We are often asked “what’s the one thing we can be doing on Social to get results...?”

The problem with questions like this is, it’s like asking “Can you give me a hint or a tip on how I could become an Olympic medal winning rower..?”.

The answer to the question starts way back, way further back than the immediacy of the short term, tactical hit of ‘hints and tips’. The answer starts with a conversation around what you want, when you want it and how you can achieve that with what you have. 

The answer is not what everyone wants to hear…the answer starts with, developing a solid strategy.

Develop a Social Media Strategy...

Why? Because as you get into this you will begin to realise that this is not about suddenly deciding to start throwing content onto LinkedIn - Its about mapping out how to achieve Digital Dominance in your markets, your sectors and over your competition.

It’s about giving your people the skills and competence to drive your business to the top of the digital rankings…this is not about racing to be exactly the same as everyone else, its about leaving everyone else behind, in the digital dust.

Digital Dominance is when you and your teams’ profiles and content become the answer to the global questions you want to be the answer to when they are asked on Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine.

This is about Digital Dominance…

What comes with this dominance is that you and your team are using their digitally optimised profiles and active Social behaviours to drive more conversations with prospects that lead to proposals and then purchase orders…that’s what we are doing this for, right?

None of the leaders I meet want to be wasting cash on ‘campaigns’ that don’t show a visible and demonstrable return, yet many are still being advised to do what they did before but do it on digital…a terrible mistake and a waste of time and money.

There is no silver bullet, there is no short cut…no one thing makes the difference, transformation to Social Selling & Influence is a rewiring of the core.  

It’s about the consistent application of a range of activities which are applied, measured, altered, and repeated. This is often confused with ‘a marketing campaign’ and very often is funded from the marketing budget….when in fact it’s the very definition of modern business transformation.

Social Selling & influence is about developing new habits and behaviours.   

To put this in perspective, we train and coach Executive boards, Management teams, Sales Marketing & BD teams, and Technical teams in all sectors, across the world – Our ‘Social Selling and Influence’ transformation programme is 12 weeks.   

We are often asked to “half the time”, “do it quicker”, “get it going faster”…in those cases we walk away from the project. We are not in this for the transaction, we are here for the transformation.

It’s not 12 weeks for fun or for our benefit, we know that this is the time required to allow the new habits and behaviours to set in with your team. This is about getting this right and getting you what you need from Social Media, repeatedly. 

When we leave you, we want to make sure you have a new mindset, a new culture and process that is sustainable and has created a platform for growth.

Social Selling takes training, planning, commitment, measurements, feedback, adjustment, and focus. 

What can you expect in return?

·        Visibility – recognition in the marketplace

·        Owning the ‘Share of Voice’ in your chosen sectors .

·        Trusted advisor status

·        Pipeline, growth & inbound

·        Recruitment opportunities

·        Employee engagement & shared sense of purpose

If your direct messages and email inboxes are anything like mine, they will be full of people promising the digital earth for a quick buck….

“Would you be interested in acquiring various industries key Decision Makers list in our B2B database for your marketing activities?”

“Are you using LinkedIn to generate leads? We can quadruple your leads for you by using our targeting technique which combines LinkedIn and cold email outreach freeing your time to focus on what's important to your business…”

Its that simple right…? All you have to do is hand over the keys to your precious brand and allow someone else to insult your precious clients with email and LinkedIn spam…is that really what you want your brand to be known for.. ?

In Social Selling we talk about building influence, growing your network, creating meaningful connections, establishing trust, and having conversations you would never have had by any other means – how can you do this by spamming your client base?

Still every day, despite the overwhelming body of evidence, we are surprised to find those in leadership positions who are still “on the fence”, still flogging the email and advertising horse.

Sitting on the digital fence, cutting the branch you are sitting on...

 Email Marketing

As open rates goes down, you have to send more emails to get the same results. According to Hubspot, the response rate to emails fell to a record low of 2.1% in April 2020. In other words, 98% of email marketing efforts fail to reach new prospects. 

Hubspot said in the report "Sales teams are sending about 50% more email to prospects than they were pre-COVID, but responses continue to drop. Last week, sales response rates hit an all-time low for 2020 at 2.1%, a lower response rate than Christmas week 2019."

Hubspot also said "These trends tell an important story. Email prospecting, to put it bluntly, is out of control. It's easy to send thousands of emails with just a few clicks, and in a chaotic time, we understand why sales teams are sending so many. But volume and quality is a tradeoff — the time a team saves by sending out email blasts is wasted if that outreach isn't personalized, relevant, and helpful. These gaps are clear in the data."

 Recent engagement rates for digital advertising:

1.61% Facebook

1.91% Google

0.35% Programmatic

That means that digital advertising has a 98.81% failure rate and based on the amount of money that is spent on digital advertising, this means $265 Billion is wasted on digital advertising every year. 

The ‘Gartner Future of Sales 2025 report’ predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. Chief sales officers (CSOs) and other senior sales leaders must accept that buying preferences have permanently changed and, as a result, so too will the role of sellers.

This unpacking around the globe right now and affects all sectors. Getting ahead of the game is critical.

So, the next time you have a Management Meeting and talk about Marketing or Sales, have a talk about what to do on Social Media and try to resist the urge to just throw corporate content on LinkedIn, instead ask a different question.

“What would it take for {Insert your company name} to be the Digitally Dominant provider in our markets, our sectors and over all of our competition…?”

That question changes the narrative, alters the perspective, clarifies the real objective and allows us to have a grown-up conversation.

Live Social ‘21

Eric Doyle

Crux / DLA Ignite