Social media can be an incredibly powerful driver of activity for SMEs. Done properly, it can help generate interest in your business or product, but it can also be used to build brand awareness and connect and build trust with your customers.
In October, LinkedIn and Hootsuite presented their findings from an analysis of social media activity of 851 Australian financial organisations. The report shows that as customers increasingly choose digital communication channels, business models are changing. Social media activity – particularly when broadcast from an organisation’s executive level – is more influential than ever before.
Data from Hootsuite solutions and LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI), revealed that 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.
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
So what does this mean for SMEs?
While this research was carried out within the financial services sector, the results are relevant to any business that carries out marketing activities. Regardless of how big your organisation is, or what industry you’re in, social media messages coming from the decision-makers in your team will help to reinforce your branding, improve the experiences your customers have with your business, and can help build positive perceptions about your business.
Social media puts you where the customers are: 15 million Australians are on Facebook and 3.7 million use LinkedIn. These channels are unique in that they offer businesses an unprecedented level of engagement – allowing you to interact with customers in real time, as well as offering a range of tools to help you gain a deeper insight into your target market. As customers increasingly choose to reach out to businesses via their social media pages, maintaining and building on that connection can help you to solidify your brand and build trust with your customers. Plus, every single post presents an opportunity for customers to convert.
The dramatic results of this study really shows us that social media simply can’t be seen as an ‘optional extra’ for your marketing, but must become an integrated, core function of it.
To find out more about how to make social media drive results for your business, contact the team at Blaze Marketing.