June 21, 2012 6 Comments
Anyway, back to business. Next week I will be presenting at the B2B Social Media Marketing Summit in London. The title I was given to work on? ”Convincing the CFO that B2B Social Media can be a profit center rather than a cost drain”.
To be honest, if I knew the answer to that statement I would be sat on a tropical island somewhere sipping a cocktail. So, here’s my attempt at addressing the statement. I’m sharing my ideas here in the hope that after reading you’ll leave some input and ideas. Here are my key points:
- I don’t believe social media will ever be a profit center in its own right, as the title suggests, so instead let’s focus on demonstrating the value that social media brings to the business
- “What’s the ROI of social media?” is the wrong question. That’s like asking what the ROI of my dishwasher is. It saves me time. It cleans my dishes. It’s easy for me to use. Hard to put a measure on that. Instead ask what the value of social media is in the context of a specific activity e.g. How does social media reduce our service support calls? How does social media reduce the cost of recruitment?
- The CFO cares about margin, shareholder value, assets (including brand) and bottom line amongst other things. Don’t go showing him/her how you increased Facebook followers by 10%. Use a language he/she understands and relate it back to the business
- Social media stretches beyond lead generation. It impacts product innovation, recruitment, employee productivity, brand building to name just a few. Keep an open mind.
So, what do you think? Agree? Disagree? How do you demonstrate social media value to your CFO?
I’m happy to reference you in the presentation next week if you have some feedback.
By the way, if you’re in the UK there are few places left at the conference if you fancy joining companies like Siemens, Dell, 3M, BT etc. I love these events because it’s such a fantastic opportunity to exchange ideas on how to navigate the increasingly complex world of social media marketing for B2B organisations.