Social Media B2B Lead Generation: 5 Ways to Get it Right, 3 Ways to Get it Wrong
June 6, 2022
Social media is invaluable to modern marketers looking to hit their goals. With 4.48 billion people currently on social media globally, it makes sense for social to feature in your marketing strategy. Commonly used for brand awareness, audience engagement, and product and service promotion, social media is just as effective for lead generation—provided you do things correctly.
Why Social Media Lead Generation Works
Apart from the obvious advantage of being able to reach such a large audience, social media appeals to marketers thanks to its dynamic nature. B2B brands can deliver their messaging and interact with their audience more quickly via social media than any other platform, like email marketing, for example. This benefits both parties. For marketers, it makes their work easier—including gathering leads. For potential customers already on social media, it makes it possible to reach out to brands via their preferred means—more on that later.
Many of the popular social media platforms come with features to support lead generation. Often, you’ll have the option to set up a lead capture form on your profile which includes a backend system to efficiently gather and organize leads. LinkedIn—arguably the best platform for B2B social media lead generation—even has built-in tools that help you score leads more effectively. This combination of speed and convenience makes lead generation via social media an attractive option.
The 5 Ways to Get It Right
If you want to make the most of your social media B2B lead generation efforts, here are five things to prioritize.
1. Optimize Your Social Media Profile
Even without any obvious lead generation activities, your social media profile is an active gateway by which interested customers can reach out to you. Therefore, it’s essential that your information is up-to-date. At the very least, make sure your contact number/s and email address/es are contactable. If you get lucky and have customers who are ready to buy, or at least highly interested, you want them to be able to connect with you as easily as possible.
Next, on social platforms with the capability, make full use of the option to add a call-to-action to your profile. This can include “sign up” buttons to get more newsletter subscriptions (gaining email addresses for lead nurture in the process) as well as “call now”, “email now”, or even “visit website” buttons. Select one appropriate to your needs. These buttons stand out prominently on your profile so don’t pass up the chance to use them. Each social media platform has their own CTA options: Facebook and LinkedIn. When a social media platform doesn’t offer this functionality, add a link to your website in your bio instead.
Some optimizations are subtler but equally important. Uploading a current, high-resolution logo and cover photo that aligns with the look and feel of your website fosters credibility and authenticity. Something as simple as having an old, blurry, or unfamiliar logo on social media will make people question your validity, especially if you’re not particularly well-known to begin with. Lastly, if your social media account has been active for some time, audit existing posts containing links to ensure they’re still active and don’t lead to error pages. There’s nothing more frustrating for your prospects than being met with an unexpected 404 error.
2. Post Appealing, Clickable Content
Clickable, compelling content is what draws leads in and ultimately gets them to hand over their contact details. You probably know the drill already: your content should be relevant to their situation and needs, should answer key questions to address their concerns, or offer solutions that make their lives easier. So, how do you make this a reality on social media? With so many other companies jostling to be heard, you have to make sure your captions, headlines, and accompanying images stand out.
Great headlines attract attention, succinctly summarize what’s on offer, preview the content’s tone, and encourage people to click. Many marketers will appeal to emotions, tapping into FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), or bluntly address a key problem with confidence. Others might try scare tactics of the “if you’re not doing x, you’re losing money” persuasion. While there’s nothing wrong with any approach—especially if it works—avoid purely “click-bait” headlines.
The fine line between click-worthy and click-bait lies in the content you’re directing potential leads to. Click-worthy headlines lead to content that satisfies, click-bait headlines lead to content that disappoints. This is an important distinction because disappointed customers aren’t likely to convert into paying customers—nor are they going to give you a second glance the next time your content pops up on their social feeds.
3. Have User-Friendly Landing Pages
Getting potential leads to click on your post’s link is only half the battle. The other half is convincing them to give you their contact details. Consider your own experiences—we’re guessing you’re only willing to hand over your email or contact number if you’re receiving something worthwhile. With that in mind, create a landing page that’s user-friendly and relevant. Visually, a great landing page is simple, clean, and uncluttered. Avoid the temptation to fill it with a ton of information in effort to better sell your products or services—less is definitely more.
Make sure your landing page content directly relates to the headline that drew people in to begin with. Use the same headline if you wish to reinforce this. Next, include a summary of the content you are offering in exchange for their contact information. Simple bullet points are perfect. If you go any further, you may negate the need to read more. Instead, summarize some general concepts to pique curiosity, perhaps 3-5 key points. You can also include a short video or infographic to spice things up.
As for the lead capture form itself—ideally situated beside the content mentioned above—keep the number of questions you ask to a reasonable level. This could simply be name, job title, company, and email address. These four are sufficient for email personalization to kick-off your lead nurture program. You can also ask for their contact number if you’re planning to cold call. Asking for more information beyond this—particularly if veering into sensitive territory—reduces the odds that a lead will complete the form.
