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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

As a two year old start-up one of the first things we did was put up a website, it took, Adam about two days to put the wordpress site and we probably change the wording on every 6 months or so.  Mainly as we change the way we position things.  We have to have a website, which after all in the Business-to-Business (B2B) world it’s just a brochure.

If you want to find out about us, then people visit the website. But our customers are not there and I bet your customers are not on yours.

Our customers are on social media.  Our Twitter @DigitalLeadersA grows at about 1,000 followers a month and is fast approaching 20,000 followers.  All of us here at DLA have a social presence on Twitter and Linkedin.  This is the way we communicate with our prospects and customers.

Either on Twitter or LinkedIn or through the various direct mail (dm) products on those platforms.

Since the beginning of time, humans have been social.  We set up tribes as we knew that with the number of predators we were better off in groups and teams rather than working alone.  When we started farms, again we formed communities.  All the way through history we have banded together. This is exactly what social media provides us.  A free, (and frictionless) means to communicate with each other.  As friends and family.  As colleagues and also for prospects and customers.  It’s totally natural for us.  Which is why we are there and so is 43% of the world’s population.

Social Media is global, so while in the past we had to do business with people in our town or city or country, we can now do business globally.  Which is why, DLA is only two years old but is already a global company.  Yesterday we had an enquiry from an Australian company and while in the past a company of our size might not had been able to fulfil that, it seems totally natural to do business with people 12,000 miles away.

So if social is a natural place for your employees, prospects and customers to hang out in a free and frictionless way, why are you not there?  Why are you driving people to your website?  Why are you driving people to an event?  Why have you not channeled some of your SEO, PPC and advertising budgets into social?

(Before I go on, I must say something about events.  I’ve never understood this comment I so often got from people that was “we need an event”.  Surely you can just contact the people you would normally ask to an event and go and see them.  Events (by the time you have organised them) extend the sales cycle.  Why would you do something to stop something closing this quarter?  Anyway always baffled me.)

But there’s more.

Above we have only covered the benefits of using social externally.  We all have WhatsApp groups, are part of Facebook groups.  In addition to that, we run our business on social, which has the following benefits:

  1. Gets salespeople making their number quicker
  2. Enables us to offer an excellent new employee experience
  3. Our maternity returners start contributing quicker
  4. We are able to have a 95% accurate sales forecast, which has all the added benefits of business planning
  5. Reduce the time needed for meetings

In fact, according to McKinsey using social internally creates internal efficiencies of 20% – 25%.

Just think, an extra 25% more employees at no extra cost, which business leader would say no to that?

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