If you missed it yesterday LinkedIn presented it's latest user figures

LinkedIn now has 774 million members - Quarterly report: bit.ly/MSFY21Q4

Regardless of the #deletefacebook campaign, Facebook daily active users in quarter two 2021 rose to nearly 2.9bn from 2.7bn users this time last year - Facebook reports fastest quarterly growth in five years, details here.

There seems to be a movement growing here.

What do we know about social media?

Simon Kemp has just published his quarterly round-up of the facts and figures for the internet, seach, and social media. 

If you are not aware of this, it's sponsored by Hootsuite and We are social, but put together by Simon.

Simon is somebody you should follow on LinkedIn.

All of the reports going back in time are here and the latest report for July 2021 is here.

So what are the highlights?

Social networks are now the most important online destination, even ahead of search

95% of people online, now use social networks and social messaging, which places them ahead of search which is at 84%, online shopping which is 59.7%.

Why this presents your business with an opportunity

How about I can pick you up tomorrow from your house and drive you to a place where all your prospects and customers hang out.  Wouldn't that be great?

All you have to do is walk up to them and have a conversation with them.  You can stay as long as you like.  This is the opportunity that social provides for your business, some call it social selling, some digital selling, some remote selling, some virtual selling.

Social selling is ..

Using your presence and behaviour on Social Media to build influence,
make connections, grow relationships and trust, which leads to
conversation and commercial interaction.

Just think all of your clients in one place, all you have to do is have a conversation with them.  Now if that isn't greasing the wheels of industry and don't what is. 

Where you are currently going wrong

In the past you called people up and pitched to them, you sent them emails and pitched to them.  Problem is, that people take those tactics and use them on social.  As I described above, social is a social network. 

Using those tactics on social is the same as you walking into a networking room and pitching at people. You wouldn't do that at a networking event as people would call security.  

Your prospects and clients are on social, now you need to go and have a conversation with them.

What do you need?

1. A buyer centric profile - this is your "shop window" when somebody "walks past" your shop window, are they intrigued by what they see and want to walk into your shop?  Or do you look the same as everybody else and people just walk and scroll past?

2. A network - It stands to reason that if you want to influence, have conversations and sell to an account you have to be connected to them.  Let's not forget, this is a social network, connecting and saying you are a salesperson or connecting and pitching won't get you far.  I know that sounds all very disingenuous, as I explained this is a social network and is different from calling people up and interrupting them.

3. Insight - The final thing you need is insight.  Leave the brochures back in the office, people can go online and read those.  Bring to your clients insight, tell them something they don't know, explain how you can solve your clients business issues.  Not as an "advert", but in a blog, like this.  I'm not telling you anything about DLA Ignite, just offering you support and advice.

If you would like help on this, don't worry, our social selling and influence course provides training and coaching to support all of the skills you need in this world of social.

So who's doing this?

In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.

But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling?  Not according to Merrill Lynch.

"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"

The CRO (chief revenue officer), Richard Eltham of Namos Solutions, of one of clients posted a comment on LinkedIn about social selling. See here.

“Social selling is not an option now it is the way of the world and you either learn and execute it or fear getting left behind” 

Kevin Murray who is the Head of Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology recently posted about his success with social selling here and wrote an article about the transformation that has happened in sales here.