The Chief Marketing Officer Social Media Alert System


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It’s springtime and that means my weather alert radio will soon be broadcasting storm warnings:

“The National Doppler Radar System has indicated that local conditions are right to produce severe weather. High winds, damaging hail, and flash floods are likely products of this storm. Seek immediate shelter moving away from doors and windows.”

Why do I often reject the alert advice by running to the front door to see what’s happening instead of heading directly to the basement? Do I have a bit of storm chaser blood coursing through my veins? Curiosity, adventure and scientific exploration motivate storm chasers and that can be helpful because when the social media lightning bolts fly the corporate climate can feel both scary-stressful and crazy-fun at the same time! Social media has a way of generating the perfect corporate storm and the CMO is the natural lightning rod. In fact, in today’s climate a CMO alert system might broadcast the following:

“The CMO Alert System has indicated that conditions are right to produce severe C-Suite turbulence. High stress, damaging assumptions, and flash flood buzz words are likely elements of your next meeting. Seek cross-functional support immediately.”

If you lead a marketing organization and are determined to keep your social media strategy on track you should consider the following:

1. Face the storm. You must face the storm, not your interns or even your direct reports. If you hand off your social media strategy the chances of it surviving are about the same as a trailer park in the path of a F5 tornado. Social media requires top level support and involvement. You must stay personally engaged with the strategy.

2. Look for the eye. The eye of a tropical storm is a region of mostly calm weather. Make no mistake though; the eye is not without risks. After all, it’s surrounded by the eyewall where the most severe weather occurs. Even so, quickly look for internal support from functional areas that are relatively calm in relation to social media initiatives. Social media often requires major change efforts around corporate strategy, technology and processes. And when it comes to change efforts, it’s a race to create a critical mass of support before resistance mounts. The longer it takes to create critical mass, the less likely that your effort will ever achieve it.

3. Repair, rebuild and keep moving. Unfortunately some storms produce damage. If you’ve taken time upfront to create a strategic social media marketing plan and have social media standards and procedures in place you’ll be able to quickly address set backs and continue moving your strategy forward.

Storm warnings and lightning bolts may not sound fun. But think about, marketers have never been “dog days of summer” (stagnation and inactivity) type of leaders.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alan See
Alan See is Principal and Chief Marketing Officer of CMO Temps, LLC. He is the American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year for Content Marketing and recognized as one of the "Top 50 Most Influential CMO's on Social Media" by Forbes. Alan is an active blogger and frequent presenter on topics that help organizations develop marketing strategies and sales initiatives to power profitable growth. Alan holds BBA and MBA degrees from Abilene Christian University.


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