So, it is no wonder that b2b marketers love social media as they can find easily b2b leads to generate for their business.
But, despite the success of many b2b marketers to generate b2b leads on social media, you must know what you are doing otherwise even the social media being a great platform for you, you still might fail.
Recommended Leads Generating B2B Social Media [Big 4]
Developing a b2b social media strategy to bring more leads needs to start with choosing the right platform for your business as each of the social media has different way how to use them and to bring b2b social media leads to your organization.
So, choosing the right platform before you start planning anything is essential for you to successfully implement social media strategy, otherwise, you might end up spending and using company resources with minimum or no results.
Hence, any marketing strategy needs to have proper planning to be effective and not just jumping right into it and learning by doing, as each of the social media has its own rules and principles which you should follow to have the success.
Also, as recent statistics showed, many marketers have a positive experience with social media strategy:
54% of B2B marketers said they’ve generated leads from social media. [Source: Rick Whittington]
More than 70% of all B2B marketers use at least one of the “Big 4” social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) to distribute content [Source: Digital Marketing Philippines]
Therefore, let’s first discuss the 4 most important social media for b2b businesses to generate leads.
LinkedIn has gained tremendous popularity among b2b marketers with its great lead generation and content distribution results.
Not only LinkedIn can be used to generate b2b leads but many professionals have found it very useful to enhance their knowledge, to find better jobs and follow industry news.
Of course, marketers care about mostly how well LinkedIn can bring leads and increase brand awareness but it is essential to know how people are using social media for effective content and lead generation strategies.
Thanks to B2B LinkedIn statistics, we can see the insights of the platform for us to decide whether it could be relevant to our business.
89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the second most-used B2B social platform, second only to email.[Source: Content Marketing Institute]
Nearly half (44%) of all B2B relevant leads come from LinkedIn. [Source: GetResponse]
B2B marketers rate LinkedIn as the most important social media platform contributing to their overall content marketing success. [Source: Content Marketing Institute]
For sure LinkedIn has gained its popularity based on amazing benefits it can bring to b2b marketers. But again, each of the social media platforms has its own benefits and just some channels work better than others for different industries.
As I already mentioned each social media platform has a different way of using it, and on YouTube, marketers are posting videos mostly “how-to’s” related to their product and services.
YouTube has become very popular among b2b marketers to achieve their KPI’s as recent statistics said:
Video marketing continues to rise as a leading marketing tool, 9 out of 10 companies use videos. [Source: Omnicore]
73% of B2B marketers say video positively impacts ROI and 83% B2B marketers are satisfied with the ROI. [Source: Blue Corona]
YouTube is rated the fourth most effective B2B channel marketers use behind Email, LinkedIn and Print. [Source: Content Marketing Institute]
Definitely, we can say that YouTube is going to be a big thing for b2b marketers based on improving mobile, internet and artificial intelligence technology it is becoming more convenient for people to watch a video rather than read articles.
The next social media platform for b2b marketing to generate more leads is Twitter.
Twitter is dominating with its short messaging system called “tweets” to quickly update their users on industry news as the tweets can only have 140 characters or less.
Therefore, Twitter is one of the fastest sharing platforms thanks to short messages and life spam of the tweets.
Many professionals are using twitter for sharing their opinions and read opinions of other industry leaders.
As I mentioned many b2b marketers have found success as recent statistics said that:
Last but not least from 4 Big Social Media for b2b Marketers is Facebook.
Despite many opinions about Facebook and it’s effectivity it has been rank #4 most-used social media by B2Bs.
As Facebook used to be a great platform for b2c and b2b to distribute content and improve brand awareness, recent changes have changed Facebook and the way how marketers can use it to drive traffic and generate b2b leads.
Unfortunately, Facebook does not drive any more organic results as used to do, and therefore statistics like this showing that Facebook is not what it used to be.
As I do not want to really sound too strongly opinioned about Facebook, but unfortunately, I can’t help that recent changes have been made to promote their advertising system.
