7 Steps to Sell Your Boss on Social Media Marketing

With words like “tweet,” “blog” and “unfriend” entering our standard lexicon, there’s no question that social networking has a significant place on our contemporary culture. And it’s no surprise that many companies have been using social media online to connect and communicate with their customers online.

But the benefits of social networking aren’t always immediately apparent to some. And that is especially true for businesses who are interested in having a lot of control over their brand name and brand image. Convincing some that every business has something to gain from online media marketing can be difficult. It can be hard to see how Web 2.0 marketing can result in a positive return on investment (ROI).

When it comes to convincing your boss or colleagues to invest in social networks, it helps to have a plan.

Here the 7 steps you can take when it comes to selling social media marketing to your boss or company.

1. Explain how social media is an unbeatable research tool. When a company is effectively tapped into the social media landscape, they get to hear a lot of chatter that they wouldn’t hear otherwise. Those engaged in social media marketing campaigns will be able to monitor channels for any mention of their company, competitors, industry, clients and potential clients. Setting up a social media marketing listening campaign lets a company know who is participating and what is happening.

Thanks to tools and services like Quantcast, Alexa and TweetMeme, it is now easier than ever to track and measure what people are talking about online. This information is invaluable for developing future marketing strategies, both online and offline.

2. Match the benefits of Web 2.0 marketing with your company’s goals. Whether your company or your client is a service provider, a business to business specialist or a business to consumer retailer, there’s a social media marketing strategy for them. But in order to convince others of online media marketing’s benefits, you have to be aware of the company’s goals. Do they want to enhance their customer service operations? To they want to reduce costs? Do they want to manage their reputation? Social networking can do a lot to help achieve all those goals. When you know what your boss or company wants, you can show how this will help them achieve it.

3. Start small. Even if they’re not bullish on social network marketing, your boss or others at your company are probably aware of the range of social applications and services that are out there. They may think that launching a social marketing campaign will be a huge undertaking, one that will require many work hours just to set everything up.

But that’s not necessarily true. A Web 2.0 marketing campaign doesn’t have to include a setting up a Facebook Fan Page, a Twitter account, a blog and a YouTube channel. In fact, it’s often easier to start small. Figure out which service will best match the stated goals of your boss or your company. It may be something as simple as registering a Twitter account and starting to engage people via tweets. Starting small requires little time and less cost. But the results can become apparent quickly. You can even begin to measure such results with a tracking service like Quantcast.

4. Set up a strategy and follow it. A social media campaign can appear strange and different, even to people who have plenty of marketing experience. If you don’t have a clear strategy for implementation and execution, reactions to your plan will be understandably skeptical to your social media marketing strategy. Take time to explain each step of the plan, describe why it’s being done and how it will benefit the company.

5. Look for examples of social media success. Lots of businesses, large and small, well-known and unknown, have been able to already achieve a lot with social media marketing. From Charles Schwab to FujiFilm to Goodwill, there are countless examples of companies who have been able to successfully use social networking to achieve their corporate goals. Find them and broadcast the results.

6. Anticipate Questions. It’s natural for people to be skeptical of new things and new ideas. While you may be well aware of the benefits of social media marketing, keep in mind that resistance may simply be the result of some people being overly cautions. That’s why it’s important to anticipate any and all questions or objections someone may raise. Find good case studies and other examples of social media marketing successes. Have these on hand to use as examples. Here are some common questions that skeptical bosses may have about social media marketing:

• Our customers aren’t online. This line of reasoning is being used less and less, but some companies may still think this is true. The truth is, at the cusp of the 2010s, nearly everyone is online. Online activity isn’t restricted to any gender, income level, education level, or location. There are countless surveys to prove this. One of the largest survey groups, the Pew Research Center, frequently provides data for online use, broken down by several categories.

• What if someone writes something bad? This is a common fear among those resistant to social media marketing. But studies show that when companies engage with customer complaints and criticisms, they end up looking better than before. Mention that people will likely complain whether you’re engaged in social media or not. It’s better for nearly every brand to appear involved with its customers. Even the angry ones.

• It’s too time-consuming. After setting up social media marketing accounts on networks like Facebook and Twitter, the actual maintenance doesn’t take that much time at all. You can spread social media marketing efforts among the staff, or you can task a single person to handle it. Either way, social media marketing doesn’t require countless work hours. Create a timeline showing the typical amount of time one will spend on social media every week to help prove this point.

