TechBytes with Rich Meiklejohn, General Manager, Asia Pacific, Hootsuite

Rich Michejohn

Rich Meiklejohn
General Manager, Asia Pacific, Hootsuite

Social selling is a trend that many brands have adopted in the last few years. Hootsuite’s Amplify for selling helps marketers achieve this and calibrate their campaigns. We spoke to Rich Meiklejohn, GM, Asia-Pacific, Hootsuite to figure out the latest trends in this space.

MTS: Who are your target customers for “Amplify for Selling”? Will this be available to all global users?
Rich Meiklejohn: 
Amplify for Selling was created to be used by both salespeople and marketers. Research and our own experience at Hootsuite shows that both salespeople and marketing teams are executing on social programs. Both teams are having conversations with customers — only they’re at different stages of the marketing funnel. While marketing engages customers with thought leadership content, sales teams, use social for one-on-one interactions and to generate leads.

Amplify for Selling is available for all markets, so sales teams around the world can use the solution to align efforts with marketing teams and unlock new channels to build relationships and boost sales.

MTS: Do you think sales reps will get savvier with their social media toolkits once they start using Amplify for Selling in their stacks?
Rich: Absolutely! Training and building confidence among sales reps to engage on social media is key to driving adoption and usage of social selling strategies within organizations. Therefore, training and developing fundamental skills is central to what Hootsuite does — and we’ve seen first-hand the role it plays in boosting confidence among sales reps.

On top of that, Amplify is tailored to maximise productivity for busy, on-the-go sales reps. It is mobile-first, so users can connect and reach out to customers—throughout the customer journey — right from when they identify as a need to when they’re ready to buy. It also uses intuitive monitoring and search features to find leads based on the location of an individual.

The other great thing about Amplify is that it isn’t restricted to one social media channel. Sales teams can use it to post and share content on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, thereby expanding their lead gen pool considerably.

MTS: “Relevant social conversation with sales prospects is the key here.” Could you share some insights into how Amplify for Selling presents data analytics to customers? How can customers leverage their CRM to magnify their social value for selling?
Rich: Because Amplify is integrated with CRM platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, it allows users to sync their contact data and seamlessly discover the social profiles of their prospects. It then sets up social signals such as keywords or phrases, so they can get notified about relevant conversations from their contacts and reach out in real-time.

Sales reps can also see how their leads have engaged with the content. This, in turn, helps determine the type of content and tactics that resonate better with their audience.

MTS: What are the typical gaps preventing sales reps from using social media effectively to engage prospects?
Rich: According to  ‘Social Selling A New B2B Imperative’, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Hootsuite, enterprises today invest in a variety of social media technologies to expand their social selling program’s capabilities. But while a high percentage of sellers use social media to generate leads (55%) and expand contacts (59%),  sellers still miss opportunities because organizations don’t have a programmatic social selling approach in place.

This means that companies are executing individual social selling programmes, but very few sellers are executing on all critical activities that constitute a comprehensive social selling approach.

The biggest challenge is the ongoing disconnect between marketing and sales. Marketers are tracking one set of KPIs while salespeople are focusing on another. But social selling will not work without marketing’s buy-in because they’re the ones most equipped to build these programs. In many cases, marketers are focused on reporting impression-based metrics rather than revenue-based ones.

Bringing both these teams on the same page is key to bridging the gap and effectively leveraging social selling.

MTS: Thanks for chatting with us, Rich.
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