Last night, I started reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (and subsequently developed a strong feeling of jealousy that our Marketing Coordinator, Danelsy Medrano, saw her present at last month’s Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce event). I’m not sure what captivated me more: Sandberg’s journey to becoming COO of Facebook (a dream job, as far as I’m concerned), or the fact that I can relate to her experiences and dilemmas as a woman and a leader. Regardless, I couldn’t put my Kindle down and I’m paying for it today (sorry, SMO team, for the yawning).

Her memoir/manifesto/however-you-want-to-categorize-it (or not categorize it) helps give women the tools they need to succeed in the workplace by encouraging them to “sit at the table,” raise their hands, and let their voices be loud enough to achieve their goals – to lean in, rather than lean back. Naturally, as I read, I found myself applying the lessons from the book to my own career goals. Then I realized Sandberg’s advice can be applied to the social media marketing campaigns that we manage every day.

Here are three ways business owners can stop missing opportunities by leaning in when it comes to social media marketing efforts.

Manager Monday - Lean In

Do Not Sit on the Side!

“Seek Challenges”
Social media networks and strategies are constantly evolving. In fact, simply keeping up with the latest marketing tactics in an ever-changing industry can seem like a challenge itself. Sitting on the side and missing opportunities to build a community around your brand and ultimately convert fans into customers based on the fact that it’s too challenging is not an option.

Sandberg would recommend pursuing a social media marketing plan because it’s a challenge (and not just because she’s Facebook’s COO). Whether you decide to do your own in-house social media marketing, or you hire an agency, just make sure you “sit at the table” rather than on the side.

“Take Risks”
As WebiMax’s Director of Social Media, I’ve noticed that there’s one thing that all of our most successful social media campaigns have in common: the client’s willingness to take risks. A “one size fits all” social media strategy doesn’t exist, so I’ve found that coming up with customized solutions based on each client’s unique marketing needs is the most effective way to increase their online visibility. If you want to maximize the ROI of your social media marketing efforts, you must be willing to take risks that, at times, push you outside of your comfort level.

“Pursue Goals with Gusto”
The first step in creating a successful social media campaign is to clearly define the objectives you want to achieve. But, Sandberg would say, it’s not enough to define these goals then quietly “lean back” and hope for the best. Instead, business owners need to take on more leadership. Pursuing business goals with gusto by becoming thought leaders not just Following them, starting relevant and engaging conversations not just participating in them, and generating the content that your audience craves are ways you can lean in to your social media campaign.

If you hire an agency to help you achieve your goals, it’s important to bring as much enthusiasm to the campaign as if you were performing it yourself. The more passionate you are about the products/services/information that you have to offer, the more successful your social media efforts will be.

Are you seeking challenges when it comes to your marketing efforts? Are you taking risks and pursuing your goals with gusto? Don’t let opportunity pass you by; lean in to online marketing to make your business dreams a reality.

Danelsy Medrano & Facebook's Sheryl SandbergWhen you think of Facebook, the most prominent name associated with the brand is undoubtedly Founder & CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.  While his story and rise to success have been publicized in novels and films; Facebook’s COO has only recently come into the spotlight.  Although Sheryl Sandberg has been a key player in Facebook’s growth since 2008, she has largely been “behind-the-scenes” of the social network.  However, she recently made a significant career move outside of Facebook which is likely to help make her a household name, as well.

This year, Sheryl published her first book entitled, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Leadin which she discusses the roles of women in business leadership.  As one of the most successful businesswomen in the world, Sheryl discusses the importance of women in business and offers insightful and empowering advice to professionals.  Earlier this week, Sheryl was featured at an event hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce which I attended on behalf of WebiMax.  During the presentation, she introduced her story to many business owners and executives in the region.

During the event, Sheryl spoke about Facebook and her role in the company.  As Chief Operations Officer, she has had a hand in many of the innovations pioneered by network over the past several years, including Open Graph search and the Timeline feature, among others.  Under her guidance, Facebook has become not only the world’s largest social network, but one of the most prevalent advertising and marketing outlets in the world which only continues to grow.

Professional Insights & The Future of Facebook
From a personal perspective, this event was very rewarding.  Sheryl’s journey to the top of the corporate world was certainly arduous and her story is inspirational.

Surprisingly, I learned that the story of her growth as a professional parallels the growth of Facebook in many ways.  From somewhat humble beginnings to international recognition, both Sheryl Sandberg and Facebook have experienced success which is certain to continue in the years ahead.