Doug Simon (@DSSimonDoug) of D S Simon Media speaks with Allen Plummer (@MktrAllen), Content Marketing & Social Media Strategist, Institutional Business, of Vanguard at the PR News Social Media Conference about creative strategies to get buy in from management to push forward on Social Media.
Have you ever wondered how major institutions develop social media strategies? Doug spoke with Allen Plummer, Content Marketing & Social Media Strategist, Institutional Business of Vanguard at the recent PR News Social Media Conference and discussed how developing and sharing a long term social media strategy within your organization can evolve and grow your social media impact. Are you getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to social media impressions? Mr. Plummer will share his formula for calculating the most efficient cost per impression.
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Doug Simon: Hi, I’m Doug Simon from D S Simon Media here at the PR News Social Media Conference. I’m here with Allen Plummer, who works on content social media for Vanguard’s Institutional Business. Thanks so much for being with us.
Allen Plummer: Thanks, I’m happy to speak to you. How are you?
D: I’m doing great, thank you. My speech was over as well, so that’s always a good feeling.
A: We’re able to relax.
D: Yes, exactly. So you brought up some really interesting points about creative strategies to get buy in from management to push forward on social media. Give us the big picture of how do you approach that?
A: Yeah, it’s funny. When you’re heading up social media, it’s so easy to focus on the day-to-day, the actual creation of content, and the publishing and the schedules. But what’s just as important is how you’re sharing that vision for social with your leadership team and with your C-suite, and how you’re causing that change management within your organization. And far too many people in the social space overlook that opportunity to help really evolve your culture.
D: And you really talked about speaking their language. It was a great piece you did about how they get your ad budget, what’s the ROI, what’s the reach for that. And you actually work backwards to come up with a social media value number for them that will let them understand the value in a way they are working?
A: Yeah, absolutely. So it’s kind of– I won’t call it a secret sauce. It worked for us. Doesn’t mean it’ll work for everybody. But we knew our leaders already were thinking about advertising the understand advertising metrics. And so one of the big KPIs in advertising is this cost per impression. It’s a per unit cost that you’d spend on advertising, kind of a bang for the buck.
A: So I started to think about it, and our team thought, well, we know our leaders understand that metric and that’s how they think about advertising. I should be applying that same kind of mindset to social. So I thought down through that kind of per unit cost, that cost per impression, and then simply did the math backwards. Because we know, in social media, how many impressions we get. If I take that unit cost and multiply it by the number impressions, you essentially get this equivalent value or spend on social media.
A: So you get in a position where you go to your leaders and you say, OK, well if you guys spent $10 million on advertising, organic social is about, arguably– depending on your company– 2 and 1/2 or $2 million of comparable advertising value. And that can be very eye opening to start the conversation in that space.
A: And don’t be freaked. We’re going have a math test for you after. But basically, all you need to understand is multiplication. It’s not too much of a big deal. You’ve really done a great job of simplifying it. You’ve also gone off sort of the job description for a number of the members of the team, helping to educate senior leaders about the functionality of these tools.
D: Yeah, correct. So one of the ways we really add value to our leaders is around training, on things like LinkedIn, for example. We understand that not all executives are going to embrace social media. They’re not going to actively engage or share. But what does happen is, anytime you’ve got senior leaders talking to the media, people are looking them up, they’re trying to learn about them before they interview them.
A: And what we say to our leaders is anytime somebody googles you, one of the first things that comes up is your LinkedIn profile. So that tends to be an “aha” for leadership. And we say, listen, your LinkedIn profile is your online bio. We really need to spend a lot of time and energy making sure that that’s on point and making sure that’s polished.
A: And so when you start to share messages like that with senior leaders, it creates these “aha” moments that help drive that culture change that I mentioned and really have a significant impact, just as much as the metrics and the day-to-day stuff that we do.
D: Great. Allen Plummer from Vanguard. I could spend the whole day talking to you, but I’ve just realized I’ve got to update my LinkedIn profile. Thanks so much.
A: Thank you.