Today, social media is as important as email and whitepapers in driving demand generation success—and this is widely recognized by high-performing businesses. In fact, according to a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, 41% of best-in-class companies have integrated social media with their lead management and lead scoring efforts. And 33% of those companies have integrated social profile data into their customer or prospect records.
If you’re considering using social media to generate leads, you’ll find dozens of guides and thousands of blog posts on this topic. I think Eloqua’s The Grande Guide to Social Demand Generation delivers a succinct and useful introduction that will help you dip your B2B demand gen toes in the social waters. Below is my distillation of the guide’s greatest hits.
Blueprint for Your Integrated Contact Strategy
I’d suggest that companies getting started in the social sphere check out “10 Touch Points for a Socially Savvy Contact Strategy” by Carmen Hill, Social Media Strategist at Babcock & Jenkins, on page 8 of the Grande Guide. (Yes, I’m biased because we work together, but we work together because Carmen is awesome!) I’m going to share my three favorite tips from Carmen here:
1. Influence the influencers
Participate in influencer blogs and forums by providing relevant, data-rich content and commenting or responding when appropriate.
2. Be social
Interact with others on social networks by joining or starting relevant conversations, sharing content and providing your insights.
3. Nurture relationships
Stay in touch with responders via email and social channels until they indicate interest or intent to purchase.
I think Carmen offers a smart place to start, without biting off too much. I encourage you to read the rest of her tips about how to get your message in front of the right people at the right time.
Six Success Tips from Sage Software
Take a look at the case study “How Sage Went Social in Just One Year” on page 4 of the Grande Guide to learn how Sage Software established a social media presence for their human resources products that outpaced the competition in just one year by following these six steps:
1. Outline clear goals
Reached influencers by developing a content creation process that feeds social engagement and joining prospects’ and customers’ conversation.
2. Find the audience
Conducted a social media audit for their space, identifying the relevant posts, articles and targets to engage.
3. Pick the platforms
Focused on creating a branded presence on the four most relevant channels for HR conversations: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
4. Identify the influencers
Developed a methodology for identifying and reaching out to the key influencers in the HR social space leveraging tools like Klout.
5. Turn on the tools
Employed a socially savvy content management system and marketing automation platform.
6. Measure meaningfully
Through a custom dashboard, measured number of leads generated and cost per lead.
What I most appreciated about this case study is how it demonstrates that taking basic (and repeatable) steps can make a significant impact.
Get even smarter about social
Want to dive a little deeper into the social B2B demand gen waters? Check out a few of my previous posts, plus other industry intelligence:
• A Knockout Social Media Guide for the B2B Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
• How to Use Social Media Tools for B2B Demand Generation
• Two Major Building Blocks for Social Media Success in B2B Demand Generation
• Develop a Winning Combination for Social Media Integration: 9 tips from a recent MarketingSherpa webinar
• Understand How B2B Social Media Connects to Your Audience