Gaining Buy-in from Internal Stakeholders as a Social Media Manager

If you work in social, you’re likely to have experienced at least some degree of frustration when dealing with those who may not have the greatest understanding of the value of your work.


Sadly, there still remains some level of stigma around the role of social media management and its value in business. Because I mean, we just make memes and practice our best TikTok choreography all day, right?

This common misunderstanding around the value of social can leave many social media managers feeling isolated and frustrated. Those in the industry often feel like they’re having to defend the value of their projects, and it can seem like a never-ending struggle for resources and funding.The good news is that day by day, these attitudes are definitely changing and the perceived value of social is on the rise. Marketing teams are growing and social media budgets increasing. But, if like many in the social media field, you could do with some help and advice on gaining buy-in from internal stakeholders then this blog is definitely for you!


Tip #1: Be clear on your strategy and vision

A common problem that arises between stakeholders, management, and social teams is the disparity between what is expected and what is delivered. Avoiding this can be done by making sure you have a strong understanding of the overall goals of the organization ahead of working on your social strategy and asking for resources. You will find the process of getting ‘buy-in’ runs a whole lot more smoothly if you spend time understanding what it actually is that stakeholders want from you.Secondly, once you feel confident with this first step and have created a social media strategy based on this, it’s important to be clear when sharing your vision with your stakeholders. Confidently explain the objectives of the marketing project in question and the ‘why’ behind what you are proposing. Showing the link between marketing and business strategy is crucial here. Explaining the roadmap to success and how you propose to meet the business's objectives will really help cement your understanding of stakeholders and the value of your proposal. 


Tip #2: Educate on the value of social

The stigma around the social media profession can often be attributed to others in the business simply not understanding the value of the job role. If you feel this is the case for you, then why not take the steps to bridge this understanding?Using data is one way to educate the team on the value of social, really helping to show the bigger picture of your vision and help verify all the potential you just demonstrated. This means sharing key industry statistics to showcase just how effective social media marketing can be for achieving business goals. Let’s say, for example, you were trying to get some budget for an influencer marketing campaign. You could share insights such as these:

  • 20 percent of marketers report generating the biggest ROI when working with influencers on Instagram, only behind Facebook. (HubSpot)

  • In 2022, brands are expected to increase their budgets for Influencer Marketing (InfluencerMarketingHub).

  • 70 percent of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities (Google)

As well as using external figures to demonstrate the value of your efforts, it’s also important to demonstrate the historical ROI of your own marketing. Take a look back at the success of previous campaigns, showcasing the resource and processes involved and the results derived.Lean on marketing examples from other businesses in your niche too. Because let’s be honest, nothing captures the attention of a stakeholder better than news of a competitor’s success. The almost innate urge to beat the competition is a surefire way to get buy-in from stakeholders. Simply show them how others have already found success with the marketing approach you are proposing and you’ll be likely to dissolve any worries.


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Tip #3: Champion cross-team collaboration

Getting internal talent from teams across the business involved in marketing is another strategy that can help you to win over internal stakeholders.This doesn’t mean bounding across the office, phone in hand, and harassing your colleagues from the IT department to do a funny little TikTok. While we social media managers will definitely do this at some point (sorry guys), what we mean here is working with other teams and mixing skill sets to create more successful campaigns.For instance, why not hold weekly or even monthly meetings with the sales department to capture a stronger understanding of what marketing materials could help generate leads and close deals. Likewise, your social team and the HR department could collaborate on a range of initiatives such as recruitment campaigns and employee engagement. “How will this help us get stakeholder buy-in?”, I hear you ask. Well, the more people you can get on board and engaged, the more likely they will be in a position to help you advocate for greater resources.


Tip #4: Share all the wins!

Instead of holding off until you need more budget to start presenting impressive results and big wins, consider making it best practice to maintain regular communication with stakeholders, sharing all the little wins and proud moments you’ve experienced from yourself and your team’s social media efforts. Maybe it’s in the form of a weekly catch-up call where you share the progress of what went well in the previous week and what’s on the cards for the next. Or, maybe it’s in the form of a visual social media report. Instead of emailing the report to stakeholders and the wider team and then feeling frustrated when these are left unopened and collecting dust,  book a time slot to present it. This will allow you to better engage your audience, demonstrate how your efforts are translating into results, and give stakeholders a chance to ask any questions.It can be all too easy for social media marketing to take a back seat in the minds of stakeholders. But by maintaining a regular dialogue with them and educating them on marketing efforts and wins and how these translate to business value, you will do well in keeping them engaged and on board with your plans.


Tip #5: Be confident in your abilities

Last but certainly not least on our list of top tips for improving stakeholder engagement is to have confidence in yourself and your team’s ability to add value to the business.Trying to get buy-in from an already-apprehensive individual will be pretty tough if you don’t seem too sure about the strategy yourself. Do your research, be well prepared, and just go for it. If you believe in yourself and your abilities then you’re already halfway there.


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