Social Selling Survey Results

The results are in for my 2022 Social Selling Survey! With 436 total respondents, we have some great insights into the state of social selling.  

Let’s dive in!

Who is doing social selling?

who is doing social selling pie graph

So let’s start by looking at who is doing social selling. Of the survey respondents, the role breakdown was:

  • 33% – Sales
  • 29% – Marketing
  • 24% – Owner/Executive
  • 19% – Other

Not surprisingly, sales and marketing made up most of the respondents actively working or considering a social selling strategy. The people tasked with gaining visibility and bringing in revenue lead the charge with social selling.

But not to be discounted, many executives were active social sellers. This was great for two reasons: 1) senior leadership is leading by example for implementing a social selling strategy, and 2) key decision makers are actively engaging with social media for business.

In addition to those groups, there was some sampling of accounting, HR, and operations roles comprising the “other” results.

How large is your company?

how large is your company bar graph

What size companies are doing social selling? Based on the survey results… all of them!

From solo entrepreneurs to major enterprises, the survey respondents represented a large sample of company sizes. This shows that social selling is not just a strategy for one dimension of the market and that companies of all sizes are taking advantage of new opportunities to sell and market their products.

While I didn’t run any further statistical analysis on this data (sorry, data nerds), an interesting follow-up would be comparing the survey data to the overall business size makeup of the economy. Are specific size markets over or under-represented? A question to explore further…

Have you implemented a social selling strategy?

have you implemented a social selling graph

Of the survey respondents, 67% said they had implemented some type of social selling strategy (formally or informally).

Digging a little deeper into the data, those who implemented a strategy were 3X more likely to have noted a positive impact from social selling on their business. This is a clear endorsement that having any strategy, even an informal one, will increase the likelihood of yielding positive results.

This will be an exciting number to watch as this survey is repeated in the future to see how social selling is implemented as businesses continue to evolve their sales and marketing techniques.

What are the primary concerns with social selling?

primary social selling concerns bar graph

When it comes to concerns with implementing social selling, there were a few issues that respondents identified. These were:

  • Takes too much time – 24%
  • Not sure how to do it – 14%
  • It won’t be effective – 19%
  • Can’t create the content – 29%
  • Results are hard to quantify – 38%
  • Can’t get coworkers onboard with the strategy – 43%
  • Other – 10%

While not one majority issue was shared amongst all participants, it was interesting to see the top two both related to managing expectations with internal stakeholders: 1) hard to get coworkers onboard, and 2) results are hard to quantify. Perhaps some more internal discussions around the importance of social selling need to be had.

Around 20-30% of survey respondents also had concerns with social selling taking too much time and the ability to create content. This was also shared in the additional notes section of the survey response, with many people sharing those resource limitations (time, money, or knowledge) were a factor.

What social media platforms are used for social selling?

platforms used for social selling bar graph

LinkedIn was by far the most dominant social networking platform that was used for social selling. With a surprising (to me) distant second place with YouTube. Here are the final results:

  • LinkedIn – 90%
  • Facebook – 24%
  • Twitter – 24%
  • TikTok – 14%
  • Instagram – 24%
  • Snapchat – 0%
  • YouTube – 29%

What does this mean? For now, LinkedIn is the place to be for social selling. However, more and more, it’s becoming a great tactic to share content across platforms. As I discussed with Ema Roloff in an episode of TABS, sharing content like TikTok videos on LinkedIn can be a great way to create engaging posts.

How much time is spent on social selling?

time spent on social selling graph

People are spending some serious time implementing their social selling strategy! 43% of respondents say they spend 3-5 hours a week, and another 24% say they spend 5+ hours weekly on social media for business.

How much time should we spend on social selling? As more sales and marketing activities move online, social media platforms become the new “spot” for us to do our work.  This is where our customers engage with content and where we can find, nurture and sell prospects for our solutions. While I’m not sure what the correct number is, spending 30-60 minutes daily doesn’t seem unreasonable.

For some people, especially those in marketing roles, their time spent on social media for business was probably not spent solely for social selling. For those tasked with managing the company pages and marketing campaigns, social media management is part of their regular job role tasks.

In what ways are people engaging on social media?

how you engage in social media graph

Most survey respondents were fairly engaged as part of their social selling strategy. Over 50% were joining groups, viewing posts, commenting on posts, and creating their own text and image posts. Between 30-40% of respondents created video posts or used social media to promote online events.

It’s great to see that people are comfortable creating posts themselves AND staying engaged by interacting with others’ content. Keeping social media “social” is a key to getting results.

How has social selling impacted their results?

social selling impact graph

And finally, the main question that everyone wants to know… Does social selling produce results?  

The answer – yes. With 95% of respondents listing at least one positive result they’ve had from social selling.

Here are the ways that respondents said social selling impacts their results:

  • Generated new leads – 43%
  • Helped nurture existing leads – 48%
  • Increased reach of our marketing content – 62%
  • Helped to target new prospects – 46%
  • Improved my personal brand – 50%
  • Found a new job – 39%
  • It has not had a positive impact on my results – 5%

These results build a strong case for sales and marketing leaders to implement a social selling strategy in their businesses. Many survey respondents highlighted how social selling has helped them expand their reach, build their authority, generate new leads, and work with existing leads.

Conclusion

Based on the results of this survey, it can be concluded that social selling is a legitimate and effective way for many businesses to increase the impact of their sales and marketing efforts. While the concept of social selling may be new, its principles are grounded in sales and marketing basics – show up, engage with your customers, and provide value.

For those looking to further their social selling strategy, check out my course, “Mastering Social Selling.” I provide a step-by-step framework for building and implementing a social selling practice.

I also want to thank everyone who participated in this year’s social selling survey (Note: The winners of the survey gift card reward have been emailed). Your responses helped highlight how business leaders utilize and benefit from social selling strategies.

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