I need your help for a story about what the results of this survey really mean.
Long before social media, there has always been tension between salespeople and marketers. Not for nothing does the C suite like to add “and Business Development” to the title of the VP of Marketing: executives—especially at publicly traded companies—are judged by the bottom line every quarter. When your shareholders are concerned about their portfolios, you don’t want to hear about the great things your social media team is doing to build your brand on Facebook.
So, no, in my experience and in general, executives would disagree that sales is a fourth-place priority. It may not be number one, but it needs to be in the top three. Someone’s gotta keep the lights on.
Indeed, this is perhaps the biggest challenge that social media marketers face today. Getting buy-in from skeptical executives requires demonstrating how Twitter will bring in a new client or inspire an existing to re-up. Arguing that this will happen “over time” can be a tough sell.
Of course, this is the crux of the issue: social media success doesn’t happen overnight, but demands an investment for the long-term. As with anything, success takes time and talent. It’s hard. Very hard. Anyone can cobble together a blog post or put up a white paper, but to do it in a way that spurs sales requires patience and stamina.