Maximizing Social Media for B2B Lead Gen
While the pool of prospects for B2C companies can often be in the millions, B2B lead gen marketers often have a significantly smaller pool to draw from when looking for new customers.
Social media can help find those valuable B2B prospects, but some platforms are better than others. Only 10 percent of B2B marketers say they are able to quantify the impact of social media on the business, but 55 percent of B2B buyers say they search for product/vendor information on social networks.
Here are the three social media platforms you should focus on to improve B2B lead generation.
While Facebook is often associated as a way to keep up with personal acquaintances, research from the Hubspot State of Inbound report found 74 percent of users say they use Facebook for professional purposes.
If used correctly, Facebook can help drive traffic to your company’s website. The platform boasts the largest audience of all the social media sites, so not having a presence here will ultimately lead to missed opportunities. Thirty-nine percent of B2B companies have generated leads through Facebook—only LinkedIn generates more.
Since there is so much content being shared across the site’s vast audience, it’s essential that you tailor your shared content towards the market or prospect you are hoping to hit. From personal experience, videos and images can work wonders for engagement, as does sharing relevant articles, thought leadership and hot topics from relevant industry publications.
A less surprising inclusion is Twitter, which has worked hard over recent years to climb the social ladder and become a key marketing tool with clear metrics and follower insights.
Unlike Facebook, which filters its content, tweets can be seen by anyone and can be targeted to specific trends or topics using hashtags. Using Twitter can be a great way of listening to the important conversations happening in your industry from thought leaders, influencers, analysts and even your competitors, as well as finding the prospects your company can turn into sales.
Just like LinkedIn, Twitter allows users to build lists of targets to engage with, publicly or privately, and filter out all the tweets from your main news feed to focus on a particular industry or topic. You can essentially build a list of prospects to see what they’re talking about and who they’re talking with and use this information to start a conversation.
Twitter encourages and rewards user interactions, so don’t be afraid to start the conversation with someone who looks like a relevant prospect.
Known as the “Facebook of business,” LinkedIn’s takeover by Microsoft for £18bn last year proves there is real value in the platform—research indicates 80 percent of social media leads come from LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has over 400 million total users in over 200 countries. Users come from a range of different cultures, industries, markets and job levels, including CEOs, upper level management and C-suite professionals. According to Pew Research Center statistics, LinkedIn is the only major social media platform where usage rates are higher among 30- to 49-year-olds than among 18- to 29-year-olds. These are far more likely to be people who have the B2B decision-making power to select your services.
No other site has a database full of prospects and leads ready to engage with your company—prospects can be searched for by industry or job titles to make sure your message is targeted towards the right person.
The platform focuses on building relationships with prospects by sharing content and creating conversations in over one million groups, allowing you to establish your company as an expert in your field. In fact, a LinkedIn article posted to a targeted industry group helped one of our clients land a contract that will realize half of its yearly sales target.
Quality, Not Quantity
The statistics around B2B social media usage are a clear warning. The average B2B company is on six social platforms, yet only 10 percent of B2B marketers can demonstrate ROI from social investment. Start by building a presence on platforms which are proven lead generators. Select appropriate content for each one, invest wisely and turn your social presence from simply existing into a marketing machine.
Jamie Kightley is head of iBAengage at IBA International.
Exclusive Research: Chief Marketer’s 2018 B2B Lead Gen Trend Outlook