Social Media Managers: How to Talk to Your CMO About Social.

Five things a Social Media Manager should ask a Chief Marketing Officer to always keep in mind. 
Caroline Henley
September 4, 2015 - 6 min. read

As social media continues its move towards center-stage in marketing, the relationship between the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Social Media Manager (SMM) becomes increasingly important as more focus is set on the influence of the awareness created through social media activities on other marketing channels. In this two-part series, our own VP of Global Marketing and SMM share insights into their role in an effort to give their counterpart a better idea of how they can set each other up for success.

As a Social Media Manager, what would I stress to a Chief Marketing Officer as absolutely crucial to help Falcon’s social soar?

As the SMM, I’m on the front lines of social, working to increase brand awareness and demand generation for our B2B business. I write and publish Falcon Social posts across each network, analyze their performance, and pivot my approach for each network based on our findings–changing the formats to stand out in the feed, or the content to be more relevant to what matters to our followers. I listen in to our customers, tapping into their affinities and interests, to create more helpful posts and resources. I reach out to people on social who might be interested in our enterprise platform, and I also reach out to people who prickle at being contacted. I connect incoming questions and comments to the right people within Falcon. And of course, I regularly come across trolls who really don’t want to see businesses on social media.

And through it all, I get a clear picture of what works to increase Falcon Social’s overall presence, and what I need to fight for to clear the way for the latest and greatest opportunities.

Here are the top five trends from the ground floor of social media management to ask your CMO to keep in mind.

The numbers are on my side 
As a social media manager, I must leverage the power of social to get the CMO excited about my campaign ideas. Numbers-wise, social media has eclipsed all forms of marketing. And it is cheaper and easier to reach the relevant audience segments than ever before.

Facebook alone has 1.44 billion monthly active users. Not a fad. Not a habit that is going away anytime soon.

And not only are you able to reach an incredible amount of people–but you have their attention for a very long time. The average American spends forty minutes of the day on Facebook alone.

A television spot during the Super Bowl has long been considered the Holy Grail of marketing. The highest-watched program of all time was the Seahawks vs Patriots Super Bowl this year, with 114M viewers. And at an average of $4.5M per thirty second spot, you certainly pay handsomely for that Holy Grail. Meanwhile, an immersive piece of content on social–an ad that doesn’t interrupt from the main piece of content you’re enjoying, but that is the piece of content you’re enjoying–could cost a tiny fraction of that TV spot, and is fed to a completely customizable audience.

This makes it quite easy to pitch ad campaigns to my CMO: I often use past campaigns to set goals for the next, calculating a cost per lead, etc. Check out our Social Media ROI handbook for tips on which in-depth metrics you can use to match your end-goals. The numbers are a social media manager’s best friend–I won’t be shy when it comes to proving that investing more will yield tremendous results.

Social needs to be holistically integrated
The more challenging pitch, I think, is making sure my CMO knows to integrate my social efforts throughout the overarching company initiatives. Social increases its power when it spills into other mediums, fully taking over its surroundings.

What if you were the social media manager at a museum, tasked with having visitors share their experiences under a certain hashtag on Instagram and Twitter? If there is in-museum technology, you’d want that technology to be built with social sharing possibilities integrated. If there are TV ads promoting an exhibit, you’d want to make sure your hashtag promotion is featured in the spot. And you’ll need management’s support to make sure your voice is heard.

This doesn’t necessarily require asking for huge budget shifts away from television ads or experiential projects, or whatever campaigns your organization is invested in. But it does mean that without full integration of social across departments, you’ll miss scaling huge opportunities for a campaign to take off. Make sure your CMO knows to integrate social media into the company’s holistic efforts.

The social team needs diverse resources
Whether it’s for a whole social team, or just one person, a CMO has to know that social media marketing requires a lot of resources and support. I need to be armed with the right programs, the right experts, and a constant stream of learning for our social channels to look good and reach the right people.

The social team needs time to write, budget to promote, software to design, and education to keep up with a constantly-evolving marketing landscape.

Much respect to the interns who take on all of social at a small business, but that setup is just not viable anymore–especially as social media continues to take precedence over traditional marketing.

social media manager responsibilities

The future of advertising is in customer service 
Customer service doesn’t always seem like the sexiest topic. But being on the front lines of social, time and time again, I see that companies who ignore their own fans, or are not equipped to respond to their fans, are losing out on the most valuable interactions and numbers the business might ever see.

The next frontier of social customer service is connecting the dots between a customer–knowing who a customer is when that person contacts you on one channel, and then contacts you again on a second. Companies that are involved in online profile building are actually making a substantial amount of new revenue from it.

Those at the top of their industry in terms of overall customer experience across channels have seen 78% growth in market capitalization over the last seven years. Yet 97% of brands fail to manage cross-channel support. That is a lot of people leaving a huge amount of money on the table.

Marketing departments still aren’t equipping their social teams to engage with fans on social. Ads are left running with huge amounts of comments left unanswered. The opportunity to hear from a rep on the biggest stage the company has ever seen is left empty.

This two-way street, this conversation between company and customer, is the future of advertising. Social media is proving again and again to be most effective with one-to-one engagement. The businesses that embrace customer support and create a database of completely connected customers are the ones seeing increasing revenues.

As brands leave their Facebook comments unanswered, or fail to connect a customer complaint on Twitter to the same customer’s praise on Instagram–they are falling behind, and ignoring the power of our available technology.

Our social data is predictive
I have listening projects running in my Falcon account that would be immediately, tremendously useful to CMOs at many different companies, throughout many different industries. The power of social data is huge–and it is predictive.

Feeding social data insights to my CMO does a world of wonders for the success of our company.

We listen in to find business benefits for Falcon Social. I know where people are talking about social media management tools, and who would be warm potential customers for our tool. I know what our competitors are talking about, and where they are succeeding in getting the most buzz. I know what’s trending in the online world of social media marketers, and what marketing needs they are asking us to meet next.

Listening with historical data at the click of a button is fascinating. How can we know so much about a topic, instantaneously? Does this in effect kill market research? From marketing strategy, to knowing your audience and its behavior across channels, to predicting trends in your industry, to making huge product development changes, there’s so much social data can do to inform every aspect of an organization.

Next up, our VP of Global Marketing, Jillian Falconi, will share four things she feels every social media manager should know from her role’s perspective. 

Content Distribution Guide
Download and learn how top brands boost their distribution.