4. Use Lead-Focused Social Media Advertising
While many marketers would love to go fully organic with their social media lead gen—imagine the ROI!—creating and running targeted ads will net you more leads overall. That’s because social media advertising allows you to get super specific with your target audience. Provided you have a well-defined target audience, these ads will place your content in front of those who are most likely to want or need it. This increases the likelihood that they’ll click and share their contact details.
The simplest way to get started with social ads is to sponsor an existing post on your timeline. This places it in front of your target audience, with platforms often proposing the best time to place your ads based on the behavior of your prospects, removing any guesswork on your behalf. Don’t be put off by the prominent “sponsored’ tag that will appear on the post—your audience will be used to seeing this type of content in their timeline, and assuming your targeting is spot-on, it may be just what they’re looking for in that moment.
Alternatively, you can try lead gen ads native to different social media platforms. LinkedIn, for example, has its own lead gen forms boasting an average conversion rate of 13% versus the 2.35% average conversion rate of a landing page. This method pre-populates the form with details from the prospect’s profile, making effort minimal on their part. Sometimes a single click or tap is enough to access the content they’re after.
5. Personalize and Sweeten Your Offer
Finally, give your potential leads an irresistible reason to part with their contact details, sweetening the deal beyond just your gated content. In the world of B2C marketing, this seems particularly easy. B2C marketers offer discounts on first-time purchases, bundles, and gift-with-purchase deals, for example. But B2B doesn’t have to be any different, you just need to think about what appeals to your target audience.
Free consultations are a great offer, benefitting both yourself and your prospects. Consultations provide precious one-on-one interaction with your leads and an opportunity to personalize your nurturing efforts to their needs. Plus, it gives them the opportunity to understand what you offer with no pressure to buy. It’s win-win for both sides and certainly makes giving you their contact details more attractive.
A word of caution: don’t turn a consultation into a ham-fisted sales call. It’s a surefire way to make your prospect feel deceived. Make consultations about them and their needs alone. Interject with the benefits and advantages of your products and services only when they address a specific need that you can solve for.
The 3 Ways to Get it Wrong
Now let’s look at three things you should avoid if you want your social media lead generation to prosper.
1. Over-Automating Your Social Media
In many ways, the automation offered by many social media platforms is a huge benefit, making it easy to automate when your future posts go live. Whether simply to save time, or to prepare in advance, this is certainly a useful feature. The only downside? Over reliance on advance posting means you potentially miss out on trending topics or are late to respond to questions and concerns from your audience.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should avoid automation altogether. Just be proactive in monitoring which topics or questions are trending with your audience so you can create content that addresses them in a timely manner. It’s also not a good idea to automate your social media lead gen campaigns. Personalized, carefully planned campaigns are more likely succeed.
2. Not Reading the Right Metrics
When talking about social media, the common metrics people track for success include likes, shares, replies, and retweets. It makes sense as these are the most obvious. While they do have value in their own right, they don’t always provide the insight you need to measure performance effectively. For example, having thousands of likes is great but what you really need to know is how many of those likes represent conversions or even sales? It’s the same story with shares, comments, and replies. It isn’t just the number of them that matters, but what further action they lead to.
When it comes to lead generation, click-throughs and on-site/on-platform conversions are the metrics to focus on. These give a better indication of who acted upon the interest your posts generated and went on to visit your landing pages. If these two metrics aren’t as high as they should be—depending on your own definitions of success—it’s time to re-evaluate your social media lead generation campaigns.
3. Treating Social Media Lead Generation as a Separate Entity
Never bank on social media—or any one channel—for your lead generation efforts. Your prospective buyers certainly don’t rely on a single channel or platform when researching solutions to their problems. Having lead generation campaigns across many different channels increases reach and places your brand at multiple stages of buyers’ journeys. This ensures you’ll be in front of your prospects when they’re ready to explore what you have to offer—providing the contact details you need to nurture them to convert and purchase. It’s really about covering all possible capture points.
Given the sheer number of channels and platforms available to you and your customers, it might feel overwhelming to hit all of them with your lead gen efforts. Luckily, you don’t need to. Look at which channels or platforms your particular audience frequent—that’s your starting point. Create and run lead generation campaigns there, check how they perform, and use the data you gather to determine whether that channel or platform works for you. Later on, you can test out others. Eventually, you’ll find the right mix that scores you the most leads.
Social media is perfect for building and showcasing your brand identity, it’s great for engaging your audience directly, but it’s just as good for lead generation. Start by optimizing your profile with relevant and active contact information then continue by posting headlines that not only spark interest but drive prospective leads to click onto a highly optimized landing page. Keep these pages simple but interesting and pair them with a lead capture form that’s easy to fill out. Finally, provide an offer that’s appealing enough to get prospects to share their contact details—and make sure that what they get in return is worth their while.
Are you looking to boost your overall lead generation strategy on social media and beyond? Talk to us today, DemandScience is happy to help you net quality leads that are truly interested in what you offer.
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