the same way that television advertising
or outdoor events are not for everyone.
In addition, not every social media
channel will resonate with every audience; you must identify which channels
are most appropriate for the audiences
you hope to engage with. When the
objectives and audience point to social
as a tactic, though, there are some best
practices that communicators can follow
to ensure relevance—and results.
The best advice for promoting social
media strategies to senior leadership
is the same as the best advice for using
any communication tactic:
• Make sure you know what’s important to your organization. Get a copy
of the strategic plan and find out
what the company is measuring.
• Start with specific communication
goals and objectives, and tie them
back to organization objectives (e.g.,
not “increasing the number of followers,” but generating leads or sales).
• Identify the target audiences clearly.
• Research the media most likely to
reach and connect with the target
audiences, which may or may not
include social media.
• Create and document your strategies
for the communication effort (tactics
should be tied to these strategies).
• Develop an evaluation plan: What
metrics will you use to measure success? Focus on outcome, not process
measures, when you’re reporting
results to the C-suite.
• Communicate about what’s working
as well as what’s not. Don’t hide your
data if the results aren’t what you
Communicators can effectively
engage with the C-suite if they learn
how to tie their social (and other) communication efforts to the bottom-line
metrics that keep those executives up
at night. Sure, you may know that the
more followers you have, the more
likely you are to generate the leads and
sales results you’re looking for, but those
aren’t the metrics senior leadership is
looking for. Translate marketing lingo
to C-suite lingo, and you’ll be better
able to build your credibility within the
about the author
Linda Pophal, ABC, is a
freelance business journalist and communication
consultant based in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. She
is active on LinkedIn and
Twitter: @Lin Writer.