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Using Social Media for B2B Leads


By Tiffany Deluccia

I find most people immediately discount social media as a B2B marketing channel. While on the surface, that may feel intuitive, this philosophy in practice could cause you to miss out on opportunities to build relationships, nurture leads and market successfully. There is a personal component to B2B relationships.

A 2013 Gallup study found only 20% of B2B customers are actively engaged customers. The overall takeaway from the study can be summed up in the headline of the published article:

B2Bs Win by Building Relationships, Not Selling on Price

If that’s the case, social media can work with a strategic approach.

The most important thing before starting any social media campaign is to research which channels you should be on. If you’re a small B2B company, I’d begin that research by talking to current clients about what social media platforms they use and for what purposes. This will be less about the accounts their businesses use for marketing and more about what the decision-makers personally use. Is LinkedIn their first stop for business news and updates in the morning? Are they fanatical about following Twitter trends? Find out how the people you want to reach are using social media.

Second, figure out your content goals. What kinds of messages are you hoping to communicate to decision-makers at the businesses you target? What assets do you already have that you could repurpose online?

Third, plan your content strategy. This marries up the first two points. Once you know the kinds of platforms your target audience uses, plan to communicate your key messages in ways that make sense on those social media sites. If they are mostly using LinkedIn, longer-form blog posts, white papers and infographics could be good tools for communicating your messages. If YouTube, perhaps you could capitalize on the great personality of one of your salespersons and try something like what Moz – a search engine optimization company – does with its Whiteboard Friday series of videos about SEO.

Twitter has also introduced a special kind of tweet through its advertising platform called Lead Generation Cards that can actually help you capture names and email addresses of people who are interested in your offers directly from tweets you send out. I’ve found them to be very simple to use and, astonishingly, they are free!

So, take some time to thoughtfully consider social media as a B2B marketing tool before you write it off. And if you want some examples of B2B companies using social well, check out this Social Media Today article from earlier this year.

Photo Credit: atomicjeep via Compfight cc