3 Polite Tips to Bring Executives up to Speed on Social Media


About our guest blogger: Jordan Steinert is the Digital & Social Media Manager at Milwaukee-based Cousins Subs where he focuses on growing the brand's digital footprint and perfecting the online customer experience. Connect with Jordan on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter. Learn more about guest blogging on MediaLeaders.

Bring Your Boss Up To Speed On Social Media Have you heard any of these lines from executives at your company?

  • “We need to be more active on The Twitter.”
  • “I’ve used Facebook to follow my grandchildren. How much different can it be to talk with our Fans?”
  • “We need to be there, but we just don’t have the budget.”
  • “Remember that we’re B2B. We can’t sell our product like that through that.”
  • “I know I should be doing it, but I just don’t have time.”

To young professionals working in the “social space” (such as myself), these comments may sound frustratingly familiar. If you’re like me, and struggling to make headway with social media in your organization, it may be because there is an ageist divide. So, instead of busting the chops of seasoned marketers and industry elders for not being tech-savvy, why not take on the role of educator - eliminating stereotypes, and turning judgments into action? Below are three ways that you can introduce the uninitiated to social business, without telling them their methods are antiquated or old fashioned:

  • Send a Weekly “Get Social” Email
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your co-workers and executives if they would be interested in receiving “Get Social” emails.

    Don’t be afraid to “Reply All” asking co-workers and executives alike if they would be interested in receiving weekly social media digests. These digests can highlight your social media success stories, include case studies of companies in the industry doing it right, provide top social media news, and include a few definitions to boost vocabulary. Be sure to include engagement and other success metrics, and tie them in to the bottom line. Results are great way to start discussions and gain +1s with your supervisors and other teammates - not to mention you can use this group as your “support group” when you’re looking for ideas, insights or an ally.

  • Set up Monthly Lunch n’ Learns
  • There’s no better way to entice someone to learn than with food, right?

    There’s no better way to entice someone to learn than with food, right? Host a monthly Lunch n’ Learn to 101 your co-workers on the concepts you think they can relate to the most. Focus less on high-level strategies and buzzwords and more on tactical action items that he/she can do right now to start implementing the knowledge gained. Ideas for lunch and learns include: “Hootsuite: How to Listen on Social Media,” “Twitter 101: Reading, Researching and Writing Tweets,” “Facebook Pages: 5 To-Do’s for Your Page.” Make sure to ask for questions, feedback and net topics at the end of each session. Even consider circulating a summary document after the session is over for your co-workers to keep in their social media files.

  • The 15 Minute a Day Challenge
  • Give your co-workers a challenge of adding 15 minutes of social media time to their day.

    Give your co-workers a challenge of adding 15 minutes of social media time to their day. Show them that with social media they can be more efficient with other media, more engaged with their industry cohort, and stay more generally informed. Do they scan the news every morning? Help them set up monitoring. Do they belong to industry groups? Help identify where those groups are online and provide tactics of how to engage. Set a limit of 15 minutes a day to this task and check back weekly on their progress.

Teaching others how to use social media for business is a time-consuming process, and you may not see immediate results. However, from my experience, the reward comes in the form of small wins and an industry elder’s respect.