Your CMO Doesn’t Take Social Seriously: How Do You Fix It?

Your CMO Doesn’t Take Social Seriously: How Do You Fix It? Kevin Shively Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

Would you be surprised to hear that your CMO doesn’t care about social media the same way they care about email marketing, paid media, or website optimization?

Learn More About Social ROI

In many cases, they probably don’t think about social media at all, but to be fair, that’s not their fault.

CMOs are generally focused on the programs that help generate revenue, and in most companies, social hasn’t proven itself as a revenue-driving activity. According to the 2015 CMO Survey, only 15% of CMOs say they can prove the quantitative impact of social media.

Can you prove Social Impact
Source: Ciceron Infographic

Social ROI is a tricky subject, and one that many social marketers simply avoid because they don’t know how to fix it. This leads to a lack of respect from CMOs, and ultimately, a lack of dedication to the program. Today, social media only accounts for 10.7% of digital marketing budgets.

Social Media Budget
Source: Ciceron Infographic


Change the Social ROI Narrative

Social ROI isn’t just about assigning dollars to social media, it’s about answering the next order questions. How do we connect social engagement to site traffic, conversion, customer lifetime value, and loyalty? How do we leverage social signals to drive marketing actions through our entire marketing process? How do we identify the people who truly impact our business via social media?

The average social marketing program is not aligned with other digital marketing functions. It’s not aligned because social isn’t always viewed as a viable marketing channel. It isn’t viewed as a viable marketing channel because it isn’t aligned with other marketing functions…See the problem here?

This is a cycle that we won’t get out of until we take it on ourselves to make it happen. We can’t attribute traffic correctly because we’re not partnering with our web optimization team to identify where our “direct” traffic actually comes from. The web team has this data, and social doesn’t. Work with them to identify the dark traffic. This will make their program easier to run, and yours more effective.

Align with Your Marketing Counterparts

As a social media professional, you have a lot of information that other teams don’t.

  • You know what your competitors are doing right now
  • You know what your prospective customers are talking about
  • You know which topics, trends, and tactics are working with your audience

In order to get your seat at the marketing table, you need to start thinking beyond engagement metrics. Share information that will impact other areas of the marketing team, and make you stronger as an organization. Then your CMO will have to pay attention.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

The supplemental information about your broader market is critical, because social engagement metrics don’t seem real to many CMOs. When your email and web specialists share conversion metrics in the 5-15% range, and you talk about 2.5 million Likes last month, it doesn’t mean anything.

Think about how this engagement might impact them, because they don’t understand it in the first place. When you talk about 10,000 engagements, how is that benefiting the business?

At Simply Measured, we think about this benefit in terms of where you can best impact the buyer’s journey.

Impact of Social
Source: Defining Social Impact

Once you’ve outlined your biggest opportunity, you can measure more effectively, and report to your CMO in a context that makes sense to them.

Social Metrics Map
Source: Social Marketer’s Guide to ROI

Extra Credit: Attribution and ROI

As a marketer looking to grow your career, you need to understand the concepts that are important to your CMO, and the ones that they may not even know are important. Download our new guide The Social Marketer’s Guide to Social Media ROI to learn how to think about and explain ROI and social media attribution to your CMO.

Get everything you need to analyze the metrics that matter

The Social Marketer’s Guide to Social Media ROI


Kevin Shively

As the head of content marketing at Simply Measured, cohost of the #SimplySocial podcast, and generally delightful person, my job is to tell stories to the internet...You're welcome internet.