7. Make your case. Prepare a short, punchy presentation that hits on all the above topics. Give your boss or colleagues plenty of time to ask questions. Think about your boss or colleagues’ personal preferences and consider how you can best sell your Web 2.0 marketing idea. And remember that there may be some things you don’t know. Social online marketing is still relatively new, and that means that there are still many unanswered questions out there. Be honest about what you don’t know, but make sure to point out all possible benefits to Web 2.0 marketing.

Social network marketing is an exciting new medium that companies can use to achieve just about any business goal. By convincing your colleagues or your boss of the effectiveness of this type of online marketing, you’ll be on your way to discovering the enthralling, challenging and rewarding new world of online business networking.

Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Didn’t Work for Your Business

An objection which I am given almost daily as I interact with prospects & talk to people about Social Media Marketing is “I have tried SM marketing before & it didn’t work”

In my opinion & experience there is huge value in social media but I am not deluded. I realise that not every business has found that it works very well for them or at least in the short term they didn’t see a decent return on their investment, whether that investment came in the form of expenditure of the their time, money or both. Therefore they conclude that SM marketing is a waste of time & money. But hold your horses!

SM Marketing may not be a good fit for your business, it’s true. However please don’t be too hasty either. Thousands of businesses are having fantastic success.
Before you toss SM Marketing on the scrap heap please consider these factors. Some of you may get validation that it really isn’t for your business but some of you may reconsider & give it a second shot, this time doing things a little differently.

Let’s look at some possible factors as to why to Social Media Marketing didn’t work…

1. All businesses are different & there are so many different variables when attempting to connect with your target market using SM marketing.

Social Media works best for companies that serve the whole of the country or even internationally. For those local businesses out there, it will be a little trickier. It’s just a fact unfortunately. There may only be a certain limited amount of people within your geographical location, interested in the topics you are talking about.

Does this mean local businesses shouldn’t bother with SM Marketing? No that’s not what I’m trying to say at all. I am just saying you need to have realistic expectations & also consider wisely how much you invest in Social Media.

I believe that every business big or small should have a Social Media presence, remember it’s about quality not quantity. A few loyal fans & followers can still be worth a lot to your businesses bottom line. Keep them engaged & strengthen the relationships you have with them. You know your business better than I do. So if you feel that your business is extremely micro-niche or geographically tight then I wouldn’t spend any money on social media at all but some carefully managed time instead. 15-20 minutes a day spent interacting with fans & followers is more than enough to give awesome value to them & keep an active Social Media presence without breaking the bank or wasting hours on SM that could be put towards something more productive.

Consider carefully how much you invest in SM marketing. Make sure it’s the right fit for your type of business & is likely to bring more rewards than expenses.

2. Some businesses are just a better natural fit than others when it comes to Social media marketing. Social Media is all about engagement. For some businesses this is easy & for others there may be a little more imagination required.

Some businesses & organisations will always have pockets of people who want to listen & talk about the things relevant to their business. Fashion, arts & crafts, authors, restaurants, speakers, coaches, cookery, sports, theme parks, news, religion, charities, health, music, film, TV shows, the list goes on and on. There are certainly way more interesting enterprises out there than bland ones.

But there are bland ones. And you know who you are. Accountants, precision engineers, adhesive manufacturers, plumbers, locksmiths, taxi drivers, again the list goes on. Should businesses like these like this still use Social Networking? In my opinion yes, although less exciting people still need these kinds of services.

Get your thinking cap on & think of ways to make your business interesting or at the very least informative. This will still help to get people talking & interacting with you. Just accept that you may never get as many people talking as businesses in other slightly more “fun” markets.

3. You were trying to do it yourself but you were doing it wrong. A lot of people mistakenly believe that their dabbling and fooling around a bit with social media themselves counts as a well thought out & executed Social Media Marketing Campaign. And then they are surprised when it doesn’t work.

This is very common especially amongst small business enterprises that may not be able to afford to have it outsourced to a professional or have a marketing employee do it in house.

If you can afford it out source it. If that doesn’t fit well with your marketing budget & you have to do it yourself then get educated. There are plenty of courses, seminars, mentors & workshops out there to help you learn. If you are really on a shoestring budget spend some time scouring the web looking for free information on social media blogs, websites & video channels. But make sure you do. There is no point spending time on something if you are doing it wrong. Social Media marketing isn’t difficult & shouldn’t take long to get up to speed but it doing it the right way or wrong way is the difference between it paying dividends or not.

4. You didn’t give it enough time. Social Networking takes time. Relationships take time.

Expecting to do the Social Media thing for two months & then giving up obviously isn’t going to work. Please be aware that Social Media is not an instant fix but a long term solution.