Therefore, I believe if you want to create ads on Facebook, you can drive still good results, but for organic reach not that much, as they do not like to drive people out of their platform but prefer to trap them there and don’t let them leave.
What are Social Media Pros and Cons?
Of course, it is nice to listen about all the benefits of social media it can bring you, but not everything is so pink as it looks like at first sight.
To be more precise, I would you to look at the pros and cons of each social media, so then later you can make more informed decisions, once you will be determining which social media to use to generate b2b leads.
Or if you already using them, then in which social media you should keep investing and which you may be cutting off.
As before we started, it is common to use more than just one social media for leads generation and content distribution, etc.
More than 70% of all B2B marketers use at least one of the “Big 4” social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) to distribute content. [Source: Digital Marketing Philippines]
Even though 6 social media networks are being used on average by B2B company, we are only going to discuss our “4 Big”
LinkedIn Pros and Cons
90 Million User is Senior Level and 63 Million are in Decision-Making Position
Most Interactions Occurs within Your Personal profile and not your company.
Highly Visible by Search Engines
Engagements within News Feeds is Difficult to Achieve
Not That User-Friendly as Other Platforms
Unmatched Recommendations Algorithm
Has a smaller audience than other platforms.
News Feed is More Focused & Relative Compared to Other Sites
Not so much time spend on LinkedIn by members
As you can see LinkedIn has the potential to grow your business and it is #1 social media platform for B2B companies but like everything it has its pros and cons.
So, look at it and think about what you want to achieve with LinkedIn and decide whether it fits your needs or not.
YouTube Pros and Cons
Easy to Create and Set Up Business Profile
Not Owned, but Rented Space
Very Cheap and Run and Operate
Daily Commitment of Tweeting 12-16x a day
Not much technical
Limited user pool
Great for Media Outreach
A lot of Spammers to Avoid
Only short messages 140 characters or less
Twitter is a fast-moving platform and if you want to succeed over there you need to make sure, you are consistently tweeting and responding.
Many marketers said, that twitter is a great social media platform to bring more b2b leads, but it requires a lot of effort.
Facebook Pros and Cons
#1 Most-used Social Media in the World
Mostly Consumers than B2B
Works Well with Multi-Media
Facebook does not promote Outside Links (Blogs, Videos)
Little or No Out of Pocket Cost
Heavily Depended on Ads to Increase Followings
Moderate Time Commitment
Advance Set Up More Complex
Great Targeting Options
No immediate access to customer data
As I already said, Facebook used to provide great options for you to grow your business, but with changes they want to keep people only inside, it is hard to improve your ranking, engagements of the Facebook.
Still, with the most users in the world, it could help you with brand awareness and therefore with generating leads from social media.
What Social Media to Use First to Generate B2B Leads?
Deciding what social media to use first to generate b2b leads can be a tricky question to answer as it depends on many factors like your geography, industry, products, target audience, and much more.
Therefore, I have created a guideline for the most used social media, so you can get a good starting point for your business to know where to start.
Of course, it doesn’t mean necessary it is the right platform for you, but you will get an idea but still, you should investigate it more to make sure that you are making an informed decision.
So, before you can decide what social media to use to first generate b2b leads you to need to asset your company in what they are capable of handling.
That’s why I created these 4 easy steps process to decide what social media to use.
4 Easy Steps to Decide What B2B Social Media to Use to Generate B2B Leads
Step 1: Your Resources
It all starts within your business and what you are capable to manage as there is no point to start social media strategy to later find out you can not afford it, or you have not enough people to keep posting consistently on your social media.
All four social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook) require a certain level of commitment that you need to make sure you can handle it.
So, before you start planning your big success on social media look at your resources whether you can manage them.
You should especially pay attention to these 4 marketing resources:
Financial Resources: Do you have enough budget to consistently produce content on the platform, also if necessary, to promote the content on the social media platform? Even though social media are not the most expensive b2b marketing channel, still, you need to make sure you have some budget allocation for your marketing department.
Human Resources: Do you have enough people to manage your social media day by day, post consistently, and do any updates if necessary? Social media requires some attention and it is not just making it and leave its strategy. So, make sure you have enough manpower to manage your social media.
