Many B2B companies have convinced themselves that social media marketing doesn’t work. It seems there’s a mindset that says, for example, insurance/engineering/manufacturing (take your pick!) companies can’t realize success on Twitter, Facebook, whatever. The truth is, they can, and they are.
The fact is this, B2B buyers are hanging out on social media (for both personal and business reasons all the time), which is what makes it such an effective place to focus your B2B marketing efforts.
But how do you as a vendor connect with B2B buyers on social, without annoying them or overtly interrupting their experience?
Here are four ways B2B sellers can leverage social media for lead generation:
1. Link To Your Gated Content
Any high-quality content – especially gated content – is there for a reason: to capture potential leads. So why not take advantage of your social media accounts and get that content out there in front of target audiences that will be interested in it?
While you can try to get your gated content in front of the people that matter using organic reach, paid ads using custom audiences are often a lot easier and a lot more powerful. You might not get a deluge of leads this way, but the ones you do get will be qualified and likely very interested in what you’re offering.
At the very least it brings engaged visitors to your site and healthy traffic numbers that increase your social proof.
2. Social Contests & Quizzes
Social contests and quizzes are effective lead generation tools because they are fun and offer value in the form of a prize. With the right questions, they also provide you with feedback in the form of insights from prospects and potential customers, and highlight factors that influence buyers in and around your brand, marketplace, industry.
Just be sure to set yours up so that such interactions don’t break any rules on the social platform you’re going to run it on.
Also, when choosing a prize, make sure it’s good enough to encourage people to enter, AND relevant to your business and its customers/prospects. Finally, don’t forget to capture entrants’ contact information and provide full transparency on data collection.
You can even hold the contest on your own website (via a dedicated landing page) and use social media to directly boost awareness of your brand/site. This gives you more freedom when it comes to the contest and quiz mechanics too.
3. Live Webinars & Video
Live video is massive on social media and enjoys disproportionately larger organic reach than other types of content, making it particularly powerful. Two ways for B2B sellers to take advantage of it is by conducting a live video session or webinar. The contact information of participants can either be obtained upfront or through a dedicated landing page afterward.
However, you need to add real value and clear next steps with your video/webinar to make your audience want to learn more about what you’ve got to offer. Therefore, the subject matter is crucial, as is promoting it beforehand to attract the right audience.
So many people may register interest, but many may end up not turning up or pop in and out, so it is important to send reminders pre-event and save a recording that can then be distributed or shared afterward.
4. Social Listening
Social listening to uncover leads is where you research a list of keywords that your prospects might use and then search for them on social media. What you’ll uncover is a list of potential leads that you can then look to build relationships and engage with.
Always be hypersensitive to the types of people you want your business associated with and connected to, and don’t approach this with any pre-conceived ideas of hounding people with a sales pitch. They will see through it early in the process.
The engagement stage of this process is all about adding value to your prospects and not simply throwing a sales pitch at them. Follow the prospect, understand their pain points, share their news and insights, and then look to natural find a fit for products and services within their company/corporate structure.
COO and co-founder of Creative Mindscape. Lover of marketing, psychology, tech and all things sport. Family man with a passion for living life outside the rat race and chasing your own dreams.