No, I didn’t get the title wrong. According to new research from Kitedesk and A Sales Guy, more salespeople used Twitter in their 2014 sales processes than LinkedIn.
My initial reaction: Huh??
I’m not alone in my confusion. In a Forbes article on the study, Mark Fidelman wrote that he “presumed LinkedIn to be the go-to platform for salespeople” until confronted with the data.
But the results are clear — Twitter edges out LinkedIn, if by only a slight margin. While Twitter received a usage score of 1301 in the study, LinkedIn trailed behind with 1273 (the report explains that “scores are weighted based on responses from sales reps who use social media as part of the sales process”). A similarly small margin separated LinkedIn from the third most used social media site — Facebook.
Social selling expert Jill Rowley shared her surprise in the report.
“Shocked that Twitter has surpassed LinkedIn. That said, I can typically learn more personal things about a buyer on Twitter than LinkedIn — who she follows, who follows her, what she tweets about, who she retweets, what lists she’s a member of and subscribes to,” Rowley said.
In addition, Rowley pointed out that Twitter enables virtual event attendance through hashtags. And this can help salespeople keep on top of industry trends and developments.
The research also revealed that salespeople adept at using social media are six times more likely to surpass quota than their less socially savvy colleagues. On the other hand, 36% of salespeople who missed their number copped to having basic or non-existent social media skills.
Moral of the story? If you’re using social media at all — whether your preferred channel is LinkedIn, Twitter, or something else entirely — you’re ahead of the curve. It’s the reps who continue to shy away from social who have cause to worry.
What’s your favorite social media channel for sales?