Knowledge Resources: Do you have the necessary knowledge to create a successful b2b social media strategy or not? Creating and managing social media is a skill by itself, and even though you can outsource it, still you should know the basics at least.
Physical/Other Resources: Creating, managing, analyzing, and upgrading your social media requires a lot of others depending on the social media but the basic stuff you should have is:
Photo/Video Editing Software
So, do you have it or if not, can you effort it?
So, carefully look through your resources and asses your company what you can measure.
Each social media requires a different level of resource commitment; therefore, it is important to know what you can effort.
As I already said, there is no point to plan for social media if you can’t effort it.
Step 2: Your Target Audience
The second step to determine which b2b social media is the best to generate leads for your company is to find out if there are people you are looking for, your target audience.
Because you would be very disappointed if you would dedicate a lot of resources to create the best possible social media marketing strategy and later find out that there are no prospects interested in your product.
Therefore, you must analyze if there is your target audience, because if not, no point to go there, isn’t it?
Because you can’t generate b2b leads from a channel where is no your target audience.
Step 3: Your Competitions
The next step for your social media assessment is your competitor analysis and whether you can compete there, or you better find a different place.
I mean, you do not want to be a little fish in a shark tank, isn’t?
That’s why you should be looking at your competitors and how they are managing their social media.
Not only you might learn somethingnew from them, but also you can analyze whether you can compete with them within the space.
Because if you are analyzing social media for potential profits, It might be harder to come up with your content on the platform where is already plenty of other business generating similar content to you.
As one of the key content marketing strategies is to develop unique content that will spark interest within the users as coming up not value-adding content will never work no matter where.
So, make sure you will add value and be creating unique content.
That’s why analyzing what your competitors are posting is an essential step for your social media assessment.
Step 4: Check Statistics and Upcoming Trends
The very last step is to check for upcoming trends and what are statistics saying about it.
Because you want to always be ahead of your game with new technologies and if there are new social media coming in you want to be there between the first.
TIP: Do not try to be first, unless you have a large testing budget. You could spend a lot and find out that it is not the one. Rather wait a bit and let be tested by others. But do not wait too long.
For example, the marketing trends for 2020 are:
So, do you think that some of these trends will influence what social media you should use?
Always make sure, you investigate as many options and trends as possible, use data so you can make a better decision.
But, don’t make it a reason to procrastinate, set a timeframe for how long you will do the research, and then make the decision.
How to Run Social Media to Bring B2B Leads?
So, once you have decided which social media you want to use to bring more b2b leads, now let’s more discuss tips about how you can run your social media.
As every b2b digital marketing strategy even social media strategy as a certain way how you should manage it to increase your ROI and other positive results.
Even thou social media are long term game, you still should apply the best marketing practices for your social media since the very beginning, so you do not need to wait even longer.
In the end, senior-level management cares about numbers, so let’s make them work as soon as you can.
That’s why I am going to give you my 12 best tips on how to manage and make your social media skyrocket!
Provide value with every post
Search for groups that likely contain your target audience
Leverage your connections on a personal profile
Use employee advocacy for your new profile
Create a dialogue with all new connections
Engage with groups at least once a week.
Engage with content your prospects are sharing
Create thought leadership and publish it on social media
Look for strategic partners to connect with
Follow the companies of your clients & prospects
Make sure your profile is professional and neat
Remember, the most important aspect of social media is to post good quality content as without good quality content you can’t succeed in any content marketing strategy.
Therefore, try to do your best, I know it’s hard, but the more you do it, the better you become.
Also, make sure you follow my best tips so you can make the most out of your budget and bring some strong b2b leads from social media.
What Type of Content to Post?
Coming up with post ideas on social media is not hard and there is countless of ideas on what to post on your social media.
Remember, social media are an easier and more friendly way how to connect with your customers and prospects, so not everything needs to be about business.
Of course, your social media should be mostly about what you offer in an educational way but show the human aspect of your company is also a good way how to make your social media more human.
