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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Once upon a time social media was something that was kept in the corner in marketing, somebody tweeted on it, every now and again. People dabbled a bit on Linkedin and Facebook, but it wasn’t really central to what marketing did. People pretty much forgot about it. People didn’t put any resources into it so they didn’t get much from it.

10 years later Things have Changed Big Time.

Sales Now Uses Social Media

First Sales started using social and were able to get $1 Million deals for a reduction in the cost of sales. Not only were they able to get leads and meetings quicker than the legacy methods, they were also able to accelerate the pipeline by the clever use of content.

Marketing Uses Social Media 

Marketing caught on and realised that their prospects were on social media, so rather than investing large sums on PPC (pay per click), ad words, events etc, they could find prospects earlier in the sales cycle. Better still, the new empowered buyers could find them and companies started getting inbound.

This new buyer was interested in companies that stop using interruption and broadcast methods such as advertising, cold calling, unsolicited emails, in fact they actively avoided the companies that used these techniques. Why? Because it pissed them off! Legislation and technology conspired against marketing, where as you could set packs of cold callers or emailers on unwitting people. The people fought back, with ad-blockers, junk mail filters, and blocked these people. Marketers realised that could do more for less by using social media. 

Customer Services Uses Social Media

Customer Service has known for a long time that they can strip out cost from the call centre by using social rather than a call centre agent. In studies the cost of handling a customer service call in customer service halved. If you aggregate that cost across all of the business, this will provide massive savings.

Human Resources Uses Social Media

Human Resources have been big users of social, in most cases just tactically posting jobs on Twitter. One of our clients was able to strip £125K ($163K) of cost from the business by posting just a blog to recruit people. Imagine the cost that could be stripped out of this was rolled out across the business? There is also the spin off of benefits that a company can become the employer of choice in that market sector.

Email is Replaced by Social Media

Social is also being used internally to remove the inefficiencies of email. Often used in segments of the organisation or in projects as it helps people collaborate across departments, countries etc.

Is Social Media Your DLS (Dirty Little Secret)?

Social Media has become a companies DLS (Dirty Little Secret) everybody uses it, but they use it on a tactical basis. There is also case study after case study of how people have used it across the organisation and stripped out cost, increased efficiency and effectiveness. So why are organisations not bringing this all together and using social as part of their digital transformation?

Social is after all natural, ever since humans realised on the Serengeti that to stop us being eaten by a sabre-tooth tiger we need to work together and that meant talking to each other. Social is friction-less, just by looking at the way we use social, it’s so easy and to a certain extent it’s free. It used to be something we gave the intern to play with, but social has grown up and companies are using it across the business to strip our cost, gain efficiencies and sell stuff.

Maybe it’s time to take a look?

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