Kind of sucks right? No not really. Because once someone is a true fan or follower of your business, who knows how many years into the future you will be interacting? If your business is a flash in the pan business then sure it will disappointing not to see results straight away. But if you intend to be in a business a long time, think long term. If you deliver good value to your target market consistently over a sustained period of time, your target market will begin to sit up and take notice. And then your social media presence will build momentum & take up a life of its own thanks to the viral nature of the internet.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

5. A poor product or service will not be fixed by Social Media Marketing. Even if you are doing Social Media all correctly, there are factors outside Social Media which need to be in place first.

Market research, social proof, a website with good copy & a compelling call to action. Social Media is a good way to drive traffic to your website but if your landing page is poor & does not immediately provide what there are looking for then it’s all for nothing. If you have no testimonials or social proof then you will struggle to sell online. If there is no demand for your products or services then SM Marketing will not help you. Nor will telemarketing, PPC, SEO, Direct Mail, Yellow Pages, Radio or TV ads or any other type of marketing work for you.

I’m not saying that this is you, but trust me I have had people approach me with these problems, totally unaware that they had them. They wanted me to help them because nothing else was working & maybe SM Marketing would change it all around.

That’s not how it works.

If you are selling & business is going reasonably well, then yes jump on the Social Media bandwagon because you know your business works already. If you aren’t selling very well through any other mediums then go back to basics & don’t even consider Facebook, Twitter etc until that changes because it will prove fruitless.

The Impact of Social Media Marketing on Tourism


Lebanon’s area is ranked 170th in the world (CIA, 2014). It is smaller than the size of Connecticut, one of the smallest states in in America. Moreover, Lebanon is one of the few democratic countries in the Middle East region. Regarding its economy, Lebanon is a free market economy and has a very long tradition of laissez-faire economics. In addition to its coastal location on the Eastern Mediterranean coast, Lebanon is considered as the central ‘window’ of the Middle East to Europe, North Africa, and the rest of the world. Because of this, its economy has gone through some very prosperous times and was even once called the ‘Paris’ of the Middle East before the nation’s 15 year-long bloody civil war which ended in 1990.

Also, although Lebanon is tiny, it is also one of the most diverse nations in the world. Christians, Muslims, Druze, and other minority sects are spread all over the small nation and even Lebanon’s political system is based on sectarian power sharing.

However, this diversity had played a pivotal role in the nation’s problems. This diversity was a necessary condition of the country’s sectarian civil war and currently plays an important role in its political paralysis, although other factors (mainly foreign) are to blame as well. There is currently no acting President and the country’s rival political parties keep bickering and preventing rather than facilitating the country’s development.

Furthermore, Lebanon’s proximity to Israel has made it a foreign policy/proxy battleground for foreign nations, each using Lebanon for its own selfish ends.

The sad political realities of the country have significantly hurt the country’s economy. Also, since Lebanon is a service-based economy, this particular sector has taken the largest hit.

Tourism plays a significant role in the nation’s economy. According to the Lebanese Ministry of Economy & Trade (MOET), “Tourism has long been one of Lebanon’s leading economic sectors” (Economic Research Unit, 2010).

Furthermore, The World Travel & Tourism Council estimated that the travel & tourism sector in Lebanon contributed over $4 billion dollars in 2013 (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2014).

The travel & tourism sector made up about 10% of the economy in 2012 but that share dropped to 9% in 2013 (ibid, p. 14). This is due to the political situation in the country as well as some other factors. Moreover, the number of tourist arrivals in the country kept decreasing from 2011 to 2013.

Since the tourism industry has been somewhat floundering in the past few years, the room for error becomes very small for businesses in this industry. The political & economic situations are squeezing tourist-related (TR) businesses in Lebanon. This means that these businesses are forced to do more to make up for increasing losses (or decreasing profits) and with fewer resources. There is no telling when the political & economic situation in Lebanon will improve especially since the civil war in neighboring Syria shows no signs of abating.

There are many ways that Lebanese TR businesses can adapt during these times such as implementing downsizing policies and cutting back on marketing & advertising budgets. When economic recessions and tough times affect businesses, the first things to get eliminated are usually marketing budgets. But especially since TR businesses need to do more marketing to make up for lost businesses, this may not be a good idea.

One solution to this problem is to take advantage of Social Media Marketing strategies since they cost little to no resources, perfect for the current economic situation in Lebanon. Social media marketing allows TR businesses to overcome obstacles of limited budgets and decreased business.

Problem Statement

During the past few years, the positive effect of social media on business has been extremely high (Kaplan et al., 2010; Stelzner, 2010; Treem & Leonardi, 2012, p. 143; Baker & Green, 2014).

