New report proves the value of social media

17 February 2017

New report proves the value of social media

Do you use social media as part of your marketing strategy?


Most SME owners have realised that investing in regular, well-planned social media strategies really can get results – and that, when analysed on a cost-per-lead basis, it’s a highly cost-effective springboard for your marketing.


In October, a report published by social media management platform Hootsuite and LinkedIn revealed some interesting statistics that demonstrate just how powerful social media is at driving traffic, consumer perceptions, conversions, and sales. 


The report, which focused on Australia’s financial services industry, specifically examined how the social media activity of senior executives impacted business performance.


The researchers analysed 851 Australian financial organisations using data from Hootsuite solutions and LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI), and found that companies with ‘Social Executives’ (i.e. executives who are active on social media) are more positively perceived, drive higher sales outcomes, appear more competitive and attract more talent.


Some key statistics from the report included:


• Sales teams that embrace social are 51% more likely to reach their sales quotas
• 78% of sellers who are active on social media out-perform their peers who aren’t on social media
• 42% of the social media performance of staff can be attributed to the social media activities of executives
• Executives who are active on social media receive 6.54 times higher engagement than their peers


Other benefits associated with social media activity – particularly when carried out at the highly influential executive level – included:


• Reinforce the organisation’s branding
• Improve the customer experience
• Create positive perceptions about the organisation


The researchers concluded that this is because social media, which conveys messages in a more personalised manner, is now seen by customers as the most trusted communication channel. ‘Whether in financial services or any other industry, customers, employees and shareholders are demanding an authentic voice from their business leaders,’ said Mark Dick, director of sales solutions at LinkedIn Australia. ‘The executive’s ability to influence their organisation’s brand through social engagement has never been greater.’


Although this report focused on the financial sector, the message remains relevant to all business owners, no matter what industry you’re in: social media works because it’s immediate, and it allows businesses to engage and interact with customers at a more intimate level. You can build your brand, ‘speak’ to your customers and answer their questions in real time. Your business is seen as more accessible and friendlier, and that helps to build trust. Plus, every single post presents an opportunity for customers to convert.


In Australia, we have 15 million Facebook users and 3.7 of us are on LinkedIn – these numbers simply can't be ignored, particularly when we consider that the majority of these users are actively engaging with the content they find on social media. They seek information, respond and act in it in a way than can never be achieved with the more traditional, static channels.


So here’s your opportunity, as the owner of an SME: build your brand, create trust, and improve your sales figures by making it a priority to engage with your customers using well-planned social media strategies.


To find out more about how to become a ‘Social Executive’ and make social media drive results for your business, contact the team at Blaze Marketing.


(Visit http://www.hootsuite.com for more information on the HootSuite/LinkedIn Financial Services report.)

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