Brands have spent a lot of time and money working on their social skills. But in digital communities such as Facebook and Twitter, they can seem more like needy hangers-on than actual friends, jumping in on jokes and sometimes grossly misreading the tone of conversations they join, uninvited, in order to promote themselves.

Not surprisingly, consumers are not buying it. According to a study from analytics firm Chartbeat, people are much more likely to pay attention to material on Twitter when it comes from third parties – in other words, people talking about things that really interest them rather than brands promoting themselves.

I was talking recently with social sales expert and rockstar team member, Julio Viskovich about the impact of social sales on the opportunity for a company to really move the needle on revenue and bottom line profits.

Viskovich referred me to the August 2013 study by the Aberdeen Group indicating the success of social selling programs.

  • 72.6% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often.
  • 46% of social sellers hit quota compared to 38% of sales reps who don’t.
  • 64% of teams that use social selling hit quota compared to 49% that don’t.
  • 80% believe their sales force would be more productive with a greater social media presence.

Aberdeen Group goes on to declare that companies who embrace content marketing and social selling experience:

  • 9% year-over-year increase in average deal size when using social selling.
  • 16.3% average year-over-year increase in total company revenue after adopting a social selling program.
  • Companies state that the buying process is more than 70% complete when buyers talk to reps after finding info online via social.

The importance of melding quality, content-driven marketing with sales–allowing sales professionals to enter the conversation earlier with quality, relevant, content to share with their personal, trusted networks cannot be disputed.

My still inspiring 2009 quote: “Social Media is here. It is not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media” continues to resonate because people are still figuring out they might as well through in the towel like they eventually did with the rotary phone, the personal computer, and email.

Social Selling statistics according to Aberdeen Group

NEW FOR 2014 – 20 years after the first online banner ad runs, digital advertising take the largest share of ad spend. Double digit growth to continue in 2014 with forecast 14% increase.

First commissioned in 1998 by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada, this most recent release marks the 16th consecutive year that Canadian online advertising revenues are being reported and the 8th consecutive year reporting mobile ad revenues (which also include Tablets).