Moreover, Facebook and Twitter fans of a specific brand are much more likely to recommend and buy from these brands than non-fans (Cruz & Mendelsohn, 2011). But, we don’t need to make sure of social media’s impact on business through research studies. For social media users, which include over 30% of the world, this fact is known. More and more businesses are inserting Social Media marketing tools into their marketing strategies and, in some cases, have even become an integral part of their overall business strategy.

Naturally, one would expect that Lebanese businesses would quickly adopt Social Media Marketing as a key role in their overall marketing strategies but this is not the case. When it comes to the Middle East and especially Lebanon, the region is far behind the West in social media usage. Not only that, when it comes to businesses involved in the tourism industry, there is much room for growth. Little investment in technology is keeping tourist businesses away from maximizing marketing opportunities given by social media.

The Lebanese tourism industry is not taking advantage of social media marketing tactics even though the advantages of doing so are apparent. This presents a great problem especially since the economy is going through a very rough time.

Moreover, Lebanese TR businesses and businesses in Lebanon in general are not adopting social media tools as they should. This presents a huge problem in the waste of resources as well as significant missed opportunities as a larger target audience can be reached via social media enabling businesses that adopt social media marketing tools gain a better chance of success and prosperity.

Purpose of the study

The fruits and advantages of social media marketing tools may take significant time to come about in Lebanon if we are ignorant of the factors that have led to the prevention of widespread social media marketing adoption.

Also, as long as no study goes into the issue of effectively implementing a social media marketing campaign in the Lebanese context, many TR businesses may be lost even if they decide to adopt social media marketing tools.

Additionally, even though there have been numerous studies in the West about effectively implementing social media marketing campaigns, the results of these studies may or may not apply to the Lebanese context. Therefore, it is also the purpose of this study to find out those factors related to effectively implementing social media marketing among Lebanese TR businesses.

At the end, there is no doubt that social media marketing plays an extremely important role in the marketing campaigns and even in the overall success of tourism-related businesses.

Lebanese Tourist-Related (TR) businesses fall far behind the developed world in investing and using SMM. Since there are many benefits of SMM, why is this so? Also, to catch up to the rest of the world, what is the most effective way for Lebanese TR businesses to deploy an SMM campaign? So, it was the study’s purpose to find reasons linked to such low investment & use of SMM by Lebanese TR businesses and to help guide these businesses in effectively using SMM.


The purpose of this study is twofold. This study aims to find out exactly what those factors are that are preventing the widespread adoption of social media marketing tools among Lebanese TR businesses. The philosophy used is interpretivism, for an inductive approach to go from specific to general research, the strategy is ethnographic, and the methodology is qualitative. In-depth interviews are used with ten participants from ten different companies. Five companies had high social media ‘visibility’ and the other five didn’t. So, the participants’ answers provided very useful information and solutions for the research problem.


The results found that among the most relevant factors of little SMM investment & use by Lebanese TR businesses are that many don’t see benefits to using SMM and so don’t support it.

The results also provided useful information on factors for effectively implementing SMM by Lebanese TR businesses including the acceptance of SMM by ownership/decision-makers and the importance of these people in seeing the benefits of SMM. Also, problems with implementing SMM include negative customer feedback and inter-departmental power struggles.

Recommendations include communicating the benefits of SMM to Lebanese TR businesses which is of such high importance to get them to use SMM. There should also be an SMM plan with a consistent schedule outlining the days to add content to social media sites as well as comprehensive monitoring of SM user comments about the business.

At the end, it is the researcher’s hope that the study helped shed light on important aspects of SMM and its relation to Lebanese TR businesses. It is also hoped that the recommendations be taken into consideration by Lebanese TR businesses.


Baker, S., & Green, H. (2014, February 20). Social media will change your business. Business week.

CIA World Factbook 2014. (2014, November 11). Total Area – sq km 2014 country comparisons, ranks, By Rank.

Cruz, B., & Mendelsohn, J. (2011). Why social media matters to your business. Retrieved from Chadwick Martin Bailey

Economic Research Unit. (2010) Tourism. Ministry of Economy & Trade Newsletter,(5)

Kaplan, Andreas M. and Michael Haenlein. 2010. “Users of the World, Unite! The Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media.” Business Horizons 53: 59-68.

Stelzner, M. (2010). Social media marketing industry report: how marketers are using social media to grow their business.

Treem, J.W. & Leonardi, P.M. (2012). “Social media use in organizations: Exploring the affordances of visibility, editability, persistence, and association.”Communication Yearbook, 36, 143-189

World Travel & Tourism Council. (2014). Travel and tourism: Economic impact 2014 Lebanon.