Selling social media to the C-suite muckety-mucks is hard. Selling it to small business owners is hard, too, but in my experience, entrepreneurs and small business owners are more willing to take a leap of faith and just jump in, adapting their strategies and tactics as they go. Convincing big businesses to dive into the social media realm can be a bit like turning a really big ship – it can be arduous and often takes a lot more convincing. That’s where Ike comes in.
Who the hell is Ike? I’m glad you asked. I like smart people. And when they’re funny smart people, that’s a bonus. One of my funny smart friends is Ike Pigott. If you’re not reading his blog, you should start. And if you’re not following him on Twitter, you should start. And if you know what’s good for you, you’ll stalk him as regularly as I do. In a nice way, of course.
Ike is a former TV news guy turned normal person (of course, that depends on how you define “normal” but that’s a whole different post), living the grand life in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama. He’s The Dude at Alabama Power, focusing on social media, reputation management, strategy and developing innovative ways to communicate. Before embarking on that adventure, Ike was with the Red Cross, where he tuned into blogs and social media and discovered the power of the Internet and a whole different arsenal of coms tools directly following Hurricane Katrina and the chaos that ensued. I’m pretty sure he never looked back – and those of us who know him are glad he didn’t. Now that you know the back story, I’ll get straight to the point – selling social media to the C-suite.
One of my friends (and fellow Ike Groupie) shared this video of Ike being interviewed by Mark Ragan – another smart guy whose blog you should be reading – talking about how to convince your boss to embrace social media. Since we have these conversations on what seems like a daily basis with our clients and prospective clients, we thought you might enjoy it as much as we did. Better yet, you might be able to use this stuff, which is what really matters.
There you have it. Not rocket surgery, just small steps and common sense. Recognizing that people have different reasons to be skeptical about social media is critical. Some are fearful of change, some are fearful of change agents and others are purely being territorial. As Ike mentions, the best way to approach these situations is identifying the source of the fear, uncertainty, doubt or ignorance, and planning your strategy accordingly. Have patience, start small. And always remember that if you can think about how social media can deliver solutions to the very people you’re trying to convince – making their lives easier, better, more efficient, etc., you’ll be one step closer to converting a believer.
Oh, and consider yourselves officially introduced to Ike. You’re welcome.
PS I swiped this image of Ike because I like him better without a tie and with his hair a little messy. Seems more human than the coat and tie version that he uses elsewhere. Don’t tell him, though. He doesn’t need to know what a stalker I really am.