Most Critical Need for Social Media Success: Leadership Support

Social media marketing has been heralded as a critical need for any business to succeed today, and it's been dismissed as yet another distraction that is unable to deliver tangible results. The truth is social media is critical, but success is often squandered by a lack of resources and organizational commitment. The potential for social media marketing is only limited by the organization itself, and there's one common factor that can lead to success or to failure: leadership support.

McKinsey & Company found that senior management interest or desire is a top-3 factor for digital program success. Without it, efforts fall flat because they lack both financial and non-financial resources. Social media marketing programs require dollars to get up and going, but more importantly, they require support across the organization. If leadership isn't on board with pushing things forward, no one else in the organization will be either. They have other jobs to do, and social media marketing just isn't a priority.

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 Make Them Believe

There are few things more frustrating than knowing something could be successful if people would just get on board, but it's not their responsibility to get bought in. It's your responsibility to give them reason to.

Make social media marketing about everyone. Be open about how social can benefit them in their day-to-day responsibilities through case studies and examples. Then collaborate on programs. Clearly articulating how social media marketing can make them better at their jobs is the quickest way to break down silos and build a team of internal advocates who can pressure leadership with you to give social media marketing the support it deserves.

Be clear from the very beginning about what success will require and curate those resources. There's too much at stake to be timid about what resources are needed. Rationalize your needs with a clear focus on what needs to be accomplished for the organization to be successful, share that vision and get the team excited. Show them the outcomes their hard work will yield.

Don't forget to measure. If you've shared a vision, measure against that vision and communicate how the program is progressing. Over communicate the value of the program in terms they understand and relate it back to the worlds they work in.

Support Comes Before Success

Getting internal support from the top is critical to making sure a program doesn't take 10 steps forward only to take 9 steps back.