How to Generate Leads with Social Media

social media lead gen
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One of the biggest reasons why businesses come to me for help is because they are consistently struggling to generate qualified leads that can further enable sales to turn them into customers. Executing an omnichannel marketing strategy is important because you don’t want to just limit yourself to only one path. However, one that is quite overlooked is social media. 

This isn’t because companies don’t think they can generate results but many get bogged down with vanity metrics that really don’t impact the overall business objectives. In the world of B2B marketing, I couldn’t care less about the optics of having a shit ton of followers or likes. What’s most important is generating qualified leads that become opportunities and ultimately, ‘closed-won’ — which allows me to track the ROI and also understand how marketing’s role contributes to revenue for the business.

b2b lead gen

It’s important to understand the importance of social media and what the potential ROI would like, so let’s check out these stats:

  • 73% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23 percent more often. (Aberdeen Group)
  • 80% believe their sales force would be more effective and efficient if they could leverage social media. (Sales Management Association)
  • Companies with consistent social selling processes are 40% more likely to hit revenue goals than non-social sellers. (SalesForLife)
  • Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising. (LinkedIn)
  • 80% believe their sales force would be more effective and efficient if they could leverage social media. (Sales Management Association)
  • 90% of decision-makers never answer a cold call, but 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions. (LinkedIn)
  • 54% of salespeople who use social media can track their social media usage back to at least one closed deal. (A Sales Guy Consulting)
  • CSO Insights and Seismic, 31% of B2B professionals said that social selling allowed them to build deeper relationships with their clients. (CSO Insights)
  • 77% of B2B buyers said they did not talk with a salesperson until after they had performed independent research. (CEB Global)
  • 53% of salespeople want help in understanding social selling better. (A Sales Guy Consulting)
  • According to IBM, when a lead is generated through social selling or employee advocacy that lead is 7X more likely to close compared to other lead gen tactics. (Vengreso)

Social selling is where it’s at

Just as the stats listed above, social selling pays off so it’s important that you integrate it fully with your marketing and sales strategies. More importantly, 84% of C-Level executives use social media to make purchasing choices.

social selling fundamentals

That said, it can be easy to expect marketing to generate all of the leads so that sales can just focus on following up with the leads; however, stellar sales teams are hunting and participating in the omnichannel approach too. 

Team work makes the dream work.

Meaning that there is cohesive collaboration so even as marketing generates leads, sales should do their part by following up with leads via social media too. On top of that, it’s important that anyone who is customer facing or at least out in front representing the company should have a social media presence. 

This means you’re doing things like resharing content, tagging the right people and accounts, participating in conversations, DMing relevant people, etc. It’s the hustle and grind of producing results, not just the busy work.

Value over everything

Nothing is going to deter people more from engaging with you than just simply pitching your product or service. Truly, it’s about great content that becomes an iterative process going from the macro to the micro and then seeing what works. It’s a lot easier to understand ‘who’ you are and ‘what’ you’re trying to sell through content than it is to have to engage in a conversation.

Therefore, build value through your content. This includes anything from blogging, podcasts, ads, videos, long-form content like guides, and so on. Think of content as a way to help you bolster your social media presence by positioning yourself as an authority, expert, and leader. 

Here’s a great way to think about the content you create by GaryVee:

At the end of the day, the way you should be judging your content is by the results that you’re looking for. If you’re not getting what you want, it’s not effective content. Now, there is some small value in putting out content that you don’t think will end in a sale, but not much. You can pay to promote something with no ROI too to help get you there. I promise. But in the end, don’t lose sight of the end goal. What do you really want to get from making this content?

Focus on authentic conversations

Just as you would want to lead with valuable content, the same goes with how you participate in conversations happening within your industry. This means that you are commenting on relevant posts that are happening on social media. In other words, you are providing your insights and inserting your thought leadership.

Knowing that social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing should also show you why the importance of human interaction and connection is. You know you solve a specific problem, identify those who are facing the challenges of that problem, and be a part of their conversations.

Here are some recommendations to consider:

  • Help-specific terms: Words like “help,” “recommend,” “tips,” and “ideas,” indicate that a prospect is looking for answers that could guide them toward a sale.
  • Industry terms: Terms that are specific to your industry or product demonstrate a level of awareness that suggests some degree of buying intent.
  • Location-specific terms: If your business serves a specific geography, like a city, state, or region, looking out for references to your location may help you discover buyers in your area.
  • Transactional terms: Words like “sale,” “price,” and “cost,” suggest that a prospect is ready to buy but has a specific budgetary concern.
  • Brand mentions: It pays to know when prospects are specifically discussing your brand. This could be a good point to jump into the conversation and provide answers.

Point is, there are a ton of different ways to go about being a part of the conversations that are happening within your industry, but you have to continue to be helpful. By doing so you’ll find that it’ll be easier to actually build meaningful relationships with prospective customers. 

Over to you

You know that generating quality leads is important to your business so how you go about making that happen has to be of high-quality too. Again, no one cares about what you’re trying to sell until they see that you actually care about the problems they are facing first. It’s about putting the needs of the customer first and leading with that. 

b2b marketing and buying

From joining LinkedIn Groups, subscribing to Medium blogs, all the way to joining in on Twitter conversations, you have to be strategic on how your own content plays a role. Doing so will help you better create and participate in a way that drives engagement back to your products/services. It’s about selling without having to actually sell.

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