My perspective on Blogworld as an enterprise B2B social media practitioner


I'm in one of the last few sessions at Blogworld. I've hit the point of overload. I truly appreciate all the time and effort all the speakers and organizers have put into making this an incredibly useful and practical event. I love how much people are willing to share. I just looked at today's schedule again and there is honestly not a single session I would not find interesting. It was an embarrassment of riches.

Now to carp a little bit. It's my job to create the strategies for incorporating social media into SAS' marketing and external communications. Most of my job revolves around coordination, training, sharing resources, creating policies and guidelines, and building consensus.

A lot of it involves overcoming objections. Some of those objections are far-fetched and ill-informed. A lot of them are completely legitimate. I can't do anything to advance the cause of social media at SAS unless I can convince everyone that we're doing it the right way.

Stop telling me that no one should own social media in a company and that it must be part of everybody's job starting right now. I agree, but changes like that don't happen overnight, even if everyone agreed it was a good idea.

Stop telling me that everyone in my company should be empowered to talk to anyone about anything whenever they want. That idea still scares the hell out of a lot of people. If I lead off with that, 80 percent of the people I need to influence will stop listening and write me off.

Stop telling me that our CEO and all our top execs must be blogging and tweeting. I would love that, but they're pretty busy right now trying to run the company in a tough economy. Some of the people I've heard this week seem to think I can plop myself down in our top execs' offices whenever I want and preach at them until they're convinced.

I cannot.

And finally, stop arguing about what ROI means. For us it means how much money we spent compared to how much software we sold. No other measure matters to the people I need to influence.

Here are some things I want:

  • Show me organizational structures from companies that are doing it well.
  • Give me case studies, and not the same ones I've heard. I know about Comcastcares and Zappos. And more enterprise and B2B examples, please. I'll share ours when I can.
  • Show me a flow chart of how to track a tweet to a sale. Or show me how you think it would work.
  • Show me companies that are using Facebook and LinkedIn really well, and how they set their pages up.
  • Point me to great training materials that I can use.
  • Walk me step by step through an example of social media/CRM integration.
  • Give me real-world examples and statistics to prove that open communication isn't dangerous.

I'm ready for the nuts and bolts.


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1 Comment

  1. Mario Armstrong on

    David this post is spot on! It really us time to start showing/sharing some specifics beyond the popular, overused examples like u mention. And thanks for keeping it real!!! Especially in terms of how to present social media strategies to the influencers & decisionmakers u have to convince. we all already know we need to be in it, doing it & being part of the online dialogue taking place about us, our companies or products! But IMHO u hit the sweet spot - being able to present a strategy, allocate resources & show a path to moving the "profit" needle helps you justify the value, which in turn gets the execs to see relevance! Bottom line I'm tired of speakers shouting at us that we need to do this--we get it -- the appetite has shifted to how not why!

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