Racing the Dalai Lama: Introducing your Boss to Social Media

When the Dalai Lama hits the social media scene before your corporate social media strategy is in place, know this: You are so far behind the times, His Holiness is running laps around you in the race to reach the masses.

But wait, you’re here reading an SEO blog. You get social media. You know the money and resources necessary to maintain a successful viral campaign are nominal compared to the potential traffic it will drive. You’re on Facebook and twitter. You read and write blogs. You’re likely in your 20s or 30s. And you undoubtedly have tried pitching the social media idea to your boss with little success and much frustration. It’s not your fault your boss won’t listen, right?

Fret not, young warrior, for you are about to be readied for battle. Gather the like minds in your office, plan your attack, and move in on your boss with this airtight logic behind hopping on the corporate social media bandwagon.

Oh, and by the way, though the Dalai Lama did join twitter last week, it was reported days later by the official office of His Holiness that the “twit” was an impersonator. The account was promptly shut down and there is no word yet if the real Dalai Lama will be tweeting any time soon. So you’ve got a head start for now… Run.

Ammo for the Social Media Battle with Your Boss

1. Cheap! Free! Who in business doesn’t like to hear that something relatively cheap or even free may be highly beneficial to the company? You can’t say it enough. Stress the cheap factor and watch interest pique.

2. Put it in boss-speak. Don’t go rambling on about RTs, diggs, RSS feeds, pokes, wall posts, tags, etc. Keep it simple.

a. We do this social media thing for little to no money and minimal effort and, therefore, operate under a low risk.

b. It attracts potential consumers/increases traffic/drives sales, etc.

c. We reach more people/increase page views/make more money, etc.

d. If it is a major fail, see step (a)

3. Everyone else is doing it. This may seem silly and childish, but no one wants to be left behind. If your top competitors are participating in social media optimization with successful results, show your boss and watch her reel. Hopefully a competitive edge will be all you need to spark an interest in your argument.

4. Free market research. As you gain friends and followers in the online community, you will simultaneously be gathering invaluable market research on your target demographic with the information coming straight from the source.

5. Connection to customers. Successful social media campaigns allow you unprecedented proximity to your customers. Hear their compliments, respond to their critiques and remedy their complaints quickly and personally.

6. Show examples. The world of social media can be quite confusing and a bit intangible. Log in to your accounts and show examples of how everything looks and works. It’s easier to yes to something you understand.

7. Acknowledge possible set backs. It is important to always remain one step ahead. Rather than skirting past issues of concern, address them up front and explain ways you plan to avoid them.

8. Set specific goals and time frames. Raw and natural as social media should be, it’s best to set forth a plan of attack with loose goals (“We’ll post three blogs a week” or “We’ll have 500 followers by December”) to give the boss something to look forward to and grill you on as the project moves forward. “Did you post your blogs this week? How many followers do we have now?”

9. Stress low cost. Did I mention this?

10. Provide successful case studies. This is especially moving if it is a successful case study of one of your competitors. Show specific examples of how one company tweeted, made a Facebook fan page, or started blogging and how it affected their business.

At the end of the day, accept the fact that your boss isn’t stupid—just uninformed. Do not act like you are the expert, that you are smarter, or that the company will flounder without this initiative. Explain the benefits, express your interest and enthusiasm, and—if all goes well—accept your position as the resident social media guru because you got what you asked for and the success or failure of this brilliant idea is your responsibility now.

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