The most critical part of any B2B sales process is lead generation. Without lead generation, there are no sales, and when there are no sales, you will have to kiss your beloved business goodbye at one point or another. It’s necessary that you make use of all the means, especially social media, to keep generating leads.
A common misconception that businesses have about social media is that it is primarily used solely for brand awareness. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact of the matter is that social media might just be one of your strongest assets in garnering more B2B sales leads. Social media is much more than just a tool you can use to grow and nurture your brand and content with your clients. If you do it right, it will help your brand tremendously.
What’s the Connection?
Let’s get the basics straight first. When we say lead generation, we’re not talking about the same thing as sales, but rather it’s about bringing people into your sales funnel. Think of it as trying to get to know a person more after a date. It’s all about the details. What are your target prospects interested in? Which of your services would fit their needs best? What peaks their interest?
Gone are the days where lead generation solely relied on sending out surveys, filling out forms on magazines or pamphlets. Though they are still used sometimes nowadays, the internet has completely shifted how businesses can generate leads faster and better.
Utilizing social media is more than just keeping with the times. It’s necessary since today’s way of making sales is all about gated content such as video marketing, email opt-ins and paid ad campaigns to reach your targeted at potential clients. Social media makes lead generation easier because information always travels, and all your potential clients’ thumbs are always ready to share information with a tap on their screens. Add to that fact that in this time and age, people spend more time socializing on social media that it makes for the perfect place to find your target market.
Maybe you haven’t used social media for your business yet, or maybe you are still starting to dabble into it. Whichever the case, here are some ways to effectively use social media for lead generation.
Research and Select
There important points to consider before picking the platform you are going to use. You don’t want to be picking just any social media platform or else you will be trying to acquire leads from the wrong platforms. Know your clients first. As big as Facebook is and how almost everyone in the world uses it, one might think that choosing Facebook is a no-brainer. However, that is not always true.
According to studies, only 39% of B2B marketers have gotten lead generation through Facebook while using LinkedIn generated 44% and a whopping 82% of social media leads are garnered from Twitter.
Just because one site is quite popular doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s what’s going to give you the most success. As we’ve reiterated before, it’s all about knowing your audience and where they always are. Once you’ve figured out which platform your prospects spend the most time at, it will be easier for you to build around that.
If you’re still not quite sure which social media platform to use, you can check out this infographic which will give you a better insight as it breaks downs the user bases of all the top social media sites.
Generating leads will greatly depend on which social media site you are focusing on, so here are some tips and ideas on how you can get started based on the 3 granddaddies of social media.
If your prospects mostly hang out on Facebook, it will be fairly easy to garner leads here. However, you have to be aware that organic leads on here have become increasingly difficult, so you would have to run paid ads at some point. The good news is that ads are quite budget friendly and will not take much out of you.
Other effective and more importantly, interactive ways to turn your followers into leads are to
Contests aren’t a stranger to Facebook. They can be fun and draw a lot of attention, therefore, giving your page good traffic. The downside, however, is that not all the leads you get are qualified ones since a lot of them will just seek for freebies. But don’t let that discourage you. It is still a good way to collect emails into your pool of prospects.
Page = Website
Your Facebook page should be more than just a tool to get likes. Treat your page just like you would with your website. Don’t just create it and then let it sit there, forgotten. Think about what content you want to post/share on your page, what kind of ads you run and even the tabs that you set up. Do not be afraid to post landing pages for any of your offers directly to your page. Another important thing is, try to minimize your use of stock images. They can be a bit off-putting to a lot of people. Try to create your own content whether that’s photo or graphics. It will come off more genuine and authentic to your audience than something you just grabbed from google.
Custom tabs are a great place to put your contact forms in. Pagemodo and Static HTML are recommended apps you can use to set up your custom tabs. They capture leads without having to send your prospects to an external site which we all know can be quite annoying. To fully maximize them and catch more eyes, be sure to link them in your posts as well as when you’re running your ads.
For B2B leads, LinkedIn is the top social media site to use. It is specially catered towards professionals and networking which makes your leads organic. Here are some ways to help you get started.
Offering free samples is a powerful technique that can result in highly qualified leads. If you go for LinkedIn Premium, it gives businesses the opportunity to find qualified leads based on occupation roles and other essential criteria. After that, they will contact them directly using InMail.
Inbound marketing is the king in generating leads here. It drives in 54% more leads than just normal outbound marketing.
Content marketing is one of the most effective methods of inbound marketing. And with LinkedIn being fast growing publishing platform to show your potential prospects your expertise as a leader, offer information and insights about your business for other business people to see, and also to gain leads while you’re at it.
When it comes to Twitter, you want to consider using Twitter Cards. They enrich your tweets with additional content, media, and most importantly call to action. There are many different types of Twitter cards at your disposal but of course, you have to be able to choose the right one for you and your business. Here is a list of different cards that would fit your purpose.
Whichever card you choose to use, always remember to use eye-catching images and graphics and grab client’s attention with your captions. Think out what you have to say very carefully. After all, you only have 140 characters.
Make sure you also keep track of brand mentions. Let your social media team keep track of mentions about your company and/or products. If you don’t, you may as well be missing out on leads.
Lastly, another feature that will help you on Twitter is creating events. The Ask Me Anything and other time-sensitive events on Twitter are very useful and can generate high quality leads for you. In addition to that, there is also a Twitter Live feature that you can use to keep your prospects interested and involved during seminars or conferences that you might hold. This way, you offer them free value and in return, your prospects will want to know more about your company which can translate into new leads for you.
Enlarge your Sphere
To include an honorable mention into your pool of social media choices, Instagram has come a long way for still being a bit of a fairly new platform. It only started in 2010, but just like his other social media friends, it has evolved tremendously and many companies use it to their advantage to build their brand and to generate leads. You can connect it to your Facebook and Twitter, so whatever you share on Instagram will be directly shared to your other platforms as well. It’s more than just a place where you can post pretty pictures and short videos. Use it to its fullest potential to build up your brand and interact with your audience.
Social media has become much more than just a way to communicate with other people and to build up your brand. If used correctly and strategically, it can help generate leads, drive sales and grow your company greatly.