How to sell social media to your boss – Chawm Ganguly

“How does one overcome the generation gap in Social Media” asked Animesh, a stud of a marketing youngster. “Convinced as I am about the efficacies of social media marketing, I just cannot convince my boss to allot me a budget to create our company’s presence in the social space. He seems to have a closed mind and is just not aware of what is happening out there or for that matter, why we should be a part of it” he continued in the same breath.

He is not alone as many of us old timers are yet to understand the full potential that social media marketing offers and it normally stems from our lack of understanding the jargon. Young people seeking to convince such bosses almost inevitably end up using terms that the senior citizens do not understand, complicating things further. They will do well to accept the fact that while predictably, the biggest chunk of social media users are the young, the next group consists of the old, the retired types with the middle aged ones trailing behind. The reason behind this anomaly is the “we-know-it-all” attitude that all bosses have.

It is far easier to talk to them in a language that they understand and relate to. For example, it will be much easier to tell the boss that:

  1.  being ahead in business leaves no scope for complacency and one has to be ahead of the competitors, even in the social media space. Just because we are doing well today does not mean that we will continue to do well tomorrow, especially in the context of the changing environment. We can either adapt or do a dinosaur trick.
  2. Anybody with a computer or even a hand held device can today make or break the painstakingly built reputation of a business / band. It is therefore imperative that the company not only have a social media presence but is actually seriously active by monitoring and engaging the people talking about it.
  3. A company blog that is informative and impartial goes miles in helping establish the entity as an industry expert enhancing not only its credibility but also refurbishing the brand’s salience. How can we give us such a golden opportunity to become an “authority” in our chosen field of expertise?
  4. Almost all purchasing decisions start from the search engines these days with people keying in what they are looking for. Presence or absence in the search results therefore can mean everything or nothing. Absence in this vital space is akin to committing marketing hara-kiri.
  5.  Traditional media is being increasingly used to direct traffic to the net, the best example being the bar codes that are becoming ubiquitous in print ads these days. Scan and be transported into the world-wide-web.
  6.    Social media is extremely cost effective and if done well, will cost only a fraction of the amounts spent in traditional media. What is more, its efficiency can be put on steroids by roping in dedicated employees to spread the word.
  7. Just like youth does not mean just irreverence, similarly businesses, however staid it may be, need not be always straight jacketed and humorless. And even though it is overwhelmingly young, social media can still deliver the goods.
  8.  Just because it is called “social media” it does not mean that it cannot help you grow your business. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be spending hours playing golf, boss!

Don’t try to dazzle bosses with figures. Don’t try to lead them on. Just lay down the facts in the lingo that they relate to and you will see how fast they relent. These are mostly alpha positive males and will be real fast to latch on, once they smell the blood.