As people want to do business with people whether you are a small or big company.
So, what kind of content you should be posting on social media?
Testimonials are great content to post on your social media as they prove you are a real business and you have the experience, it gives social proof about your company. Which is great for social media.
Thought Leadership works well for b2b businesses as it will help you to establish credibility and expertise within your industry. Also, many people are more willing to share thought leadership if they find it helpful, which would boost your engagement.
A demo is a good content for social media as people can imagine what you are actually selling and how it works, that’s especially important for new products, complicated and unique products which people can’t really understand.
Self-Assessment is awesome especially for prospects who are interested in your product but not yet ready to talk to sales. Therefore, you give them a self-assessment about your product and services. It helps them more understand your product and services and also they can self-qualify themselves.
Day in Your Office is the part of your social media strategy where you show the human aspect of your business, as I said, not everything needs to be only about business right?
Event/Workshop conducting or participating at events is another great post for your social media, especially if your prospects are around and sees it, they might come and it is always to create the connection in person.
Pools are engaging and fun for your followers. Also, it gives you some great insights about your prospects and customers and what they think.
There are many different types of posts you can utilize in your social media strategy and the sky is the limit.
What Metrics to Use to Measure Success?
My mentor always said:
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”
Therefore, you should not forget about measuring your success on social media, because if you do not measure it, how do you know you go the right way, isn’t it?
Of course, collecting and analyzing data is very important but not every company is ready to collect a lot of data and analyze it and create insights.
The level of data maturity doesn’t need to be high when you are starting your b2b social media strategy but of course the more you collect the better.
But as I said, you do not need to collect and analyze a lot of data, in the beginning, maybe later, if you start having big success with generating leads from b2b social media, then you can invest in analytic tools for social media.
For now, I talk only about the basic to metrics you should definitely track when you are starting with social media strategy.
So, let’s discuss the 5 most important metrics you should measure within your b2b social media to generate more leads and also track your success.
Engagement with your posts you should track to measure whether your posts are interesting or not for your followers and target audience. Because of engagement metrics like how many likes, comments, and sharing your post shows how popular it is, so you know whether your social media content marketing is working or needs some adjustment. Also, don’t forget about clicks to your website as that is the main destination where you want to drive your leads.
Website Traffic is a very important metric for you to know how many people got interested in your post and your profile and come to learn more about you. As one of the key reasons why you can bring more leads from social media is to actually increase your website traffic. This is easy to track if you have implemented Google Analytics to your website, you can find it in section Acquisition ->overview.
Then Google Analytics will display the different channels and how many people have come to your website. Also, you can drill down even further and see a specific channel for example in Social Media.
So if you are using more than just 1 channel, you can see the most effective social media channel. It will tell you how many people have come, how long they spend on your website etc.
A number of Qualify Leads is important to track to actually find out whether you are generating the right leads or you do not generate the right leads for your company. As you can be generating thousands of b2b leads from social media, but then find out only a few are actually qualified to become your customers.
How much sales you made with Social Media will give you the sweet number of how much you actually make from this strategy. As that is the reason why we are doing it correctly, isn’t it? So, take all your customers who came from social media and look at how much you made.
Your ROI from Social Media is the most important metric, as, for example, you can be making a lot of money from social media, but also spending a lot of money. So look at what is your actual ROI from the social media and whether it is worthy for you to keep putting resources or move somewhere else to get better ROI.
So, this is the basic metric I always measure whenever I coming up with a new strategy. This will give me a quick overview of whether it makes sense to run the strategy and I should carry on on my marketing effort or move to somewhere else.
What Are the Other Benefits of Using Social Media Than Just for B2B Leads Generation?
Of course, all our marketing effort should focus to one thing and that is how much money you bring to your business, as in the end, you can’t go wrong if you bring too much money, but with marketing strategies, we can get more than just profit.
Because being aware of what other benefits and options you can have from using a specific marketing strategy will help you to maximize your marketing effort.
