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Social Business New Year Resolution: Focus on Executive Adoption

With every January, most of us determine New Year's resolutions that will be the foundation of the year we desire. Let's all exercise in order to have a healthy, happy, and active year. For social organizations (or those working on becoming social), what is our focus or resolution to drive better results for the year? At SASI, we believe in resolving to attain Executive adoption, as they will support, cascade, lead, inspire, mandate and (hopefully) put dollars behind your social efforts.

Let's say you are envisioning launching an employee advocacy program for your employees to support key brand content and engage with customers online.

This project requires Executive support, budget and a formalized program for the employees. Wouldn't it be great to get all of the above and have the program in employee performance plans? Let's dream big, people!

To get your year kicked off right, we wanted to provide some excellent resources as you decide to tackle Executive adoption for your key social programs.

First, McKinsey published Six social media skills every leader needs, as they believe capitalizing on the transformational power of social media calls for a new type of leader. The report defines six dimensions for key leaders both personally and on behalf of the organization, as leaders must cultivate a new technology linked social infrastructure.

Authors of the article, Roland Deiser and Sylvain Newton, believe organizational social media literacy is fast becoming a source of competitive advantage and shares through the lens of executives at General Electric how leaders can keep up.

Second, I had the opportunity to attend #BrandsOnly Summit and listen to Renee Horne, Assistant Vice President of Social Business at USAA, present How to Earn Adoption: From the C-Suite to Frontline. Renee did a fantastic job of placing the audience in the mindset of the Executive. Renee questioned us on what we wanted our Executives to “think” and “to do,” always good reminders to drive the right message and action.

Renee’s presentation provided tactical ideas on such topics as how social could help achieve business goals to educating leadership. Renee recommended hands-on experiential learning opportunities, like a trade show or bringing in a small circle of social experts and creating a one-day forum. She suggested showing your Executives the art of the possible and once they can visualize it, they may begin buying in.

Last, Renee shared to help make it the Executive’s idea. Get them to say, “We should make an investment in social.” I have no doubt that Renee spoke from experience on driving Executive support, as USAA recently launched Social Exchange, their 10-screen listening command center culling information from about 400 million online sources.

Last, during 2013 Dreamforce, Adam Brown, Executive Strategist at hosted a panel with Eric Tung, Social Media Manager at BMC Software, and Susan Etlinger, Industry Analyst at Altimeter Group, on “Social and the C-Suite: Getting Buy In.”

This dynamic panel covered a wide range of topics from measurement and ROI, the right reporting for Executives, consistency and embedding social across the enterprise. The team even tackled such meaty topics as trends with CMO’s and social data.

Hopefully these resources will be instrumental as you focus on Executive adoption for your social efforts in 2014. As advocates, Executives will be a powerful force and ally to ensure your program success. We wish you best of luck!