There has been a massive increase in social media usage over the latest lockdown periods across the world.

The latest Simon Kemp figures show that there has been a 47% increase in social media over the last few months.

The internet usage has grown by 7% over the last year, there are now 4.57 Billion active users of the internet.

So while "Sharon" may have resigned from Facebook, 300 Million people joined social media over the last 12 months.  There are now 3.81 Billion active users of social media, worldwide.

If we look at Zoom which is a "bellwether" for the current transformation to digital. They now have 300 million daily participants on Zoom, which is a 4 fold increase over last year. 

Zoom is now the 6th most downloaded app in the world.

The world has changed over the last 5 years.

We all have mobile phones, we all have access to the internet and we are all used to searching for stuff.

Think about how we marketed in the 80s and 90s, you hit somebody with an advert and they either bought or they didn't.

You hit somebody with a cold call and they either bought or they didn't.

You hit somebody with an email and they either bought or you didn't.

Now things have changed there is a third option.

We go onto social and we check those products or services out.

Let me say that again.  If you use advertising, cold calling or email, your proposed buyer you have targeted, will all go onto to social and run a comparison.  You, versus your online competition.

Now, just think what is happening if you are NOT investing in social? 

The Internet Killed Your Marketing Plan

Now, if you come to me and say, I have the best CRM, what do I do?  I put CRM into Google and check out the options.  I check out the third party reviews.

I go onto social and check out the articles.  Now with any articles being written, that content you "consume".

Back to 90s Marketing

The Problem with Advertising, Cold Calling and Email

Now if you are into all of that legacy stuff, then I bet you are not putting effort into your social presence.  I'm not talking about advertising on social, that isn't social, it's advertising.

All that advertising, cold calling and cold emailing is driving your prospects into the hands of the competition that are social.  Of course, you interrupt me and I go online and check you and the competition out.

Real Life Case Study

BMW know that the moment somebody walks into one of their showrooms, that person will probably know more that the salesperson.  Why? Because they will have searched the web, joined online discussion groups, asked their friends and family online and off-line.

It's not possible for the salesperson to know everything there is about all the cars.  The way they first tried to get around that was to have "teams".  An SUV team and a 5 and 7 series team, but still clients would know more.

(Clients will also know about pricing information and "deals" because people will have shared this on social.)

BMW have therefore moved the role of the salesperson to be more advisory on the things that a person cannot Google.  The right lease options, the right options on the car that hold their value.  The fact that sporty versions don't tend to hold their value, if resale value is important to you.

The Covid19 Factor

What I've told you above is all pre-covid19.  Covid19 has accelerated this.

There were die hards bosses who said all employees had to be in the office.  Of course, not anymore.

Social has become the lifeline for many people in terms of information and community support.  Even my 82 year old mother is having her wine group on Zoom.

The New Normal is Digital

So when Stéphanie Genin, vice president of global enterprise marketing at social media management firm Hootsuite said this, I wasn't surprised, are you?

“After weeks of adapting to Zoom parties, video appointments with doctors, online schooling, social distancing and tapping into social media for virtually everything, will people be happy to go back to their old ways of working and engaging with each other?” 

she then goes on to ask. 

“The answer will be no. Social media has been holding communities together and organisations will need to assess how to manage the new normal.”

What does this mean for buyers and sellers and what does it mean for business leaders?

 Social Media is Now Defacto For Your Sales and Marketing Teams

In the past social media was seen as a tactic. You posted something on social, nothing happened, which just proved it didn't work.

My advice is that you should check out Simon Kemp's - Digital 2020 - Global Snapshot in he says 

"The world has changed dramatically over the first three months of 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting almost every aspect of our lives. These changes have been clearly evident in the world’s digital behaviours too, especially as billions of people turn to connected devices to help them cope with life and work under lockdown."

He goes on to say.

"The latest data show that the number of internet users and social media users around the world have both increased by more than 300 million over the past twelve months, despite delays in reporting in some key countries due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

DataReportal analysis indicates that 4.57 billion people now use the internet, an increase of more than 7 percent since this time last year. Social media users are growing even faster, up by more than 8 percent since April 2019 to reach 3.81 billion today."

But Once This Covid Thing is Over It Will Go Back to The Way it Was?

Sorry, recent Gartner research showed that once this is all over people said ... 

84% said they will maintain their"increased use of social media to engage with brands"

78% said they will continue with thier"increased preference for digital commerce"

34% said there are now an"increased number of stakeholders in purchase decision making" 

Isn't it amazing the evolution that has taken place through the use of digital because of the coronavirus?

Isn't it amazing the lengths that people (buyers) will go through to avoid salespeople.

The Analogue Selling Conundrum

The longer Covid-19 goes on, the more we will build "network" skills and the more we will expect the people selling to us to behave in the same way.

The more cold calling, cold emails and advertising seems to be from a bygone age.  

Getting Your Sales Team on Social

I'm going to have to talk about the "elephant in the room" which is about your own sales team and the fact they are NOT social.

Social is not posting, social is not posting corporate content that marketing have told you to post.  Social is not having emojis in your Linkedin profile, something that actually impacts the algorithm negatively.  Social Selling (often called Modern Selling) is a methodology to enable you to sell more, or right now in the Covid-19 world to sell.

Take a look at your sales people's Linkedin profiles are they working hard for them?  Do they stand out  from the competition or do they look like every other salesperson?  Are they using their Linkedin profile to qualify deals, so they only sell to the people who will buy from them? Think of the efficiency saving if you stop chasing business you cannot close / win.

Are they using content to accelerate deals through the pipe?  Are they using social to prospect? Are they using social to close deals?

Selling has been reinvented, not by me or by any of us at DLA Ignite, but by your buyers.  It's time your business got in synch with those digital buyers and right now, you have the time to do it.

If you want to chat about how we can transform your sales team, you can contact me here

https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyhughessocialselling/