Making social media work for your company is not a matter of "if". It's a question of "how".
Social media marketing affects and supports all critical areas of the organization – from sales and marketing to HR and client services.
Here's how you can show those pesky, stubborn, decision-makers that social is a key investment for the growth of their organization and has multiple benefits to each discipline.
How Social Media Supports Sales
This is my favorite subject. Social media is the place where online relationship development happens.
Your salespeople need to know how to use social media as their primary sales tool. Salespeople have a tremendous advantage to find out everything about a prospect via social and use social as a relationship management tool (CRM and connect with prospects via warm introductions and networking).
This is obvious in LinkedIn, but there are also less obvious, but worthy sales opportunities in Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In all social networks, salespeople can find, connect, engage, build relationships, and sell. Sales are the key to success of any company and social media is the key to business development in a mobile-social world.
How Social Media Supports HR
Just as in sales, HR professionals can utilize social media to find top talent. Again, LinkedIn, my tool of choice, clearly illustrates this. Ninety-three percent of all recruiters use LinkedIn to find their next client.
In fact, social media has become a place where HR people have truly taken the lead. Understanding the high demand for great talent as a competitive edge, HR pros have taken to social media sites like LinkedIn almost like teenagers to texting.
How Social Media Supports PR
This is the where social media truly rocks. PR professionals and those managing the reputation of companies know well that social media is the core tool for building rabid fans around a brand and then protecting that brand.
Social media is the place to post and promote events (before, during and after), whether they are for B2C or B2B purposes. Reaching reporters and driving community relations can be done on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Tools such as Social Mention, Google Alerts, and fancier tools like Viral Heat, HootSuite, and others provide those managing the brand with immediate visibility into target brand perception. Commenting and sharing stories on sites like Digg, Stumbleupon, Reddit and others allow PR pros to control the online brand.
Any company that engages in PR needs a substantial social media program. Period.
How Social Media Supports Marketing
In marketing, we're looking to build traffic and visibility to enable qualified lead generation. Where else but in social media can original content be shared to drive interest around your company brand?
Sites like the Google+, Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, to name a few can help marketing teams get their content out to influencers and buyers alike. Social can take the marketing message deeper and with more engagement than most other marketing vehicles because social is just that, social.
Social signals impact SEO as well, so social content sharing and authorship of valuable optimized content assist marketing teams in gaining organic search visibility. The blog as the cornerstone for the delivery of the marketing content is a social tool that provides various marketing opportunities from viral sharing of posts to engagement by commenting.
How Social Media Supports the Big Boss
Finally, the head-honcho, the CEO, C-suite or board member who wants to share his or her thought-leadership. Social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube give way for executives to build and grow visibility around their personal brands (with the help of their PR and marketing teams).
Online events such as webinars, webcasts, and Google Hangouts can be driven by social networking efforts. Executives who commit to driving thought-leadership can do so easily with the use and consistent creation of content via a blog. Content can take the forms of live audio, video capture and creation, and editorial on topics that matter to the target industry.
Learn More at SES Toronto 2013
At SES Toronto next week on June 13, I plan a deeper, more detailed dive on this topic in the Social Media in the Boardroom session. You can also find a preview of my presentation in this month's SES Magazine.
By the way, there's still time to register for SES Toronto. I look forward to seeing you at my session on June 13!
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!