Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Social media to improve your Selling

Last week  was London's Social Media Week 2012, you can catch up on the highlights on

So social media is on my mind at the moment also prompted by an email yesterday from Mike Davis at TACK UK with the results of a poll conducted on LinkedIn:

How much time do you spend engaging on social media for work ?- poll on LinkedIn

So  this poll suggests over 80% of people polled spend a minimum of  an hour a day on social media. But what is the return on investment of such time?

In Marketing Week  February 16th 2012 there was a great article on benchmarking social media. It featured the Chartered Institute of Marketing CIM research study of 900 marketers.

Three quarters of the sample said they would spend more money  in 2012 on social media compared with 2011.

Yet the survey also shows that most marketers doubt the effectiveness of campaigns they run on social networks. There is still a lot of learning to do it seems.

Headline numbers from the survey were
  1. 31% of businesses reckon that social media can help their business grow.
  2. 45% of marketers believe social media can help add value to brand reputation
  3. Under 10% of marketers believe they have optimised skills for social media.
  4. One in five businesses believe that social business can help their business grow.

Across the four main social media platforms- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube the CIM survey suggests that return on investment is a key concern.
Of the four Facebook, came out with 16%  of businesses seeing a return on their investment. Twitter  and LinkedIn with 15%, and 9% YouTube.

But many of the sample are not seeing such results.

Nearly a quarter say their activity on Twitter was not all effective in 2011, a third said the same for Facebook, 37% for LinkedIn and 44% for YouTube.


Marketers and Salespeople it seems, may be good at building their own list of contacts but few seem to be making the most of their brands' LinkedIn accounts, despite the network having 150 million members worldwide.

Only about a quarter of the survey update their group pages regularly with only 14% providing information on them weekly or more frequently.

"The best way to use Linked In is in a business to business context. People generally follow two or three brands in their sector, so there is an opportunity to here to build  up advocates" says LinkedIn's Josh Graff.

Adobe's Social Analytics launched in November 2012 helps measure the effect of platforms like Facebook ( monitoring 'likes') on a customer's buying decision.

Of course the key is, as columnist and Prof. Mark Ritson says "marketers should be asking themselves what the objective of the campaign is "

  • Is it awareness building?
  • Lead conversion?
  • Sales?

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is your current benchmark achieved and your goal compared with traditional platforms.

As in conventional Selling and Marketing so in Social media  - "Telling isn't selling" or those who prefer Stephen Covey " First , seek to understand"
A TNS study showed that 61% of consumers do not want to engage with brands via social media. So this suggests that our role should be to LISTEN to what is going on in social media.

Of course consumers may well like your brand but whether they are engaged with it is a different matter.

One way of calculating this is to add up all the 'likes', 'shares' and ' comments' on a brand's update over a defined period of time, and divide that by the number of 'fans'.

Many boards consider social media statistics as 'fluffy metrics' .

30% 'strongly disagree'  that their management understands why they are investing in Facebook, 28% say the same for Twitter, 27% for Twitter and 22% for LinkedIn.

Key data from the CIM's  Social Media Benchmarking Study
Adding value to reputation/profile
Supporting other aspects of campaign

Regular communication/engagement with current customers
Competitor Intelligence

Generating enquiries

Market research and intelligence
Prospecting for new customers

Smaller social sites of interest:

 Nimble combines social media with  Customer relationship Management (CRM) keeping user's email, calendar and business networks in one place.

When a business user contacts someone , it shows all previous communication, plus what the other person is doing on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. 

The personal version is free and the Business version is currently $15 per month per user

PeerIndex measures someone's social influence, based on their activity and following on social media sites, which presents a score out of 100. Influential people can be given rewards by brands. Brands can use it to identify influencers or 'opinion leaders'.

Related Links:

4 Essentials for using social media

Mobile marketing and Social media

Selling and Social Media


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  2. Is there any further reading you would recommend on this?

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