It's that time again, marketers, when our focus shifts to our marketing plans for the new year.

More to the point, it's the time when we need to rally internal support for the "newest" programs in those marketing plans. If yours is a B2B company, 2010 is likely the year that you'll want to start integrating social media into your marketing mix… or have it play a much larger role than it has in the past.

But while your eyes are on your market, you must first get past the Executive Committee members, who will have questions, critiques, and objections aplenty.

Whether the CEO, CFO, COO, or a cadre of EVPs, the executives whom you must win over will need social-media return on investment (ROI) defined in business language, not newfangled lingo. And they'll most certainly require statistics, success stories, and common-sense reasons for integrating such uncommon media into the company's strategies and plans.

That's exactly why this article and Part 2 highlight 10 arguments to help you build a B2B social-media business case for your toughest audience: the one inside the boardroom.

Let's kick off this series with the first five arguments.

1. Drive ROI. "Far from just a consumer channel, social media is a business marketplace brimming with professional activity and profit potential."

Start with the big goal, which is always the revenue benefit to your organization. Clarify that although "social" describes these media, Web 2.0 is not just a fun pastime for consumers, it's also a serious opportunity for businesses.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Christina "CK" Kerley is a strategist, speaker, and trainer on innovation through mobile and smart technologies ("The Internet of Things"). Access her e-books and videos.

Twitter: @CKsays