6 questions your boss will ask about social media automation (and how to win them over)
Engagement is the name of the game in running a successful social media campaign. Customers are 20-40% more likely to spend money on products coming from brands that engage with them on social media.
However, responding to comments and messages left behind by potential customers can quickly consume a huge chunk of your time. On top of this, running a successful social marketing campaign involves carrying out tasks that are repetitive.
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It is for this reason why more and more businesses are using marketing automation tools to run their social media marketing campaigns.
As its name suggests, these are software programs that handle many of the time-consuming tasks involved in running a successful social media campaign. By doing this, brands are not only able to efficiently reach their target customers on the different social media channels, but also improve their lead generation and conversion rates.
The barriers ahead
Despite its potential, not everyone is ready to embrace social media marketing automation. Smart Insights' annual marketing automation report shows that 22% of respondents are not using marketing automation and only 5% use all the features and optimize them to get the best results.
If you want your company to start integrating marketing automation into your social media marketing strategy, you will need to get your boss sold on the idea first.
Doing this, of course, is easier said than done.
Change is not something that is readily welcomed, especially in an established company where business owners are used to doing things a certain way. Often, these are the same methods they've used to build and grow their businesses, giving these methods some level of sentimental value.
Budget is another common barrier to convincing business owners to use social media marketing automation. This is especially true amongst startups and small businesses. Acquiring a social media marketing automation tool will involve a certain level of investment. The amount required to invest can be a stretch for a company with a lean budget.
If you do get the opportunity to talk to your boss about using social media marketing automation, he or she will ask you several questions when you make your presentation. So it is essential to make sure that you come prepared.
Below are seven questions your boss will ask about social media marketing automation, as well as how to best address them.
1. Does it really work?
Bosses have had their fair share of trying out different marketing strategies that were promising, but didn’t yield the results they were expecting because these were not a fit to the company’s product and target audience.
That said, the best way to address this question is by providing your boss with case studies of company's that have used the social media marketing automation tool you are proposing.
Jesse Arseno, Marketing Manager of the Teacher's Learning Center, recommends using case studies that feature your competitors.
"These case studies work best for the sole reason that these are the companies you with whom you share the same audience. Each win for your competitor means a loss for your business. When you can show to your boss that your competitors are not only using social media automation for their marketing strategies but also reaping excellent results from this, he or she will be more likely to become open to giving it a try."
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2. How much will it cost?
The amount your company will pay for the social media marketing automation software you are proposing the company use is just the tip of the iceberg. You will need to set this up and train your team to use it for your social media marketing campaigns. That would mean time and human resources that could otherwise be used carrying out other business processes.
Ken McDonald, Chief Growth Officer of TeamSnap, suggests preparing a cost of ownership projection based on the benefits that the company will gain from implementing the social media automation software.
"That way, you can be transparent with the actual cost of acquiring the social media automation platform as well as any costs that will incur while you are in the process of setting it up and implementing it" he explains.
3. What’s involved?
Tim Haider, CEO of Aesthetic Brand Marketing, points out that marketers believe their bosses are well-versed in running a social media campaign. The trust is that some do, but most don't.
"When your boss asks this question, it means that your boss wants to know exactly how you intend to incorporate the social media marketing automation tool, particularly when it comes to the current campaigns they have running. You will also have to come clean on whether you will require other departments to come on board to help get things set up? If so, how much resources are you looking at, and how much time will you require? Remember, time is money. You need to show your boss that every single resource invested here will be worth it."
4. What’s the ROI?
This is the most crucial question to answer when you are trying to convince your boss to buy into social media marketing automation. You have to prove to your boss the investment necessary to acquire the social media marketing automation software will be profitable.
Proving the ROI of using social media marketing automation can be very tricky. An efficient way to approach this question, according to Arianne Espinueva, Attorney for Lexton Law Firm, is by focusing on the less obvious financial benefits of using one. For example, you can point out how using social media marketing automation can significantly reduce the company's current sales and marketing overhead costs. Fewer expenses mean more profit for any business.
5. When to expect the ROI?
Expect your boss to ask you this question if you are working for a small business or a startup mainly because these types of firms are working on extremely tight budgets.
The best way of answering this question is by preparing with a detailed projection showing the potential ROI, as well as an estimated time when to expect this based on your set goals, and the expected number of hours you and your team will dedicate to set up and implement the software.
One important thing to remember when dealing with this question is to make it clear during your presentation that these are estimates. "Make sure that you present scenarios that may occur which can affect the timeframe and figures you present to your boss," explains Vijay Nair, CEO of Sleepaider. "Otherwise, he or she will assume that these are the figures that they will get regardless of what happens."
6. How do you monitor?
Even though you may be in-charge of running the social media marketing campaigns for the company, your boss would still want to know how things are progressing. This is especially true when you are implementing something new. You need to make sure that the social media platform that you choose has an analytics feature that's easy to retrieve and also easy to understand.
Since the analytics is specific to the social media marketing automation software you choose, it would be best to opt to schedule a demo with the vendor. That way, you are not only able to give your boss a feel on the analytics, but also see the other features of the social media marketing automation software. At the same time, the representatives will be able to address any technical questions about the different features of the software. For my business I use eClincher due to its robust set of social media automation capabilities and analytic insights it provides.
1. Focus on the facts
Sticking to the facts and figures will show your boss that you are basing your proposal to use social media automation on facts, and not just merely because it is a marketing trend.
2. Use case studies
Providing solid examples of businesses similar to yours will help you give your boss a clearer picture of the benefits the company will gain from using social media marketing automation.
3. Touch on the set goals and KPIs
Your company has specific goals it aims to achieve as well as KPIs established to help guide them to make sure that they are on the right track. That said, you need to make sure that you focus your presentation on showing how these can be achieved more efficiently using a social media marketing automation software.
4. Be ready for objections
No matter how well you prepare, you are still bound to get some objection from your boss. Keep your cool, and answer these as professional as much as you can. Admit that you do not know the answer if you do not, and look into these.
More often than not, your boss will need time to consider what you have presented before making the final decision. Be sure that before you end your presentation, make sure that you leave your boss with resources to review to decide.
Smart Insight’s B2B Marketing Automation Guide is an excellent resource that you can give your boss as he or she contemplates on it.
Thanks to Kevin Payne for sharing their advice and opinion in this post. Kevin is an inbound marketing consultant
, that has helped multiple Saas startups increase their online sales through the use of inbound marketing, growth hacking, and social selling. When he's not advising startups he often writes about the many lessons he has learned from the trenches.