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Does Your C-Suite Believe in Social Media? - 11/12/2014 -


Does Your C-Suite Believe in Social Media?

Forbes' '50 Most Influential CMOs on Social Media' shows that the C-suite is still not embracing social.

By Donna Vieira

Are you using social media effectively?

If not, you may be missing out on an important channel for reaching your members and customers...but you're definitely not alone. Many in the C-suite still haven't embraced social media in any meaningful way.

Last month, Forbes published its "50 Most Influential CMOs on Social Media" list, and the results were telling. Only nine of the CMOs on the list came from Fortune 500 companies, and only 10 were from software firms.

This is a troubling statistic. Is your associationís C-suite missing out on a major opportunity to reach and engage with members and potential members by not embracing social media?

Their resistance is understandable: ROI of a social campaign can be hard to measure if you haven't set concrete goals. And social media's impact is often described in terms of likes or mentions ó intangible results that don't always appeal to the C-level's concern for the bottom line.

If there's one thing the Forbesí report can teach us, it's that CEOs and CMOs need more education on social media's real business benefits before jumping in with both feet.

To that end, here are just a few things social media can do for your organization:

  1. It can give you a leg up on the competition. Social media lets you listen to buzz about your organization and competitors. Social networks are rich sources of market insights if you listen carefully.

  2. It increases your brand recognition and reach. By adding your expert voice to the conversation, you have more chances to reach potential members who otherwise may not have heard of you.

  3. A well-run social media campaign can significantly increase your inbound website traffic. Without social, the only people finding your site are those who already know about your organization or happen to search for the keywords you rank for. Every social media post gives more people a chance to discover your brand and find their way back to your website.

  4. Social media is a very cost effective marketing channel. With just a few hours of work each week, you can increase awareness of your association, events, and products, without spending a huge chunk of your advertising budget.

Forbes did a good job summing up why social networking is so important for CMOs of companies both big and small: "Social media has become a part of our world...Social media is how we interact with friends, family, co-workers, brands, and media."

Creating an effective social media strategy and solid metrics to measure ROI can be a challenge, but the business benefits of a social campaign are well worth the effort.

Donna Vieira is vice president of marketing for interlinkONE and Grow Socially.


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