CMOs must Tweet
3 reasons why being a social marketer is good for business
Ten years ago, getting in touch with a C-level executive was mission impossible. If customers had a question, complaint or endorsement, they usually ended up on hold, in the Spam folder or at the bottom of a stack of mail. Since then, social media has broken down the barriers between buyers and brands. Now, executives are just 140 characters away from connecting with customers, prospects, and followers.
But the C-suite feels as distant as ever. Even though 82 percent of consumers say they trust a brand more if its leadership team is on social media, less than 20 percent of Fortune 250 CMOs are active on Twitter. Instead of seeing social media as an opportunity to connect with their audience, the majority of CMOs see it as one more item on their neverending to-do list.
It’s time to stop making excuses and start engaging with your leads, prospects, and customers online. Here are three key reasons I make being a social CMO a top priority:
Tuning In: We used to rely on focus groups and surveys to tell us what our audience’s pain points were. Now, prospects and customers aren’t shy about sharing their feedback about a brand, product or service online. Consumer research is waiting for us in our Twitter feeds, Facebook comments and LinkedIn groups.
Next time you’re about to shell out marketing budget on data to understand your audience, open your browser first and scan hashtag streams, status updates or photo comments. You might just find the feedback you’ve been looking for to provide even more value to your prospects and customers.
Helping Out: A whopping 74 percent of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchasing decisions. Chances are, your prospects are tweeting, posting and engaging on social media platforms in hopes of seeking out more information and feedback on your company’s offering. Taking the time to answer your audience’s questions, send them additional content, or refer them to a colleague not only helps you control the conversation, but suggests your company has a C-suite that actually cares about solving for the customer.
Speaking Up: More often than not, executives are as mysterious as the Wizard of Oz. Sure, we know their names, we’ve seen their headshots and we can find a generic bio online that tells us where they went to school and what makes them successful. But today, buyers want to see who’s really behind the curtain.
I don’t use Twitter or Facebook to just talk about HubSpot’s software or growth. I use social media to share articles I find interesting; discuss industry trends; talk about my hero, Jay-Z; or recap something funny my three-year-old son did. By having an authentic voice and acting like, well, a human, it’s easier for followers, prospects and customers to connect with you, and ultimately your company.
It’s no question that people have dramatically changed the way they shop, buy and find information about a brand. Audiences don’t just expect brands to be active on social media now, they expect leadership teams to be getting social, too. As CMOs, we should be setting an example of how platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can help the C-suite drive trust, engagement and, ultimately, business.