If you’ve ever had a great idea for a new social media campaign or initiative and had that idea rejected by your senior managers then you know how painful it can be.
Getting support for social media can be extremely tricky, particularly if your organisation is relatively new to the platform. But we’re here to tell you it doesn’t always have to be this way and there are simple tactics you can put into place to ensure your ideas are turned into a reality!
We invited award-winning social media professional, Hel Reynolds to join our latest webinar and discuss the common problems associated with getting buy-in for social, why it’s important to get that support, and some of the tactics you can use to influence perceptions of social media in your organisation.
Big thank you again to Hel for presenting another awesome session! If you missed us live or want to recap any of the key points then you’re in the right place because we’re sharing our takeaways in today’s blog.
But before we dive in – we had to include Hel’s cartoon that summarises this problem perfectly…
Comms and Marketing problems caused by lack of support
While it’s easy to blame the problem of not having more support for social media on other departments or levels of management, in most cases both parties could do better. It’s easier to see this when we break it down into the challenges ‘they’ (they being management/others in your org) bring and the obstacles ‘we’ might inadvertently create to hold up social media progress.
- You might have a manager that’s always attracted to new things, regardless of their substance and it takes you off course – i.e. “have you heard of this amazing new social media platform, I think we should get involved!?”
- There might be a lack of understanding about how content is consumed on social media, how the algorithms affect success, or the nuances of copywriting, but we can’t expect colleagues to always get the intricacies of social media.
- On the other hand you might find people with an inflated sense of their own expertise who don’t always want to listen to your point of view.
- Stress can also play a big factor. You might have secured the support of your manager but since then they’ve taken on more projects that have made things a little hectic and so to play it safe they would rather shut things down, including your more out there social media campaign.
- If you have a sense of imposter syndrome or low confidence in your ability then you won’t feel comfortable approaching leaders in your organisation about it. Similarly you might be doing great work but not know it – either way you have to be confident in yourself before you can expect others to buy into your plans.
- Don’t be arrogant – you can’t expect people to immediately understand what you’re working on and why it’s important if you’ve never told them. Take the time to explain and be better at communicating.
- Ensure that your work is actually strategic and adding value – it’s going to be difficult to get support if you can’t articulate the value in investing in it.
Why you need leadership buy-in
So far it sounds like getting leadership buy-in might be a bit of a challenge, so why should you bother?
The reality is that when it comes to social media, your success likely depends on colleagues in other teams for the following reasons:
- You can’t produce a great campaign in isolation – you need to be in touch with the rest of the organisation and align priorities in order to achieve real success.
- Your social media content will spread further with the help of employee advocacy so getting others bought into your plans will give your campaign a better chance of success.
- With their support from the start you’ll save time. You don’t have to worry about the last minute things that could derail your campaign like “you’ve got to get this signed off by” or “we need to change the wording of X” because you’ll already know and have those people on side!
- Finally, you just feel better about your work! Colleagues are more likely to chat to you about your recent social media campaign they liked or feedback they’ve had which will make you feel recognised and appreciated.
Effective reporting strategies
So we know why getting the support of management is so important, but how do you get to convincing people that you’re plan is worth backing?
For that, your social media reports can be really powerful! Hel talked us through a few of her tips on how to amp up your reports and make them more persuasive to ensure you’re getting the right message across:
- Consider your report as a piece of content! Having this mindset can help you to think about ways to improve and make it more engaging and ultimately appealing.
- Don’t just focus on the numbers and quantitative data, especially metrics that don’t directly link back to your social media strategy and don’t always improve consistently, like numbers of followers.
- Avoid overly technical metrics that won’t be understood by whoever you want to influence.
- Instead, share detail on elements like top influencers in your sector. Share how these people have engaged with your content and why this is such a great thing.
- It’s also good to include a hot topics section because you can’t assume that people have seen all the work you’re doing, you need to put in front of them. This doesn’t have to be just about your content, but it can help their understanding of social as a whole but make it visual and friendly!
- Even if it’s quarterly, get into a regular routine of sharing these reports/visuals!
Effective influencing strategies
Alongside using reports to raise support, there are a number of tactics you can use to start influencing today!
Bring on the humblebrags!
This isn’t just shouting about things you think are great, instead share results you’ve achieved but tone down the me me me and make it fun! Adding GIFs and a touch of sarcasm can help you to put your point across, get noticed, and celebrate others who helped along the way, while avoiding some shameless-self promotion!
Repeat, repeat, repeat!
Research from the Edelman Trust Barometer found that people need to hear/see information 3-5 times before they take in the message. So don’t feel like you’re overwhelming people with information if you’ve mentioned the campaign you’re running to a couple of colleagues. Chances are they’ve forgotten or were distracted the first time around. Which means in most cases you’re better off over-communicating!
Utilise the power of FOMO (fear of missing out)!
Trying to make the people you’re talking to feel like they’re missing out can be a really strong influencing tactic. In all organisations there will always be early adopters and laggards and the laggards may need more of a push to get involved with new initiatives. Sharing something your competitors have done that you like can help to get that person thinking everyone else is doing it already (see the email below for a great example of this). That helps to reposition the question from “what’s the risk of doing this” to “what’s the risk of not doing it” – and you focus on what you’re missing out on!
Develop a visual elevator pitch!
Look at what you’re trying to achieve and represent this visually on one A4 sheet so that when you see someone who you need to convince, you can grab them at the end of a meeting or in the lift and show them your thoughts. Ensure this visual summarises the initiative you’re working on, why it’s important (specifically linking back to their personal interests), show what success will look like (especially for that person), and then what you need to make it happen!
That’s our round up of the key learnings from our webinar with the wonderful Hel Reynolds last week! If you joined us live, we hope that you found it useful and left with actionable tips to put into practice. If you’re looking to catch up on the full webinar you can find the recording below.
And if you’re craving some more of Hel’s very wise words then check out our brand new social media Academy featuring 14 video lessons on topics ranging from social media strategy to creating a community on social!
You can find all the information on this and register to be notified when the videos go live here!