A couple of weeks ago, I gave a solo presentation to a group of top executives. I was confident, as the metrics and analytics for my latest social campaign proved I blew it out of the water. The company had the highest engagement number ever, and saw the largest increase in quality likes and followers since its formation. So, you can imagine my surprise when the president was less than impressed by the end of my energetic presentation. In fact, her exact words were, “Why does it matter if the engagement number is that high?”
Now, if I was one of the social media pros I’ve been quietly observing on Twitter lately, I would have just blamed the president for not ‘getting’ me. I mean, it’s ‘social’ media. Get on the bandwagon, lady! Engagement is everything! Engagement means you are being ‘social’, the very essence of the profession.
However, in that moment, I realized that it was not the president’s fault she did not see the value of a high engagement number; it was my own. After all, I am the social media professional. I am the one who knows every in and out of the field, and it’s my responsibility to teach my clients the value of social media to their marketing efforts.
You want to stop seeing articles floating around the web that attack the ‘credentials’ of social media professionals, or the value of the field? Then prove your own value! Start writing blogs, Tweets, Facebook posts, etc. that show the value of social media, and back it up with research, metrics and analytics. You want that CMO or CEO to ‘get’ social? Make your case, and present it to them.
After that meeting, I put an entire presentation together for the company, explaining even the simplest aspects of social media. I gathered charts from various programs that offer analytics, and explained why each number was important, and what I did to increase it. My presentation was well received, and the president ended it by saying, “Use Marji to your advantage. She knows what she’s talking about. It may have taken all of these charts and graphs and her presentation for me to understand it, but I definitely get it now, and we need social to move forward with our goals.”
It’s not everyone else’s job to find the value in social media, it’s our responsibility, as #SoMe pros, to prove our own worth, and become so valuable that companies can no longer ignore us. End of story.
-Marji J. Sherman