Social media marketing matters. Even for B2B companies.
Social media has the potential to generate B2B leads for your business while being cost-effective. Other than a little bit of labor expense, social media marketing is virtually free.
Your B2B prospects are already sharing information online. It’s time to make that information yours.
Here are our five tips for more effective social media B2B lead generation:
5 Tips for Social Media B2B Lead Generation
Social media marketing for B2B lead generation should look like this:
- Identify which channels your buyer personas are using.
- Treat each social platform differently.
- Be consistent.
- Use action words in your messaging.
- Build engagement with your content.
1. Identify Which Channels Your Buyer Personas Are Using
It’s not important to have a presence on every social media channel. But, it is important to use the same social media channels that your personas do (and perhaps your competitors, if they're not exactly lighting it up).
This first step is about knowing your buyer personas. Not sure which social media channels your personas are using? Check out the social media demographic research done by Pew Research Center.
You won’t be able to generate leads using social media if you’re not using the same channels as your personas. What's the point of sweating how to generate B2B leads on LinkedIn if your prospects don't use it?
2. Treat Each Social Platform Differently
The copy-and-paste approach doesn't cut it anymore.
Even some people follow you on multiple social channels, their mindset and expectations on each. A LinkedIn user is looking for professional content like networking opportunities and business trends, while that same person may hop on Facebook a few hours later for more personal content that relates to their interests.
Those audience expectations have a big impact on your content's performance. If your followers aren’t looking for what you're serving up, they'll scroll past quickly.
3. Be Consistent
That said, you should still be consistent in voice. Voice is uniformity in selection of words, attitude, and values. It's how a brand conveys its personality to its audience, and should not vary from one social media platform to another.
Note that voice is different from tone -- voice is your company brand, while tone is how you address each situation (being laid-back on Twitter vs. being formal on LinkedIn vs. being artsy on Instagram).
Consistency is key to social media posting in terms of content type and frequency too. And obviously, the more you post the more likely you are to generate leads.
At protocol 80, Inc., we like to use the 10-4-1 rule for social media posting. For every 15 posts that are created, 10 posts are from third-party resources, four are from your own blog or content, and one is a call-to-action or an offer that leads your persona to a landing page.
The 10-4-1 rule creates a balance between your own content and other industry specific content that your personas find relevant. As with any inbound strategy, you should use 10-4-1 as a guideline, not a federal law -- tailor it as needed to your industry and your buyer personas.
4. Use Action Words in Your Messaging
The language you use in your social media posts can make your break what you’re trying to accomplish.
Your prospects need to click on your social posts before they convert.
Action words and curiosity will entice your personas to click on your posts.
For example, would you rather click on:
- “Do you have a sales problem? B2B content marketing might be the solution. Click here for more information.”
- “How CEOs can use B2B content marketing to fix sales problems”
Let me take a guess here, but I think you decided to click on the first one.
In the first post, the prospect is specifically being asked if they have a sales problem and are enticed to click to find out the solution. In the second post, the prospect isn’t enticed to do anything (except maybe scroll past the post in their news feed).
5. Build Engagement With Your Content
Social media cannot generate leads on its own. It needs content. Your content is the backbone of your social sharing.
If your content is interesting and can solve the problems your personas have, the more likely you are to generate a new lead.
Additional Tips Below
Of course, these aren't the only great lead generation ideas for B2B out there.
There's no right or wrong way to do social media lead generation. If you need more tips straight from a B2B lead generation company, download our 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips by clicking below:
(Editor's note: This article was originally published in March 2017 and was recently updated.)