The old adage goes: “It’s not personal. It’s business.” In today’s hyper-connected world where 80% of global CEOs are using social media to engage with customers, colleagues and the public, business is more personal than ever. According to a recent study by global PR leader Weber Shandwick, eight in 10 CEOs (80%) are now engaged online and via social media, a rate which has more than doubled since they first began tracking the social activities of CEOs in 2010 (36%). Today’s executives are thought-leaders, influencers, evangelists, even celebrities. They’re sharing ideas, posing questions, expressing opinions, announcing decisions, and generating conversation via social media. And it’s all right there in the public sphere providing valuable insights for those who are paying attention. What does all this executive engagement mean to sales people? One word: opportunity.
Some 84% of B2B executives use social media as a source for making purchase decisions.
92% of B2B buyers use social media to engage with sales industry thought leaders.
A total of 72% of B2B buyers use social media to research solutions.
Read more here. So how do you tap into social capital?
  1. First and easiest, discover and follow allies, influencers, and decision-makers within the companies you’re targeting.
  2. Build your personal brand by sharing relevant content with your customers and prospects or commenting on topical posts.
  3. Monitor the social activity of your prospects and customers to gauge sentiment and glean insights to determine the right time to engage.
It’s a mistake to discount social media as a casual non-business focused channel. It’s precisely because of its casual appeal that social media is so valuable to businesses. It blurs the line between work and leisure time. Your customers and prospects are looking at social media at all hours of the day and night.
It was just reported that, for the first time ever, one billion people used Facebook in a single day. That’s one in seven people on earth. To put it in perspective, that’s an online community bigger than the entire population of every country on earth with the exception of China and India. At the same time, there are 6,000 tweets generated on Twitter ever second, over 350,000 per minute. Savvy marketers understand that all this constant connectivity represents a great opportunity to build an entirely new kind of brand awareness, credibility, and trust with customers and prospects. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to see a big difference in your sales cycle. LinkedIn reports that social sellers create 45% more opportunities. They are 51% more likely to reach quota. And 78% of sales people who use social media outsell their competitors who don’t use social media. With results like that, you can’t afford to be left out of the conversation.