4 Things B2B Marketers Need to Know About Using Social Media for Online Lead Generation

In the grand scheme of marketing, social media is an infant. If it were human, it wouldn't even be sleeping through the night yet. Social media has proven pretty powerful in the B2C marketer's toolbox -- providing marketers with a means for engaging with the public like never before. In B2B, however, social media has yet to prove a measurable ROI. It's time consuming, and face it, not many businesses even know how to develop a great social media marketing strategy for B2B. Until now. Here's your guide to leveraging social media successfully for B2B marketing.

1. What Social Media Does for B2B Marketing

To be successful, you have to know exactly what social media can add to your repertoire of marketing tricks. Social media:

• Gives you a means for finding and forging new business partnerships

• Is a great way to build new leads

• Helps improve your search engine rankings

• Provides you with deeper insight into the market

• Offers you a rich source of data on customers, the industry, and more

• Is a way to build relationships (with both customers and partners), improve your credibility in the industry and foster trust within the community

2. Which Social Media Platforms are Most Useful in B2B Marketing

So far, it sounds a lot like B2C marketing, but the platforms that are most useful in B2B are different from those most used in B2C. While Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are powerful for the B2C marketer, the most profitable platforms in B2B are LinkedIn (by quite a wide margin), followed by Twitter, SlideShare, and the video formats like YouTube and Vimeo.

When using Twitter, keep in mind that this platform is best utilized for immediate announcements and communications. It is far less effective for sharing information that is valuable for the long-term than other platforms, especially LinkedIn. Think of LinkedIn and YouTube as your evergreen content platforms, while Twitter is your timely, immediate messaging source.

3. Creating a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy for B2B

A successful social media strategy for B2B looks like this:

• Develop a plan to reach your target audience. How will you meet the needs of your target customer via social media?

• Set up measurable goals. How will you know when the strategy is successful?

• Choose the right mix of content. One possibility is a 4-1-1 ratio: for every six pieces of content you share, make four pieces of content from industry influencers, one original piece of content, and one promotional piece of content.

• Mix types of content, as well, including: articles, blog posts, whitepapers, videos, presentations, infographics, images, interviews, etc.

• Establish a means for tracking valuable metrics across your social media platforms.

• Post consistently. Conduct research to determine the most effective times to reach your target customers on a particular platform and schedule your posts for times when they will achieve maximum exposure and impact.

• Always include a CTA.

4. Gathering and Analyzing the Data from Social Media Marketing

Social media is a deep well, rich with data on customers, the industry, the marketplace, and the future. No B2B social media strategy is complete without a means for gathering, cleansing, and analyzing this valuable data. ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.

To learn more about how ReachForce can help you optimize demand generation and your impact on revenue, check out our real-time web form enrichment demo, or request a free marketing data diagnostic. Get the power to let data drive marketing and higher performance.

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