Can You Really Generate Leads With Social Media Marketing?
Let’s face it, competition is tough in the world of Social Media Marketing. The struggle to stand out from the crowd is the biggest pain point for marketers like us. B2B lead generation is both simpler and harder to ease into, especially on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The key difference is that you’re shooting from a sniper rifle instead of a shotgun. That is to say, your marketing efforts should be more focused and personal instead of indiscriminate.
Creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is the first step to identifying where your focus should go. Not only does it give a comprehensive insight into your target audience, but it’ll also be easier to design and optimize a marketing campaign using four leverage points.
What is an Ideal Customer Profile?
It’s hard to pin down which customer benefits the most from your product or service. That is why the Ideal Customer Profile is extremely important to determine who you need to target and why. Doesn’t that sound like the Buyers Persona too? The short answer is yes. The long answer is that Personas are a little bit more nuanced than ICPs.
Take a look at the difference below.
You may have seen samples of Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP) that look similar to Buyer Personas and may even prefer a more detailed template than the sample I showed. But keep in mind that ICPs are meant to be the idealized business you want to target while Personas are fictitious “what-if” customers that help you create consistent messaging and key marketing tactics.
What is a leverage point?
A Leverage Point is part of the Value Chain and is the process of creating intervention points where small changes can produce impactful changes to the whole system. This can apply to creating a marketing campaign and how it would result in leverage for each location.
- Economic Structures are distinguishable aggregation points through which the product, the actors, and the resources flow and add value to the addition process. This is where projects can encourage wider changes in behavior by shifting the incentives related to it.
- Social Structures have potential leverages that come from social status or position in a community. Developing strategies around an influential person can be effective. It is vital to understand what social and political incentives can form the basis of that influence.
- Economic Incentives are where gaining leverage can create competitive pressure. This is the point when something needs to be changed or they will be out-competed.
- Social Incentives are where social groups can be leveraged by incentives to limit issues and social pressures can be used to encourage behavioral change. It is critical to understand what social incentives are best used to create greater changes in behavior.
As an example, you want to find out what kind of positive outcome your campaign will have on these four points, and what sort of actions will NOT result in leverage. Imagine that you’re a cybersecurity firm trying to sell an internet security application to streaming service companies.
Economic Structure: Leveraged
The campaign has the company promote and facilitate access to their internet security services for the users of the Connected TV companies. The users begin to access these services for all of their CTV devices.
Economic Structure: Not Leveraged
The cybersecurity company sells its app directly to the CTV companies.
Social Structure: Leveraged
The marketing team selects a social media influencer to have them give a review for the internet security service. The review enables the community to have confidence in buying subscriptions for the firm’s internet security services.
Social Structure: Not Leveraged
The marketing team selects one of its members to participate in a promotional event hosted by a different organization. The other guest speakers come from bigger companies with more influence. They outshine the member and he leaves the event without sales or prospects.
Economic Incentive: Leveraged
The campaign involves cybersecurity and anti-stalking services for Connected Television. Their sales have increased, forcing their competitors to adopt it as well or lose the market share.
Economic Incentive: Not Leveraged
The CTV companies don’t see the need for an internet security app for their streaming services because hackers for their devices were very rare.
Social Incentive: Leveraged
The campaign incentivizes its users to invest reactively to solve the problem of hackers using the connected TV to spy on people. The firm markets its pitch to demonstrate how its applications can keep spyware out. The users subscribe for 5 more years for the use of their services.
Social Incentive: Not Leveraged
After buying the license for the app, the company decides that they don’t need to promote the product anymore. The users begin to question the significance of paying extra for an add-on subscription they may not need.
7 Actionable Ways to Generate Leads With Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
Once you understand the results you want to achieve based on how it affects each leverage point, it’s time to develop the strategies to make them happen. Specifically, how do you do that with three of the biggest social media platforms on the internet?
We’ll start out with the tried and true method of sharing your social proof. It’s one of the best ways to demonstrate the value of your brand if you’ve got the numbers and the data to back it up. Reviews, testimonials, accolades, and even some of your user metrics can go a long way in increasing your credibility. The most powerful message you can deliver is not through your best marketer’s mouthpiece but through your customers.
Pro tip: You can use graphics to get past Twitter’s character limit.
As a rule, don’t just offer something for free. Offer something of value. Lead magnets are an incentive for people to return the favor after receiving something valuable. And for us, that is their freely-given information.
Pro tip: There are different types of lead magnets such as eBooks, whitepapers, coupons, case studies, and even invites to live events that you or your affiliates are hosting.
Creating content can be challenging especially if you’re under the false impression that posting a lot of them is the best way to get noticed. After all, you don’t go in blind when you’re about to post something. You need to make sure that what you’re posting is relevant, resonant, and relatable. Social listening helps you understand how your brand can improve your audience’s experience.
