At times, lead generation can feel like an Easter egg hunt. You might have the smoothest sales funnel going but, if the leads are proving elusive, everything grinds to a halt.
Any form of digital marketing – whether SEO or traditional PPC – is ultimately designed to generate more quality leads and boost the numbers going into the funnel (and out the other end). Some are more effective than others – and some really need to be executed as part of a more comprehensive marketing strategy in order to bear fruit. Social media marketing, however, carries a huge amount of weight on its own.
In other words, if you’re looking to generate more leads on a limited capacity and budget, then social media publishing is the ideal focus for your team’s efforts and the best way to maximize ROI.
Here’s how to do that.
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First, (Re)Evaluate Your Perception of Social Media
A lot of brands are still treating social media like an additional platform for customer service, emphasizing community management to offer customers a more convenient point of contact for queries, questions, and feedback. There’s nothing wrong with this – in fact, giving excellent customer service on public-facing platforms is a great way to boost your brand’s reputation and build stronger relationships with loyal customers.
What’s more, by some estimates, it’s up to 12x cheaper than handling customer service queries by phone — and more than two-thirds of Twitter users would rather message a brand’s support handle than pick up the phone and call them, according to Twitter.
But the trouble comes when you limit yourself to community management and forget to invest time into social media lead generation.
This is the core of social media marketing – reaching new audiences by cultivating the value your social channels hold for audiences. This is often referred to as ‘thought leadership’, and it’s unparalleled in terms of the ROI it brings to marketing teams. It’s particularly potent for maximizing LinkedIn B2B lead generation
But this all hinges on a change in perception. You need to stop looking inwards – that is, focusing on your existing followers and targeting every social post toward people who already know your business. Instead, look outwards. Social media is a big world, but you can capture attention with the right lead-generation strategy.
Next, Break Your Proposed Approach Down to its Constituent Parts
So, what is the right strategy? It’s the sum of many parts. You can’t unlock a high ROI with a single-faceted approach. The good news is that managing all those parts is perfectly possible, provided you’re centralizing everything on an intuitive and integrative social media management platform.
But what are those parts?
- Social Listening
What are your customers interested in? What are your competitors’ customers lacking? What’s engaging key audiences right now, and how can you leverage that to generate stronger interest in your own social posts? Social listening is all about extracting answers to key questions – answers that will define your entire long- and short-term strategy and how you create content for lead generation.
- Sentiment Analysis
Did you know you can generate key insights into your brand’s reputation, strengths, and weaknesses from social media? With the right tools, you can. Once you start looking at it, sentiment is one of those key metrics you’ll wonder how you coped without for so long. The Oktopost social media platform automates sentiment analysis, reviewing brand mentions to give you a clear snapshot of your reputation among followers and leads.
- Social Listening
- Social Publishing
Social posts are like bricks in a never-ending wall, where every single one is as important as the last (and vital if you want to keep building it higher and higher). Of course, a wall is going to collapse if you start putting weak or defective bricks into it, and the same can be said of your social media strategy. Instead of a wall, you’re building thought leadership.
Social media publishing gets your name out there in the best way possible. Social posts are more interactive than static ads, and that can make them a lot more motivating to leads and existing customers.
If you want to succeed on social media, you need to publish regularly and to a high standard.
- Community Management
Just because you’re focusing more of your efforts on capturing leads on social media doesn’t mean you should forget about the importance of strong community management. Don’t let it slip to the sidelines. Instead, manage it from your centralized platform along with every other aspect of social media marketing.
- Social Analytics
Clicks, conversions, impressions – measuring the impact that every single one of your social posts has on audiences is a key part of social media marketing. Without those insights, you’re just living on a prayer with every post you create, hoping it’ll land the way you want it to. With those insights, you’re constantly informing and adjusting and reworking your social media marketing strategy to cater to social media audiences that are always moving onto the next big thing.
Finally, Know What Methods and Techniques can you use for Better Lead Generation
It’s not just about creating quality content and hoping the right people see it. Social media is all about putting yourself out there in all the right ways.
- Employee Advocacy
This is the practice of diversifying your social media presence beyond your own channels – utilizing your employee’s position within relevant audiences to raise brand awareness and improve sentiment and, ideally, identify new leads that may not have been identified through a more linear approach to social media content marketing.
This is a really great way of making your social media strategy feel more organic. It caters to a widespread desire among modern B2B audiences for better humanization of brands – for a strong marketing campaign to be underpinned by social proof rather than plan old self-promotion.
- B2B Influencer Marketing
If you want to gain access to the richest, most valuable audiences out there, then B2B influencer marketing should become a core part of your social media strategy. A lot of businesses overlook the benefit of influencer marketing because they tend to be divided into two camps: the big, top, prevalent influencers that only the biggest brands can afford to work with and the ‘micro’ influencers.
But don’t let the term micro throw you off. While these influencers may be smaller and less ‘known’ than those with followings in the hundreds of thousands (or millions), they tend to offer businesses who work with them way more value. Why? Because their micro-status tends to arise from their niche relevance, meaning their audiences are highly focussed. If you can find a relevant micro influencer, you’ll find an audience way better suited to your brand than the audience of a big voice. For the former, the ratio of qualified leads to unqualified leads is going to be much, much higher.
LinkedIn is the obvious place for identifying influencers in your niche but, these days, all the best social media platforms for generating leads, even in B2B, hold plenty of potential.
- UGC and Social Proof
We touched on this above – the power that giving your products or services a human voice holds when you’re looking to win over social media leads. User-generated content follows a similar vein. It raises awareness in a way that feels a lot more organic than a lot of the more popular forms of digital marketing, just as a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend feels more organic than, say, a billboard or a pop-up ad on a website.
UGC – like testimonials and social media posts – does a lot of work on its own but, increasingly, brands are utilizing that UGC by interacting with it or reposting it to their own socials. This exposes it to a wider audience without diluting the original power established when a customer decided, of their own volition, to post about your brand.
- Live Events
Livestreams have gained a lot of traction over the last few years, particularly as of the start of the 2020s. The medium offers a lot of versatility that has made it ideal for reinventing events as diverse as seminars, fashion shows, music events, and panels. Not all of those formats are useful for B2B, but the power a live event holds remains just as valuable.
Putting it all Together
The relationship between social media and lead generation is fascinating and, in some aspects, still evolving. One thing we can be sure of, however, is the long-term value of reorienting your digital marketing strategy toward lead generation on social media and how rich the reserves of highly relevant, highly engaged audiences will be if you can learn to target the right areas through your strategy.
Something else we can be sure of? The fact that, without the right tools for social listening, content publishing, and community management, businesses will face an ongoing struggle to really harness the power their social channels hold. This is where Oktopost thrives — in supporting businesses who understand the wealth of insight #out there, but know that tasking marketing teams with real-time social listening (and expecting them to action those insights) is not only inefficient but near impossible.