Oct 6, 2011
Cece Salomon-Lee

Selling Social Media to Your Organization

In the PR Group on LinkedIn (must be a member to view the discussion), some asked, “How do you justify fees to clients in an era of social media?” I believe many PR and marketing consultants have faced this as potential clients believe that social media is “free.”

I think there are two parts to this equation that we need to consider before answering the question, assuming that we’ve done the background work of evaluating target audience, prospect personas, and the channels where these individuals congregate.

First, Defining Social Media Monitoring: This entails helping the client to listen, monitor and respond to what is happening on key channels of import to the client. For example, I rarely recommend B2B clients monitor Facebook while Twitter and LinkedIn are channels to consider. This can be done either through a service or establishing the right searches to encompass 75-80% of their universe.

Second, Positioning Social Media Marketing: This encompasses more than point 1 but looks at how social media fits into the larger marketing funnel for the company. It involves closely collaborating with your client and its marketing team to understand how social media fits into the sales cycle for the organization. Maybe a Twitter inquiry is at the beginning of the funnel while a LinkedIn discussion is at the purchase phase. This intelligence can be drawn from the organization’s existing lead generation programs – yet, you may discover an opportunity to help an organization refine or establish this process because of the focus to start a “social media” program.

I find that many prosepctive clients confuse social media monitoring with marketing. Yes, while the first point is “free” and can be done exclusively by the client, the second part provides the larger context of how social media fits into the marketing strategy. This is the value that consultants  - PR, marketing and/or social media – can provide to organizations. And I believe this is what will sell clients on social media programs.

What do you think? How have you sold social media within your organization?

5 Comments

  • Thanks for the timely and relevant blog post! I’m going through proving the value of B2B social media to my manufacturing clients. I don’t want them to think that social media is free, because it is anything but – it is an investment in time and money that pays dividends to a company!

  • PR should play a big role in a company’s social media strategy. While I’m not a fan of PR owning social media they should play a critical part in helping define social media governance. They should work closely with Marketing, customer service, community managers and other parts of the company to determine policies. They can help with things such as – who in the company should be engaging on behalf of the company, how to manage confidential information and how to handle violations, how to mitigate risks of social media mistakes and what to do in a case of a crisis, etc. Social Media is just one component of a good content marketing strategy and PR and social media will not be able to replace the value of a good PR team.

    As for the comment about social media being more important than a corporate blog – it’s time to revisit your blogging strategy. They should be creating synergies with each other and not in competition.

  • @Mike I slightly agree with you. It depends what the company writes on a blog. While a corporate blog is seen as “promotional,” I believe some organizations can build trust by being transparent on their blog, as well as providing useful content for their customers, prospects, etc. This is especially true if the company incorporates customers and partner voices on the blog – either through videos or guest posts. What do you think?

  • Social media clearly provides a unique opportunity for companies to connect with their customers to get them to know, like and trust them. Social media can do this in a more effective way than a company blog. As other customers come into the channel and contribute it adds credibility as someone other than the company is speaking. Having the right channels and putting out the right messages that encourage this is what you pay for.

  • [...] how social media fits into the marketing strategy. … … See the original post here: Selling Social Media to Your Organization | PR Meets Marketing ← How to Use Facebook Timeline for Marketing General, Fbtrainer Facebook Marketing by [...]

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About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of product marketing for Lanyon Solutions, Inc. and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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