Pro tip: It’s not just your audience. Social listening can also help you keep track of what they think about your competitors.
Hosting A Webinar Or A Live Event
I mentioned this before but webinars or live events are not just lead magnets, they are in a class of their own. These events require a lot of investment, preparation, and promotion. The greatest thing about hosting your own webinars or shows is that they are the best way to establish yourself as thought leaders in the industry.
Pro tip: It’s not just you. Webinars or live events can create opportunities for your audience to make important connections, and build a community centered around you.
Building A Community
Speaking of which, if there is ever a practical way to segment your leads with social media then this is it. This also has the very merry effect of your followers helping you with lead conversions. When people of like minds come together, the effect amplifies. Is your product the best thing ever? Your fans agree and would be eager to bring in someone new to the group like their friends and families.
Pro tip: Referral programs are the best icebreakers for leads and prospects. This is the magic that happens within the community.
Beat The Algorithm
Social algorithms are getting tougher year after year. You also have to work with the fact that organic reach is limited. Algorithms LOVE huge brands, and I’ll tell you why in a bit. If you’re someone who struggles to remain visible in the market then you’re not alone. The truth is that algorithms are not transparent so it has been a game of trial and error to see which content gets rewarded with higher rankings. What works this year may not work next year.
The only reason why the algorithm loves brands is that they are less likely to be involved in fake news or spammy content. That’s it. There are factors in which social platforms measure what’s acceptable content or not, and what signals the algorithm.
Here’s what we know about ranking signals on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Comments will help make your post go viral.
- Engage in comments after the first 4 hours after your post goes live.
- Video content
- Fresh features
- High-impact content with no links.
- When your employees actively post on LinkedIn.
- Follower interactions
- Video content that drives engagement, preferably over 5 minutes, and in HD.
- Native videos (or videos that are directly uploaded to their platform)
- Posts that drive organic reach and interaction
- Longform content
- Drive discussions before adding links
- Relevant keywords and hashtags.
- Shorter tweets.
- A number of retweets.
- From a verified account.
- How recent the tweets are?
- Rich media (images, gifs, polls, and native videos)
Keeping It Real
If you leave with a takeaway after reading up to this point, it should be this. Be genuine. Buyers are looking for authentic experiences and trust you to be accountable. Stand by the values that your company preaches, communicate thoughtfully and honestly, and be responsible for your actions. The ideal scenario is that someone hears about you and they will say, “I can trust this company to do right by me.”
Phasing out outdated strategies
One thing to keep in mind is that there are some strategies that may not work anymore simply because Google or other factors have decided that there are better ways to streamline their user experience.
Targeted and Retargeting Ads
They are phasing out third-party cookies. Aaaaaaaah!
But worry not, marketers! Google is pushing back its deadline to 2024. That means, you still have time to re-prioritize your campaigns and make use of first-party cookie better. Or find a way to gain access to third-party data (no, they’re not phasing that out) instead.
If you’re new to the marketing biz or you’re just here to research it, let me tell you why the advertisers are concerned.
Third-party cookies track users across the internet and target them with advertising from websites they’ve visited before. This helps the advertisers understand their users when they are not visiting their website like what kind of websites they visit frequently, what they are purchasing, or which content they find the most interesting.
What does this REALLY mean for marketers? Attribution, frequency capping and suppression, customer and user insights, activation, and retargeting may become obsolete.
Unless… you know… Google changes their minds.
Not using automation
Just because you keep it real doesn’t mean you should disregard automation. What most people don’t realize is that automation does not just make it easy to deal with repetitive tasks, it also creates that sense of availability for its users. When there’s no one to man the front desk, a chatbot can help your users find the information they need or set an appointment to speak with the next available human agent. When there’s an event they can’t possibly miss, they’ll appreciate getting an automated reminder in their inbox or notifications. Facebook is especially great at these kinds of automation.
But let’s not leave out LinkedIn and Twitter! Including Facebook, there are automatons that will help you schedule your posts ahead of your campaigns. There’s even automation that notifies you when there’s a social conversation around you or anything relevant to your industry.
Written content only
Don’t shoot yourself on the foot by limiting yourself to text-based-only content. The technology has advanced enough that images, videos, and audios are now trackable. Viewing habits are the easiest way to track people. Geolocation and machine learning technology have allowed AIs to recognize and even understand visual content. Voice recognition and text-to-speech have made it possible to catch keywords coming right out of your mouth. Right, Alexa?
Lead Generation Through Social Media Is Not Just A Strategy
It’s become a necessity. We’re past that stage where internet things are not groundbreaking things anymore. It’s now just a part of people’s day-to-day lives. When people look for solutions, they are pragmatic enough to seek those who have tried them before. That is why networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have become their one-stop-shop to look for answers. When you happen to be there, rich in content and useful information about the various ways to solve their problems, and you’re giving them an offer… why wouldn’t they take it?