Social Media needs to tell the story in the language of CEOs and CFOs. The story CEOs and CFOs want to hear is the story of numbers that go up and numbers that go down.
Tell them the story of how social media will make the following numbers go up for their business:
- conversion rates
- customer accounts
- sales per customer
Then tell these CEO and CFOs the story of how social media will make these numbers go down:
- customer churn
- customer acquisition costs,
- marketing costs
- advertising costs
- employee turnover
- hiring costs.
That’s the story they want to read in every internal report. The numbers in those reports contain the language that measures, and communicates, their success in creating and leading their brand to success.
Social media’s true literary beauty is the story of its impact on profits and cash-flows and sustainable businesses, on customer churn and conversion rates, revenue growth and employee engagement as measured with lower employee turnover and hiring costs.
Words like tweets, re-tweets, trackbacks, comments, links, rss feeds, feed readers, news alerts, community members, community forums, conversations, vigilantes, blogtrolls, stalkers, spambots … organic SEO, are the words of an unintelligible language outside the echo chamber of social media experts.
And therein lies the rub. An industry built around the power of conversation, authentic conversation … speaks only in its own language.
The desired audience, client executives who need the power of social media, ask:
- What do these verbs do?
- What does a customer do when they tweet? Why should I care?
- A customer uttered? Uttered, what? Who heard them?
- Were they in their pajamas?*…
- Oh wait that’s what you wear when you blog.
- Do we have a blog? We don’t? Shouldn’t we?
* Sure, it’s a bad cliche’, for us, for those who’ve experienced what social media can achieve.
But, social media presentations rarely, if ever, answer those questions with stories that connect customer conversations with cash-flow, tweets with conversion rates, online comments with revenues, rss feeds with lower hiring costs and reduced employee turnover. Or, in honoring the principle, of openness and transparency, show how they connect indirectly, inevitably or in some cases, rarely.
Small business CEOs and CFOs are hungry, anxious, for the power of social media. Social media is the great leveler for small business competing against global brands with an ad budget greater than all the revenues of a small business. True, authentic, conversations with small business and our customers are a naturally occurring phenomena. Social media would easily, genuinely, accelerate the spread of those messages.
Social media consultants, for all that is good and right in your world…(ok, a bit dramatic) connect those conversations with cash-flow and customers, prospects and conversion rates, hiring costs and employee turnover. That’s the language the CEOs and CFOs of millions of small business speak every day. And, they’re the ones who will sign your checks when you speak their language.
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About the author: Zane Safrit’s passion is small business and the operations excellence required to deliver a product that creates word-of-mouth, customer referrals and instills pride in those whose passion created it. He previously served as CEO of Conference Calls Unlimited. Zane’s blog can be found at Zane Safrit.