post saying “Great post Marcus!” (Unless it was Marcus’ mother or wife, which is totally excusable). 

If  getting people in your company on board with social media is a challenge for you, I’d like to weigh in with my recommendations. Oops, make that recommendation, singular. Because as far as I’m concerned, you don’t need to do five things to get people on board. Just one. 

Do this one thing, and I guarantee you will begin to get people on board with social media. Ready? Here it is:

Produce measurable, bottom-line results. 

Bring in new customers, sell more to existing customers, reduce costs, reduce process cycle time. There are a lot of things that could fit the description of “measurable, bottom-line results.”

If you do this, I guarantee — GUARANTEE — you that people in your company will get on board with social media.

If, however, you wish to take the advice of Social Media Examiner, good luck. Let me know how it goes. On second thought, don’t.

Ron ShevlinRon Shevlin is Director of Research at Cornerstone Advisors. Get a copy of his best-selling book, Smarter Bank: Why Money Management is More Important Than Money Movement. And don't forget to follow him on Twitter at @rshevlin.

All content © 2017 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

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  1. If you can “produce measurable, bottom-line results,” you will also be answering the other (implied) question: Why should I bother trying to get my entire company on board with social media?”

  2. FB: True. But there’s more to it than that. If you TRY to produce “measurable, bottom-line results” and FAIL, then at least you can evaluate the effort and determine WHY it failed — i.e., was it because SM can’t produce a measurable bottom-line result or was it because the initiative was poorly executed?

    But instead of doing this, the clueless continue to preach.

  3. Lisa Phillips says:

    U were duuurty, Ron. Borderline sleazy greazy. Yet spot on. And easily washed off with ur recommendation.

    Q: How many ways do marketeers try to hype and hope, rather than connect and create … r.e.s.u.l.t.s ?

    A: (In honor & homage to Valentine’s Day this week)… Too, too many, just ‘Let me count the ways….’.

    ps. My plea to the wonderfully creative peeps in mktg. Stop the hype. Start the hard work, as in think smarter, do something…different, & measure it. Reward or rework ?
    Listen & learn ur business. If you believe, why? Odds are, you’re there because you simply connect with the cause. Connect the cause with your customers (new and ole’ believers). No sell necessary. Business is personal. Are you in the business of making believers or make believing?

    Next up: St Patricks Day.. Like clockwork, the 1 day in the year we celebrate luck. The rest of the year create & celebrate lasting impressions, relationships and…r.e.s.u.l.t.s.

  4. Lisa: The problem here is that we’re dealing with faith, not logic and/or reason.

    The SN believers believe. They have FAITH that SM will revolutionize, transform, fix, etc. The BELIEVE — unconditionally — that SM is the right thing their organization should be doing.

    Trying to use logic and reason to show them they’re wrong is useless. Ironically, their inability to use logic and reason to convince others gets them nowhere.

  5. Marketing should be all about delivering quantifiable value! This applies to Social Media as well as traditional marketing (direct mail, print, email marketing, etc.) Any half decent social media campaign will generate substantially better results than traditional marketing efforts. The challenge, is that too few marketers seem to understand that paying for ‘likes’ is not synonymous with social media marketing, and that social media marketing demands relevancy and targeting. Is it easier to send out 10,000 direct mail pieces with a generic offer? Absolutely, but few channels offer the befits (eg ROI) that are possible with Social Media.

    While working on establishing the ROI for Social Media campaigns, Bank and Credit Union marketers should do the same for all other channels. Not only will marketers be able to elevate the importance of Social Media, but they will also save tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on non-ROI producing efforts.

  6. I’ve heard some people say “if you aren’t getting results from social media then you’re doing it wrong. Keep trying…” I’m not convinced.

  7. Serge: Couldn’t agree with you more. But the onus is always on the “new kid on the block.” Established channels don’t have to be justified — at the CHANNEL level. Individual initiatives need to deliver quantifiable value, for sure, but there’s less of a need to prove the value of the channel.

  8. Ron – unfortunately that is the case in many Banks and Credit Unions. Was it Deming who said that something like “in God we trust, all others bring data”, meaning that data must be central to decision making… including for investments related to marketing, customer acquisition, cross-sell & retention.

    Banks and Credit Unions do what they have always done but they have forgotten to measure the results of their work (and invested capital). Perhaps this in part begins to explain why 98% of the banking industry controls less than 20% of assets, loans, deposits and profitability. Perhaps it is time to move away from status-quo which has not been kind to most Banks and Credit Unions.

  9. Serge: See my comment to Lisa. We are dealing with God, here. SM gurus have faith. They don’t need no stinkin’ data. Funny, I just saw a tweet from somebody that read: “Did people talk about ROI when they invented the phone?” If you don’t have data, reason, or logic, then I guess its OK to bash your opponents’ criteria.

  10. Ohhh Ron, I have to say I agree, but I also have to say “buy in” is important in order for the “measurable, bottom-line results” to matter.

    If nobody cares or pays attention to Social Media strategy, goals, implementaion and evaluation which can show “measurable, bottom-line results,” then those who don’t care will likely find other departments or marketing efforts they think should be applauded for the results.

    It is like the janitor cleaning a bathroom that nobody uses. They don’t even know its clean so why applaud the janitor?

  11. Sarah: You’re bringing up a good point, one I should have addressed in the post. The question is: HOW do you go about deploying a social media initiative in the first place (that you hope will produce bottom line value and attract attention and gain credibility for SM)?

    The advice in the SME article is typical of what’s out there:Educate, preach, etc.

    In other words, go top-down.

    Getting “buy-in” for anything strategic in large organizations is a lot like getting a presidential candidate elected: You need both top-down support AND a grass-roots effort. If you don’t have both, your candidate doesn’t get elected.

    SM gurus overlook this, and think you can plead and preach to the powers that be to accept their religious beliefs.

    Instead, they should find/define small to mid size initiatives that can help prove the value, convince budget holders to experiment, and use those successes to find the NEXT initiative and project sponsor. Wash, rinse, repeat. Grass roots. Bottom up.

  12. Social Media wasn’t designed for marketing. It was designed for people to engage each other without being face-to-face. Marketers are destroying it.

    Now, I don’t mind ads (although I ignore them), because these are free services and they have to make money somehow.

    But I don’t want 100s of tweets, pins, etc from a bunch of people trying to sell me something.

    Use Social Media for what it is. Build honest, online relationships. Once you have the relationship, offline opportunities may arise where you can present your service.

  13. I agree with you Chris; however, do you honestly follow a company and not expect to get some pure marketing messages? I am with you, I don’t want a ton of tweets about the special of the day or that tires are on sale again. But, if done in the proper combo with authentic engagement (are you gagging yet, Ron), those marketing messages can aid to create memory points, word of mouth marketing and general reminders of what is available in the industry.

    Keeping it real and keeping it fresh are important.

  14. Bryan Clagett says:

    “Don’t fix the marketing first, fix your product. Once you’ve got a good product to talk about, the marketing’s going to flow from that.” – Scott Monty, Ford social-media chief.

    The “product” (banking) kind of sucks. Do we really have something worth talking about? We could, but tweeting about being closed on Monday, really will never produce measurable results.

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