We are often asked to write reports about  a companies social media presence, thought I would share this. Clearly I have changed, some of the names to protect the blushes of some marketers. 

Company A has 97,000 employees and the Linkedin page has 2 million followers.

This is pretty good.  For comparison 

IBM for has 17 million followers, and Company B who is competition with Company A has 3 millions followers. 

The last 3 posts for Company A were

21 hours ago - 691 likes, 14 comments and 36 reposts - this was about diversity

3 days ago - 402 likes, 5 comments and 31 reposts - this is about climate change 

1 month ago - 814 likes, 17 comments and 40 reports - this is about a project of theirs

As you can see from the dates, posting is erratic and when you look at the likes it’s all from Company A people, so while I’m sure they are reporting they are getting lots of likes.

They are living in an echo chamber. 

There is no responding to the comments on social media and the comments are coming from employees anyway. 

It’s clear Company A see social media as a broadcast channel. 

How does this compare to IBM?  In fact Company A gets more engagement for a lower following to IBM.  IBM are very similar, very formulaic and “brochure” driven.

Company B, (Company A's competitor) has realised that human posts get more engagement, after all social media is a human network.  They seem to be posting daily, but don’t get significantly more engagement even though they have 1 million more followers than Company A.

Both IBM and Company B live in echo chambers. Nobody follows up the comments, so it’s clearly seen as a broadcast channel. 

In conclusion, for Company A, the good news is, they are having a go, it’s very “brochure” orientated which is why they don’t get people from outside of the company or the people they are trying to influence joining in.

But when you think that they have 97,000 employees and 2 million followers, the engagement is pretty poor. I doubt this is driving any business / revenue for them. 

Putting the brand to one side, social media is about social and Linkedin shows that an employee will get 561% more engagement than a brand post.

The CEO of Company A is active on LinkedIn, he has 73,521 followers and is a LinkedIn top voice.

His last 3 posts

1 week ago - 876 likes

1 week ago - 921 likes 

3 weeks ago - 535 likes

The posts are what you would expect, very “business” like, very little that create a human connection. The likes are all from Company A employees and nobody follows up the comments.

I would suspect this is run by a marketing / PR team. 

The same for all of the top people, I would think there has been a drive to get the top people onto social. 

One CEO of Company A has photos of himself and seem like he’s up too not take himself so seriously. 

I don’t see a lot of Company A employees properly active on social media.

How does Company B compare? 

CEO of Company B has 33,663 followers and is NOT a Linkedin top voice 

His last 3 posts were

4 days ago - 955 likes

1 week ago - 1,544 likes

2 months ago - 2,158 likes

So he’s getting more likes than CEO of Company A with a lower following. 

But posts are erratic and he lives in an echo chamber.

Again little use of social media by Company B, there is this guy who has 10,433 followers and is connected to some influential people.

But this is the outlier, rather than the normal. 

The question I would have for them is this.

Clearly you see social media is important, which is why you are spending time and money posting.

But apart from “likes” what is this driving for the business?

What is the return on investment (ROI)?

We would expect a business to gain 30% more revenue (at least) by being truly active on social media.

Let's look at some context about social media today

Linkedin is the world's biggest network site.

So let's take a step back for a moment. How about if I could pick you up tomorrow and I drive you to a place which is full of your prospects?  All you have to do is grab a coffee or a tea and go up and talk to them.  You can stay as long as you like.

Now, you wouldn't walk up to these prospects of yours and pitch to them.  You would have a conversation.  Maybe ask then how far they drove to get there? Had they been caught up in the traffic?  You would have a conversation.  You wouldn't pitch to them, in fact they will probably ask you at some point, “what do you do?" but more on that in a bit. 

Let's look at the data, cold calling vs our social selling benchmark

Here at DLA Ignite, we are always wanting to push forward the boundaries of sales, so we decided to put cold calling head to head with the DLA Ignite methodology for social selling and create a benchmark on 1st January 2023 (and business case) for our version of social selling.

So we took a team of "cold callers" cross trained them in our methodology for social selling and here are the results.

It's worth shouting out the team, Alex, Jordan and Jensen and they work for a company called Supero.

Don't believe me? Please check the team out on social and ask them about the results!

