One of the most important factors in successfully growing qualified leads through social media is to choose the right channels. Start by understanding who your buyer is, and then investigate which social channels they are using, so that you can target them with your posts. Most social media platforms provide analytics and insights on their users, so you can begin by monitoring this information to ensure it matches the profile of your buyers.
Here are some of the top channels you should consider when you are looking to grow your qualified leads.
LinkedIn is probably the most-used social media platform for sales pros in B2B marketing. With Linkedin, you can post relevant content or updates to drive users to your website, bringing them into your sales funnel, and you can also direct message users that fit your target buyer. One of the biggest benefits to Linkedin is the ability to target by job title. You can promote content and advertise through Linkedin, knowing you are reaching the right personas.
Facebook is thought of as a channel for consumer advertising and marketing, but the last year has seen a big upturn in B2B marketing use through boosted posts to segmented audiences.
If you determine that Facebook is the right channel to reach your buyers, it is likely that you’ll need to spend money to run ads. However, Facebook ads are generally less expensive than Adwords, which will give you more bang for your buck. Facebook has recently added new features, like Facebook live which offers similar opportunities and challenges as Snapchat. Facebook is also a great channel for contests and giveaways, so consider creating contests to capture leads.
Twitter is one of the most-used social platforms. There are number of ways that you can advertise and engage your prospects and convert them to leads, but most of it relies on engaging users through meaningful conversations. Scheduled tweets and posts are great for maintaining your presence on Twitter, but these should not replace real conversations. Try hosting a Twitter “event” – this is a virtual event where you can discuss or bring up new ideas or information related to your industry. The CPSA hosts a monthly Twitter chat called #SalesProChat - learn more.
There are a number of other social channels to pay attention to when developing a strategy to generate qualified leads. Instagram may be a great channel for you - for instance, Cisco, a leading IP Networking company, uses Instagram to showcase how it is enabling other businesses around the world succeed.
Quora is an online forum where users can ask questions and other users answer them. Users then vote for the best answers. Because many questions are related to business or specific industries, Quora may be a good channel for you to spread the word about your solutions. Ensure that your answers provide valuable information, as answers that simply push a product are unlikely to be upvoted by other users.
Reddit is another online forum where users can discuss specific topics. Reddit is very popular with a tech audience, and so it may be a good channel for generating leads if you are providing technology solutions. Like Quora, users upvote stories, posts, or comments, so ensure that your posts are authentic and informational to get the most exposure.
Snapchat remains a mystery to many sales and marketing professionals. The platform is more resistant to traditional advertising forms than, say, LinkedIn or Facebook. Also the majority teen user-base excludes relevance for many companies such as those in B2B. Yet the platform is setup to offer some really dynamic and personal communication. Snapchat allows you to create multimedia stories that connect with your audience on various levels. The “chat” function is the core of the platform. This means interacting with your audience is easy and direct. Plus it’s a face-to-face communication, not just some pre-selected and photoshopped avatar. You get “real time” reaction. This is crucial information that you can’t get from a “like” or “double-tap.”
Integrating communication strategies for chat-focused platforms like Snapchat will remain a challenge for many sales teams but it is a challenge that must be overcome as the predominantly teen audience of users matures and joins the workforce and becomes consumers.
Social media is unlike any other marketing channel. It is not a one-way conversation; rather, it is a channel build to facilitate real connections. Ensure that the content you share is meant to engage rather than influence. Be authentic and have the lead-capture mechanisms in place and you will stand the best chance of leveraging social media to be successful in meeting your sales objectives.