Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Dave Evans, author of Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day, at SocStardom. He hosted a wide-ranging discussion on the social Web, networking and product feedback cycles, social capital, transparency–and, yes, how to get corporate buy-in to even start talking about this stuff.

Here’s why I loved listening to Dave Evans: he gets that, for companies, social media is all about business. He said that the first step before considering any social media activity is to 1) be clear about your overall business objectives; and 2) recognize your audiences. The next step: listening, so you find out what people are already saying about you.

So here’s my point: if you want to convince a boss, a prospect, or anyone else with decision-making power in an organization to consider social media, you first have to convince them that there is a business case for doing so.

Now I’d love to hear from you. How do you convince clients (or your own leadership team) to overcome their qualms about using social media?

PS: I’d be remiss if I didn’t give shoutouts to event host Robin Ferrier of Johns Hopkins University, and to Marketing Misfit’s Mayra Ruiz, the driving force behind SocStardom.