If you are a business selling to other businesses (B2B), there is a good chance you are using social media to increase your customer engagement and help with lead generation. Here are 4 good ways to help increase the quantity and quality of your leads using content, segmentation and common sense.
Social media needs content, plenty of it. And the more that content is your own, the better. Blog regularly on your website and broadcast it over your social media accounts. Under most circumstances a blog doesn’t require deep research and long preparation such as a white paper does (although it does require a high degree of quality to be effective). It can be prepared within a few hours giving it the flexibility to be in time with current affairs. It is a quickly digested format that, though short in length, can still be very impactful to your subscribers. Use it to cover topics that show off your company’s strengths.
Communicate your expertise as a company through the different individuals who blog. The more experts in your company blog, the more you are increasing your chances of engaging customers. That’s because each of your potential customers isn’t one individual, it’s several, within their company, with specialized interests, who each need to understand your offer on their own level, from their own perspective. They may well be the same people you’ll be engaging with in your sales cycle.
A blog lets you lay out your values, give out advice and inform, as well as give your interpretation of industry trends and events. Unlike a retweet that leads people elsewhere, it amplifies your ideas and gives the opportunity for your subscribers to talk about them, a first step in lead generation. It also gives search engines fresh content that in turn betters your standing in search results. It helps you get known and leads people to your site. As they engage with your site’s other content it leads to conversion.
2. Make lists and market to them
Each social media account (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+) gives you the opportunity to segment your subscribers. Not enough companies take advantage of this. Lists can usually be created for free but using those lists is not (with the exception of Google+, which still allows you to broadcast to the lists for free). Lists have potential for excellent ROI. Your groupings can create tremendous focus for your marketing, helping you zero in on a segment’s pain points and needs as well as your solutions for them. Structuring your followers this way also opens the door to remarketing.
3. Clean up your accounts
It’s important to do a regular cleaning out of your account. Removing spam and unrelated subscriptions will help maintain the quality of your potential leads. Better to have less but higher quality subscribers. Also, some people pay to have subscribers, which lowers their credibility. Don’t get yourself lumped in with them and don’t let your accounts be diluted like that. When you do your cleaning, classify subscriptions into lists to which you’ll market to later: This exercise will give you the added benefit of better understanding your potential audience.
4. Serve leftovers carefully
When summer rolls around, many companies program the reposting or retweeting of old content while the people that generate original content are out on vacation. While this certainly keeps your account looking busy, how interesting or effective is it? Reheating content, like leftovers will only be ok if you give it a minimum of care. The content has to be still pertinent. If you are reposting something, make sure you reframe or adapt it to the current situation with changes or a comment to add value or a new spin. You can also choose a different image to go with it.
And a word about spam. If you get spammed, change your account password and report the spam immediately. Social media sites have set aside powerful resources to deal with this problem and can shut down a spammer very quickly.
In a subsequent post on better traction in social media, I’ll have tips on using image-based social media, talk about social media on mobile as well as realtime streaming.