From the perspective of B2B lead generation, social media has always been seen as somewhat controversial. While it’s true that marketers recognize the importance of social media in B2C, they have a much harder time recognizing its potential for B2B. In fact, only 12% of B2B marketers rate their social media lead generation efforts as highly effective. By contrast, over 25% say their email marketing, SEO, company website, and event marketing efforts are highly effective.
Yet, social media, as a B2B lead generation tool, can help generate numerous quality leads and have an excellent ROI. By spending as little as six hours per week, two-thirds of B2B marketers see lead generation benefits from their social media. Social media isn’t an inherently poor lead gen channel for B2B companies. The reason social media marketing is rated poorly by B2Bs is that many don't have an optimized strategy put in place. Click To Tweet
So, how can you use social media for B2B lead generation more effectively?
Social Media Platforms for B2B Lead Generation
There are plenty of social media platforms out there where B2B companies can conduct their lead generation initiatives. The biggest mistake to avoid in this regard is trying to spread out on as many platforms as possible. Instead, companies should look to focus their efforts on those social media platforms that help them lower their lead costs, while also maximizing their ROI. For the most part, this means focusing on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
- LinkedIn – Over 95% of B2B companies use LinkedIn for their content marketing initiatives, and 65% have reported successful lead generation results. Similarly, over 80% of all B2B leads generated over social media come from LinkedIn. It provides a great environment to promote products and services, build and nurture relationships, as well as help reach key decision-makers more easily. Ideally, you would use intent data to target ideal prospects at companies consuming content related to your products and services with text and banner ads but at a minimum, you should look at LinkedIn tools that will help you connect with your ideal prospects like Sales Lead Robotics.
- Twitter – In a close second place, Twitter is used by 87% of B2B marketers for lead generation and content marketing. This social platform is great for increasing brand awareness and loyalty, establishing a business as a thought leader, building trust, and generating a direct lead generation stream through various offers. Twitter offers the ability to promote your first 10 tweets each day which are automatically promoted to 10,000 people within your selected audience (as long as they make it past the Twitter quality filter for as low as $99 a month). Retweets, quote tweets, and replies don’t apply.
- Facebook – Though it’s the biggest social media platform out there, Facebook comes in third place in terms of B2B lead generation efficacy. Some 42% of B2B marketers say that Facebook has helped them with their lead generation efforts. The platform offers a cost-effective way of building a social presence and can be used as a means of drawing in new leads. Facebook is also an excellent medium for boosting website traffic, interacting with customers and potential leads, as well as a customer support platform. As you likely know, Facebook is now a pay to play platform, so check out your advertising options here.
CRM Integration and Marketing Automation in B2B Social Media Lead Generation
According to the Demand Gen Report’s 2017 B2B Survey, over 71% of all B2B buyers conduct online research before reaching out to a company. What’s more, these buyers will have gone through about 70% of their respective buyer journey before ever coming in direct contact with a B2B company. This means that B2B companies need to capture as much data as possible about these potential buyers while they are researching options. Having the right digital tools at their disposal, B2B organizations can turn their social media strategy into a lead gen powerhouse.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – Knowing how your leads and customers interact with your company’s social media content will better position you to nurture those relationships. Having access to their past purchasing behavior and history, your marketing and sales teams will be able to determine what steps need to be taken to boost conversion rates. Often, CRM systems stand alone, but they can also be fully integrated with sales and marketing automation software, as well as other tools needed for lead generation.
- Marketing Automation Platforms – Not only social media but the entire digital marketing process can be quite time-consuming. Compared to regular social media posting and email campaigns, creating and distributing dynamic content will make managing your lead generation initiative much easier. Marketing automation software will help with scheduling, distribution, and promotion of content across multiple social media platforms. It will also aid with data capture, reporting, and analytics, and it comes in various degrees of integration with your CRM system and other marketing tools.
The Tools You Need for B2B Social Media Lead Generation
- Nimble – is a social CRM system that’s able to connect with all of your prospects’ social media profiles. It also incorporates with your G Suite and Office 365 inbox, automating everything from contact updates, accessing company insights, and deal management directly from the workflows. The platform can nurture all business relationships across social networks, email, as well as over 90 cloud-based applications.
Pricing – Has a two-week free demo, after which, the average package cost starts from $19 per user/month.
- HootSuite – is a web-based social media management platform used by B2B organizations to collaboratively plan and execute lead generation campaigns across multiple social media networks. The platform’s social media dashboard allows users to launch their marketing campaigns, identify their audiences, distribute highly-targeted messages, track brand mentions, schedule messaging, analyze social media traffic, and more. Among its other features, we can include things like social network management, team collaboration, custom analytics capabilities, message management, and social asset security.
Pricing – HootSuite has a free 30-day trial and a starting price of $19 per month.
- HubSpot – This platform offers a plethora of tools, including sales and marketing automation, as well as a comprehensive CRM tool. With its CRM software, you can automate your entire social media marketing process, data capture, analytics, and reporting within only a couple of minutes.
Pricing – Hubspot has a free version, but for its paid version starter plan, prices start at $50 per month.
- Zoho Social – This is a complete social media management platform capable of scheduling posts, monitoring brand mentions, creating custom dashboards, etc. It also provides a publishing calendar, bulk scheduler, and repeat post capabilities. Zoho Social has advanced reporting features for performance analysis and numerous collaboration features. It can also track revenue from your social media marketing efforts. By integrating it with Zoho CRM, you can also engage with prospects and generate leads from social media much more easily.
Pricing – The standard plan for Zoho Social starts at $15 per month.
If used correctly by B2B organizations, social media can become an effective tool for lead generation and driving sales. If you want to learn more about social media and lead generation, subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest delivered to your inbox.