As the Importance of Social Business Grows, So Does the Need for C-Suite Support

By: Anny Rivas 

Article: As the Important of Social Business Grows, So Does the Need for C-Suite Support

Social Media business has increased rapidly in the last couple of years. Despite this rapid growth some C-Suite members of organizations are still not on board with social business efforts. In a Study Research by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, CFOs showed that they see social business less important than CEOs.

In the article “Can You Measure the ROI of Your Social Media Marketing” we read how it is hard for some managers to see effectively the return on investment of social business because it has to be measured in differently from traditional ways of measuring ROI. This becomes more evident in this study as it shows how CFOs are still having problems seeing the real ROI of social media. CFOs are more incline to accept social business or new technology when it has past the innovation stage and it is in a mature stage. Despite the acceptance from many CFOs there are few that do see the potential and are trying to implement social media business in the organization and are trying to find ways in which it will help the organizations workflow.

According to the study the value in social business is in marketing & customer service, innovation, operations, and leadership. Social Media in these sectors can help the company in many different ways, by improving operations, increasing brand awareness and promoting leadership among other things. To help capture the value in social media companies should start with a long term vision, not necessarily expecting immediate results. They should assess the current use of social media and which tools would be best for the company. By supporting adoption and by measuring the results companies should be able to start seeing the ROI in social media. Much research has been done and studies show that in order to be able to measure the ROI on social media it has to be measured in different ways. The question still remains, how soon will CFOs start adopting the social media realizing its importance and begin to understand that ROI has to be looked at in different ways when it comes to social media?

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3 thoughts on “As the Importance of Social Business Grows, So Does the Need for C-Suite Support

  1. I think for those CFOs who are still skeptical about the importance of social media, I would suggest them do some pretest of social media, say opening a fan page on Facebook or creating an account on twitter and then to observe how people react and the impact for the company. Doing these don’t cost your money, so CFOs might be willing to try it. But they should keep in mind that it’s not gonna happen that your sales will increased by 20% right after your start using social media. There’s no cause-effect relationship between these two in a short-term. But social media can help the company enhance brand loyalty which is very important. And this will definitely transform to sales increase in a long-term.

  2. For CFOs who may not yet be sold on the (quantified) value of social media, perhaps a different perspective to take would be that of insurance. Insurance is used to offset a risk. If a company’s C-level management has not fully embraced the value of social media, then why not “insure” against being overtaken by savvy competitors who have.

    Taking this approach, one can buy some time to prepare more convincing metrics, and begin to quantify ROI. Also, this approach acts as a “trojan horse”, whereby social media enters in the form of insurance, but then gains acceptance as a viable marketing method.

  3. CFO’s are strongly data driven and as pointed out in the article, many marketers do not measure their social media activities yet. However, this problem does not only relate to social media but to marketing activities in general. Since it is very difficult to measure the outcome of marketing and advertising activities which are not directly related to sales, many CFO’s view them critically. Also many companies are using social media without following a particular strategy or goal. I think it would be important in the first way to define a goal and its KPI’s for social media activities such as number of followers and fans or brand awareness and then find a correlation to monetary related figures such as sales or customer retention rates. Thereby marketers can show the impact of their social media activities.

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