Written by Sam Irvine, Member of MA’s B2B Special Interest Group

It was a privilege to hear Tim Hughes, CEO at DLA Ignite in the UK, talk about how organisations can use social media to help transform business and gain a competitive advantage.

If you’re not sure who Tim is, he was listed as one of the top eight social sales experts to follow globally by LinkedIn in 2021. He’s also been ranked as one of the most influential people in social selling by Onalytica. Check out his LinkedIn page. We’re sure he won’t mind.

He started by saying that people are now comfortable to live in social media rather than seeing it as a destination. And with 58.4% of the world's population using social media an average of 2.5 hours a day – its impact is massive.

Social the right way

Tim shared insights on using LinkedIn and other social platforms to help sales teams build influence, make connections, grow relationships, and build pipeline. Most businesses use social as an outlet for brochureware – it’s just corporate spam. But, by using fun content, interesting profiles and posts, they can stand out from the crowd – increasing visibility and recognition. Salespeople become trusted experts and an engaging social presence helps companies recruit and retain the best talent too.

The buyer journey has changed

We also learnt how people are now at least 60% through the buyer journey before they even consider talking to a salesperson (source: Gartner research). The same research found that on average the buying process includes 6.8 stakeholders. He further defined social selling as using your presence and behaviour on social media to build influence, create connections, grow relationships, and develop trust. This leads to conversations and then commercial interaction

What’s a social organisation?

Tim used the example of Telstra Purple to demonstrate how a social organisation sees their mission. They say that social it is at the heart of what they do. Social is the platform for closing the distance - between clients, prospects, remote employees and potential recruits.

If you missed Tim’s presentation, you can purchase the recordings of all 3 sessions of our Marketing Disrupted B2B edition by emailing us at events@marketing.org.nz.