It’s one thing to be aware of social media as a tool other businesses have leveraged successfully, and another thing entirely to make that tool work for your own needs. You may know that it’s possible to push your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook interactions to the next level and drive superior B2B lead generation for your sales team, but the details remain tantalizingly just out of reach. Today, we’re going to help you narrow the gap and turn that vague impression into a concrete set of actions you can begin taking today.
Four Methods to Consider
There many ways to leverage social media for B2B lead generation, but three general strategies encompass most of them:
- Driving Traffic to Content. With this tactic, you utilize social media as another point of entry to your website—an additional inbound channel to work in concert with organic search, blogging, content marketing, paid search, etc. This might be something as simple as Tweeting links to your content with the right hashtag to get interest, or as complex as engaging a LinkedIn group in the long-term and utilizing your reputation to pique interest. You can also rely upon social media to provide you with diverse, natural backlinks from a wide variety of sources—provided you learn how to promote effectively within the different social forums.
- Building Your Image. Image is everything in any form of marketing, and few avenues give you as much room to deliberately cultivate an image so effectively and efficiently as social media. You can quite easily use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social avenues to shape the impression other businesses have—ultimately, B2B is still person to person sales, so getting the right perception in the right minds works just as well here as it does in consumer marketing.
- Social Selling. The direct method, social selling engages businesses and individual decision makers within the social setting and works at lead generation wholly within that environment. You’ll want to learn how to recognize prospects who will make leads worthy of sales team attention without additional marketing pressure, and which you’ll need to direct into your sales funnel first. Look for what they talk about—businesses they engage with, products they recommend, etc.
- Social Vetting. Social media also provides raw data you might not find elsewhere—quite useful in B2B lead generation. Investigate decision makers to see what they’re interested in, confirm contact information, and gain insight for your sales team. A quick look over a nascent lead’s social media accounts can be of great use in lead scoring.
The Core Concept
At the core of any method of leveraging social media for lead generation lay a single necessity: actual participation. Any attempt to scrape benefits from social media communities without honestly and earnestly engaging them is doomed to failure. Get involved in industry web communities and figure out what they need, what they care about, and where else they talk about professional matters.
You need to spread natural connections, participate as a value-providing member of various industry-related groups, and learn the ‘language’ of the medium. It pays to figure out who the big names are and follow them, like their pages, etc. Get a feel for how to build followers in your industry by watching the successful participants—specifics can vary by industry, target demographics, etc. It’s also important to note the difference of tone between different social networks: Twitter is more casual than Facebook is more casual than LinkedIn—set your tone and shape your approaches appropriately. We hope you enjoyed our lead generation marketing strategies for social media!