The San Francisco PR Summit was filled with motivating and inspiring speakers (see our 5 main takeaways here) from the Bay Area’s best public relations representatives and online content creators. Jill Rowley, one of the keynote speakers, talked extensively about the importance of maintaining an active online presence in order to help build connections.
Jill Rowley describes herself as a #SocialSelling evangelist and a social media addict. She explained that she had over 11,000 LinkedIn connections and close to 17,000 twitter followers. She gained this impressive following by networking and collecting business cards over the years. She reminded listeners that, “LinkedIn is no longer an online resume. It’s your digital reputation!” She encourage everyone to start “build[ing] your professional brand” today, and reminds us all that, “you’re network is your networth”.
Why is it important to build these online connections? Rowley explains, “78 percent of sales using social media are outperforming their peers. Cold calling and unsolicited emails are just not working anymore.” Rowley attributes her success to the strong and lasting connections she’s made online.
Rowley points out that customers not only want but also expect companies to feel personal and authentic nowadays. Advertising is not working. Good salesmanship can be attributed to social media. In fact, 82% of the world’s population can be reached via the social network-sphere; that comes out to roughly 5.4 billion people! An even more staggering statistic that Rowley pointed out is that 92% of people trust other buyers, that’s almost 3x the amount of the buyer-to-company trust ratio.
Maintaining a strong social presence, getting back to customers right away on Twitter, and giving potential buyers valuable information on Facebook all add up to higher sales for companies. Rowley says, “social selling leverages your professional brand to fill your pipeline with the right people, insights, and relationships.” To sum up her speech, Rowley reminds her listeners to provide insight and value for the buyer online. Connect with the buyer and amplify the buyer as well. Sales people should read the articles their buyers find important, the ones they are sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. in order to build a stronger connection with them which in tern will lead to a long-term relationship. The sellers should try to humanize themselves by posting inspirational quotes or motivational TED talks to their own social media sites as well. “Content is the currency of the current marketer,” Rowley explains.
Originally published Jun 25, 2014, updated May 27, 2021