How to Use Social Media for B2B Lead Generation

The success of a B2B organization is often dependent on the quantity and quality of leads it has access to. As a result, sales and marketing professionals are constantly looking for new ways to improve their lead generation strategies. In fact, 68% of B2B marketers rank “generating high-quality leads” as their top priority for this year (source).

Yet, despite the exponential growth of social media in the past five years, B2B companies remain skeptical of its effectiveness as a lead generation tool. If this sounds like you, it’s time to put your reservations aside. Here’s why:

  • Of those who use the internet, 76% of Americans use social media (source)
  • In as little as six hours a week, 66% of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media (source)
  • Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing (source)
  • Social media lead conversion rates are 13% higher than the average lead conversion rate (source)

Lead generation through social media is quick, cost-effective, and relatively easy to implement. Want to turn your social media presence into a B2B lead generation machine? Check out our top 7 tips below.

  1. Focus your efforts on the appropriate channels. Did you know Snapchat ads are viewed up to one million times a day (source)? Now, before you run out and spend thousands of dollars on ad space, do your research. Is your audience even using Snapchat? Chances are, if you’re in the B2B space, the answer is no.

    Not every social media platform will work for your company. Focus your time and budget on the channels that will best help you meet your goals. Most B2B sales and marketing professionals rely on a combination of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for lead generation—with research pointing to LinkedIn as the most effective (source). Other platforms to consider include Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, SlideShare, and Snapchat.

  2. Combine your content marketing strategy with your social media strategy. Many B2B companies are hugely successful on social media, not because of their products or services, but because they’re considered to be thought leaders in their respective industries.

    How can your company gain this sort of traction? Merge your content marketing strategy with your social media strategy.This is a three-step process. First, understand your audience’s interests. Second, create content that speaks to those interests. Third, distribute content via social media.

    By producing high-quality, original content, you give potential customers the incentive to engage with your company on social media.

  3. Tailor your content to each platform. There’s nothing worse than following a company across multiple social media platforms only to see the same exact message posted at the same exact time, on each and every channel, every single day.

    And yes, we’re guilty of this. Whoops.

    Instead of using a one-and-done approach, craft a different message for each platform. While the text and link might stay the same, there are different steps you can take to make your content more engaging on each platform. Here’s what we’ve found works best on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn:

    • Facebook: Studies show that photos and videos consistently produce the most engagement on Facebook (source). Try to keep your tone informal and post only one or two well-crafted messages a day. Notice how this Hubspot post includes a video that corresponds with the blog post they’d like you to visit:
    • Twitter: Twitter moves fast—much faster than other social media platforms. Tweet consistently throughout the day so followers have a better chance of seeing your content. Similar to Facebook, images and videos work best to drive engagement. Check out how Marketo combined an engaging image, a link to a landing page, and a few strategic hashtags:
    • LinkedIn: We suggest adopting a more formal tone for LinkedIn. Keep in mind, most people engage with content on LinkedIn to learn about something related to their specific career or industry. Research shows that on LinkedIn, links drive the most engagement, images drive comments, and videos drive shares (source). Post once or twice a day to engage your target audience. Hootsuite uses a large image, a simple description, and a link to helpful content in their post below.

  4. Utilize all of a platform’s features and capabilities. Having a social media presence is great, but simply making a profile is not enough to generate leads. Did you know that, as a salesperson, you’re 70% more likely to get an appointment on an unexpected sale if you join LinkedIn Groups (source)?

    Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all have special features that make lead generation even easier. Things to look into: paid ads, hashtags, Twitter cards, live-streaming, specialized groups, and call-to-action buttons.

  5. Cross promotion. It is extremely important that your online presence is consistent and connected. By linking your various accounts, you are giving your audience more ways to connect and engage with your brand. For example, post an infographic on Pinterest and link it back to a related blog post. Or, use Twitter to promote a live-stream you’re doing on Facebook. Make it easy for potential buyers to find ways to engage with you.

  6. Optimize your website. Whether directly (i.e. linking back to your site) or indirectly (i.e. brand awareness), social media is an excellent way to drive traffic to your business’s website. In fact, social media channels are the 3rd leading source of web visits for businesses (source).

    Do your social media team a favor and make sure your website is optimized for conversion. Do you have a visible contact form? Do you have a strong call-to-action? Is your messaging clear?

    If you’re not sure, take a look at our recent blog post: 7 Ways to Optimize Landing Pages for B2B Lead Generation.

  7. Utilize 3rd party tools that integrate with the social media platforms you’re already using. As social networking has increased in popularity, the number of tools designed to help you use social media has also grown. You can now use tools to schedule posts, run social promotions, analyze your followers, track engagement, and even prospect within a platform. Save time and increase productivity by finding social media solutions that work for you.

    Tools to try: Oktopost, PeopleLinx, Buffer, ReachOut, Tint, Hootsuite, Sendible, Sprout Social, Falcon Social, and Spredfast.

For other ways to improve your B2B social media strategy, check out these posts:

Engaging on Social Media: 4 Strategies for Sales Leaders

The B2B Sales Reps Guide to Twitter

How to Use Social Media for B2B Sales and Marketing