I was honored to sit down for this one-on-one interview with Todd Wilms, Global Social Media Director for SAP. This is the second of 5 parts of the series, each done with one question in mind to make it quick and easy for you to learn and enjoy!
How executives see the power of Social Media.
Bryan: We’re here with Todd Wilms from SAP. Thank you for coming Todd. Let’s get started, how do executives see the power of Social Media?
Todd: Here’s a great one. We did one about four years ago. It was a social campaign for the office of a CFO. Now, how many CFO’s do you think are hanging out on twitter or facebook? Almost none, right? But what they do is they have people surrounding them that are engaged and that practice that level of discipline. So what we surmised was, if you’re an accountant you don’t just wake up one day and go, I wonder what I’ll be? I’ll be an accountant. Most people decide that’s the path they want to go down and they build a practice around it, it’s a very specialized discipline. So what do accountants in organizations want? Well they want to become better at their job, they want to become more influential, they want to have a better role in their organization. The way to do that is to get them really great content, really great insight, really great information. So we started to find ways to influence those who were influential to the office of the CFO. Who are the people around the CFO that can actually become a part of their inner circle? We started giving them great content and information and insight. The way early on we started to see it working was when we would go to a conference or an event and people would walk up and say, you’re the guy in the video. I saw your videos, I used you at a lunch and learn. I have you and your videos on a Tuesday meeting where we bring people in and we talk about things like toxic assets. When someone comes up and says “Can you come in and teach a class in Belgium or Dubai?” I wanted to teach a class in Dubai. That would have been a lot of fun. People come in and say you know what, we’re recognizing you as an expert of a way to still this really complex information and do it in quick video snippets. That’s something that’s really valuable to us and then CFO’s started to call. We started to get traction with CFO’s. Then CFO.com, one of the magazines and one of the more influential reads for CFO’s started to come calling us saying hey we saw your stuff online and we want to talk to you about what you’re doing. So we didn’t look at this from an ROI perspective, we didn’t say alright if I spend $30 putting one of these videos together I’m want to see $90 in sales by tomorrow. We looked at it as this is the right thing to do, let’s experiment and try it. As we started to see these anecdotal results we knew we were on the right path. Once we saw that, then we could start putting more effort and energy around these campaigns and start to build it up. That’s when we put the measures and metrics behind it. Some of it was just common sense faith early on and it worked. We were also smart enough to realize that if it wasn’t working we would have seen that too. We would have pulled back and tried something else.
Bryan: So that project set up the last four years?
Todd: Absolutely and that project is still going. It’s called CFO Knowledge. It’s build up a variety of different bloggers and content creators, and we have guest posts come in. We’ve built an entire community around this and we’re still servicing the needs of those that are influential around the office of the CFO.
Bryan: That’s fantastic.
Todd: I love that that’s still going. I’m proud to say it’s gone to greater places than I even envisioned it which is always a great test because if you can always walk away and it does better right after you leave. You just love that.
Bryan: That’s great, I do love that.
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