For B2B lead generation with stamina and substance, this triple threat of social marketing is a winning combination. For integrated, multitasking business-to-business social marketing efforts that endure, nothing beats the big three: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This social trio can assist your B2B organizations goal of attracting visitors to your website, where you can engage in more rich and specific conversations.
For B2B marketers, Twitter is an essential tool for sharing thought leadership and content that enhances credibility. With the strategic placement of enticing calls-to-action, Twitter is an effective tool for generating leads. Although Twitter's field of play has its share of meaningless chatter, marketers can strategically place keywords and hashtags in messages to allow for filters and searches by targeted audiences. As a listening tool, Twitter can highlight spontaneous industry insights, so it's critical that you keep an eye on your message stream, your competitors as well as your own keywords for opportunities.
While Facebook's marketing value is solid in the B2C branding arena, many B2B companies find pockets of significance in this social media phenomenon. Although most its massive quantity of members use Facebook to keep tabs on family, friends and favorite consumer brands, B2Bs are finding effective messaging avenues with targeted advertising and recruiting. The lines between personal and business social media are blurring with B2B buyers using Facebook as an information tool to aid their complex purchase decisions. Additionally, because of its freewheeling, relaxed nature, Facebook is the perfect venue for sharing your company's culture and fun side in addition to your fact-filled, product or service specific content.
Compared to the other two social media platforms, LinkedIn is strictly business. Built on professional networking, individual status updates, and a huge selection of topical discussion forums, LinkedIn is used by more than 80% of B2B marketers. This formidable platform leads the way for lead generation with its approach to company profiles which allow product or service descriptions and promotion with direct links to your website. The company page also displays the team and their backgrounds and expertise, allowing a prospect to assess your company's depth. The Answers feature is a great way to showcase your company's industry prowess by solving other's problems in full view. The polling and survey features allow for quick anecdotal research. LinkedIn's most distinctive feature is Connections, similar to Friends or Followers, which allows members to view common contacts and similar affiliations, an appealing stride toward gaining new business connections.
Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin will keep you in the competition but the finish line for lead generation is CONVERSION. Link your social media content and engagement back to higher-value and deeper content on you website. Multiple Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin posts can help draw readers to your blogs, news annnouncements, webinars and industry reports, whitepapers and case studies etc. Offers to subscribe to or download content are your opportunity to capture lead data.
Creating constantly refreshed content combined with lead nurturing through marketing automotation is the next part of having a gold-medal B2B marketing program. And that is a marathon, not a sprint.
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Martine Hunter is the Creative Director of Inbound Marketing with the Atlanta advertising agency, MLT Creative, which specializes in B2B marketing.