The results with cold calling

When the team were cold calling, that is, before we trained them on social selling.  I'm not sure what results you get with cold calling but they did whatever they could in terms of warming up the calls with emails or webinars, etc.  And the results, they got about 2 calls a week.  

As with any cold call, your job is to take the call to a next action, which might be a demo, discovery call and they averaged 0.3 of these calls.

Anyway, you will have your own figures for cold calling in your business and you will know what they are. 

The results for social selling

What is social selling?

The DLA Ignite definition of 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".

(Please note these figures are for the DLA Ignite methodology, we cannot speak for other suppliers, please check with them, before signing any contracts.)

I need to say, before I get any comments. 

There is no spam and no automation in the DLA Ignite social selling methodology!

The DLA Ignite social selling methodology does not use connect and pitch!

The DLA Ignite social selling methodology does NOT use inmails, which are spam. 

In fact the program is now back and certified by the Institute of sales professionals (ISP), the only such methodology backed by a sales professional body.


Let's get onto those results for DLA Ignite methodology of social selling

The team are getting a 9% response (on average) to social selling cold outreach, so for every 100 people they ask for a call, 9 say "yes"

This figure is an average, so we think somebody with intermediate skills or an expert should be getting a higher figure should be getting a larger response.  In fact, our benchmark for an expert is 13%, but I want to keep figures realistic and conservative. 

As we mentioned above, with every "call" based on cold outreach, there has to be some sort of next action.  For your own company, you will know what your next action is, it will be a demo, a discovery call or something. 

We have found that with DLA Ignite social selling methodology 9% of the people (on average) that agreed to a call, 33.6% are converting to a next action.  


This is exponential growth when compared to cold calling. 

Each salesperson is averaging 10 calls / meetings per week, the good ones are getting 25 meetings a week.

Just think if you scaled that across your sales organization! 

(The most successful SDR complains he has got too many meetings, which think is a great problem to have!)

Just think about that being rolled out across your sales team(s).  

It's time to work smarter not harder. 


Let's look at this with a business case

Let's take a sales team of 10.

We know that the average person can grow their network by 3,000 people a year.  Let's assume of these 50% are going to buy, this gives you a network growth of 1,500 per person per year.

If you have 10 salespeople that gives you a total addressable market (TAM) of 15,000 new people to have conversations with.

With ourInstitute of sales professionals (ISP) backed, DLA Ignite social selling methodology, (note: we cannot vouch for anybody else) based on our measured benchmark, you should be able to get, on average, meetings with 9% of this TAM of 15,000.  This means your sales team can have 1350 new conversations every year. 

(As we know, conversations create sales.)

As we discussed above, with any cold outreach the objective is to get a next action and using our social selling methodology and using our measured benchmark we can get 33.6% of 9% of our TAM to a next action, which is 454.

Let assume you win 1 in 3, that's 151 new sales a year using social selling, average order value (AOV) $100,000, that's 

$15,120,000 = $15 million

That's an additional $15 million that you are missing by cold calling rather than social selling.

or $1,26 million you miss every month you delay moving from cold calling to social selling.

Of course, if you have more than 10 sales people, you can scale the figures up. 

Imagine you are at a conversation and. the day before the event, there is a drinks in the evening, you have a call and so you are late by 30 minutes. As you enter the bar, you see all of the conference delegates and you realise they are all your ICP (ideal customer profile).  You also see that each ICP is talking with, and laughing with a salesperson.  Now is that salesperson they are laughing with, your salesperson or is it the competitions? 

That is going on out on social media, day in and day out and if your ICPs are laughing and talking with your sales people, will be if you have trained and coached your salespeople in a sales methodology. 



Want to know more about social selling, check out my new book

"social selling techniques to influence buyers and changemakers - 2nd edition".

In this brand new edition, I have updated all the text, I have also got 15 practitioners, so people who are doing this already to explain how they are get (practical) business benefit. From the CEO that has been running a digital business for over 18 months to sales leaders who use social selling every day.  

Articles on how these business have and are implementing digital, from Mercer, Telstra Purple, Ring Central, Cyberhawk, Namos, Ericsson, DLA Ignite and more.

What does Mark Schaefer, Marketing guru think of the book "social selling - techniques to influence buyers and changemakers - 2nd edition"? watch the video here

It's available on Amazon worldwide.  Link to Amazon.com here and Amazon.co.uk here.