Of course, not everything will be under marketing as using social media is not just for generating more b2b leads, but also your customer service, sales, and technical team can use it for making their work more productive.
Therefore I want to give you 5 benefits of having b2b social media rather than just for lead generation.
Also, these 5 benefits should give you an idea of how else you can use social media to improve your overall business strategy.
1. Improve Marketing Optimization
Marketing optimization is the process of bringing out the maximum from your marketing effort so your organization can maximize the desired outcomes.
As I already mentioned marketing strategies and tactics can be utilized in many ways and with marketing optimization you can improve each of your marketing tactics and strategies to bring even better results.
To give you an example:
Let’s say you are having 2 basic strategies which are email marketing and b2b blog marketing and now you add social media marketing.
So you conduct marketing optimization on each of your marketing strategies and you find out that, now you can bring more readers to your bring and also include your newsletter within your social media too, therefore increase your email list and your website traffic.
So marketing optimization can bring up the best from your marketing efforts to improve things like:
And there is much more you can improve if you audit marketing optimization for your business, especially whenever you bring a new marketing strategy for your business.
Whether it is for generating more b2b leads from social media or from somewhere else.
2. Providing Better Customer Service
The next benefit of having social media within your business is that you can improve your customer service.
Because people are more demanding than everandthey expect you will communicate in the way they prefer, whether it is on social media, through email, or phone.
You should have as many channels as possible for your customer s and prospects to be able to connect with you.
That’s how you will improve your customer service especially social media as many people are just used to use it and many of them prefer to connect with brands via social media.
So, don’t just think about social media to bring more b2b leads, but also, to improve your social media.
3. Improve Brand Health
A Health brand can be defined as how well your organization delivering certain attributes, whether it is customer service, products, or any other aspects of the business.
But this one is especially noticed by customers who are communicating with your brand.
For example, if you are having a problem responding to customers’ inquiry then most likely your brand reputation, or we call it health, will be damage as customers will see your company as incompetent to provide proper customer service.
And that is especially important in the b2b industry where organizations spend a lot of money and they expect they will get special treatment
So, having social media will improve your brand health, as you can communicate better with your customers, improve feedback, and always act fast before your customers will give you a bad review.
4. Increase of Brand Awareness
Increasing brand awareness is the next benefit of having b2b social media than just for generating b2b leads.
As many people spend a lot of time on social media, you can increase your brand awareness quite a bit.
By some marketers, we can see that they increase brand awareness up to 56%, which gives a lot more new exposure to your brand and therefore bring more leads.
“Your prospects need to see you 7 times before they see you for the first time”
So, increasing brand awareness is an essential part of the business to drive more leads to their organization.
Therefore using social media will help you to create higher brand awareness.
5. Building Faster and Stronger Relationships
If you combine all these benefits you can get stronger and better relationships with your prospect and that is especially important in b2b.
Because b2b selling is about building relationships with your prospects and show them that you are qualified to provide a solution to their pains and needs.
Therefore building relationships depend on trust, therefore social media are great to build the connections between your brand and prospects so furthermore strengthen your relationships.
With this you can close the deal faster and cheaper than before, therefore you would increase your total business activities ROI and not just marketing.
Summary of B2B Social Media for Generating More Leads
Bringing more leads with social media is possible and used by many marketers, to be precise 73% of marketers had brought leads from social media and with improving technologies and changing people’s lifestyles, social media will be only increasing in its popularity.
Therefore having social media is becoming essential for your business for not only one reason but many more.
That’s why b2b organization having on average 6 social media, but again, you do not need to right away start with 6 social media, but start with one and master it, then you can always expect if it is working for you.
So, let me know if you are using working social media or you planning to use them for your business.
Welcome to B2BDigitalMarketers.com, your one-stop-shop for all things B2B digital marketing! I’m Eduard Dziak, a digital marketing consultant with a focus on B2B SEO and lead generation techniques. This website is designed to provide B2B marketers with the latest and most effective marketing knowledge to help you succeed. From A to Z, we’ve got you covered with proven strategies and techniques. Let’s work together to boost your B2B marketing efforts!