You have probably heard how many businesses have placed their faith in social media as a marketing tool, and in most cases, this has been justified. This is especially true for B2C (business-to-consumer) businesses such as retail stores. B2B (business-to-business) companies have been slower slower to adopt social media, but they too have seen the light. About 87% of B2B companies today use social media as one of their lead generation tactics, and use six platforms on average.
However, B2B companies work differently from B2C enterprises. So what might work for B2C may not work as well with B2B. B2B clients are less likely to make a decision to buy on impulse, for example, so using social media as a direct channel for sales is probably not going to work.
Using social media for B2B lead generation is still a great idea, provided you use tactics specifically designed for B2B. Here are 10 B2B lead generation tactics for social media.
10 B2B lead generation tactics using social media
1. Choose the right platform
There are a lot more social networking sites than you may realize. Even if you just consider the most popular, you have at least 10 with more than 100 million active users each. If you throw enough money at the effort, you can conceivably manage to launch a decent effort at generating leads for all of the top sites. However, B2B is essentially a niche market, so you need to make sure that you are generating leads you can actually use.
A good platform for your B2B marketing money may be LinkedIn, which is where nearly half (44%) of all B2B marketers get relevant leads. A good 39% still look to Facebook and 30% to Twitter to get leads, but you will have to put in a lot more money and effort to get them. Some quick ways to generate leads through LinkedIn is to add connections to build your network, strengthen these connections, and invest in its Premium service to target leads.
2. Build a strong network
The main purpose of social media for B2B is to cultivate relationships and build a positive online reputation so prospective clients will hear about the company. The endgame is to sell, of course, but you will not get very far if you don’t take the trouble in strengthening the ties you have with those in your network. You can do this in several ways, such as connecting with industry leaders, following prospects and new connections on Facebook or Twitter, and participating in expert forums.
3. Add CTAs to your social media profiles
It may seem like a no-brainer to add call-to-action (CTA) buttons or links in your social media posts and profiles, but only a few B2B marketers actually do it well, or at all. This is a pity, because adding that link or hashtag to your website doesn’t cost a thing, and can generate a lot of good leads. Here is one example of how to add a CTA button on your Facebook page.
4. Bring lead magnets in your posts
As you can probably imagine, a lead magnet is content that attracts the attention of your target market by offering them something of value in exchange for contact information. Sounds simple enough, but do you do it? If you don’t, then you are missing the opportunity to score through email marketing as other promotional channels. This article lists a few quick and easy lead magnets you can use in your own social networks.
5. Market your content
The lifeblood of any social media marketing campaign is the content, whether it is in the form of text, image, video, or any combination of the three. However, the most awesome content will just go to waste if the target audience is not aware of its existence. The best way to make them aware of your content is to post regularly on the right day and time for your market segment and to make sure it is SEO-friendly.
6. Improve your brand
The best thing about social media is you can post anything at any time without having to go through editors that might mess with your content. You can use this freedom to expose prospective clients to innovation, find out what they want, or collaborate on a common problem. It is a great way to introduce yourself to your target market and establish yourself as a thought leader.
7. Consider your page a website
It is easy to forget that social networks are more than a way to generate followers and likes. Just like your website, your social profile is a reflection of your brand, and has the same potential for lead generation. Rather than just using social media to improve your SEO and send people to your website, make it a stand-alone lead generator. Post awesome content and calls-to-action that will generate leads right there and then.
8. Use paid ads to generate leads
You would expect that paying for ads would generate leads, but that isn’t a given. Paid ads in the wrong network are just like flushing money down the drain. In addition, choosing the right type of ad will have a significant impact on the number and types of leads it will generate. The rule of thumb is you need to have a thorough understanding of your target market before making any decisions on paid ads.
9. Monitor and measure your social media
You should track your social media performance just as regularly and painstakingly as you track the performance of your website. Monitoring your social media will give you valuable (and cost-saving) information about the effectiveness and return on investment of each of your campaigns, and make you much more efficient in your B2B lead generation.
10. Search engine optimization using long-tail keywords
Many B2B marketers use social media marketing because they believe this improves search engine optimization. However, they fail to maximize its lead generation potential by neglecting to include long-tail keywords, which is often associated with long-form content. It is perfectly acceptable to use long-tail keywords in social media posts. That’s more likely to generate leads because it targets a smaller but more engaged population.
B2B marketing using social media follows many of the basic principles as B2C marketing. However, you need a different approach to generate the right kind of leads and maximize your ROI. The tactics above have proven to work very well, and can generate the leads you need for your B2B business.
Can you think of other surefire tactics to generate leads in B2B marketing? Please leave us your tips in the comments below.