B2B Leads—5 Tips to (Super) Bowl Them Over with Social Media
It was the usual excitement at the Super Bowl this past weekend…or at least until the Denver Broncos started very quickly to head towards what could have become a ‘historical’, zero points game against the Seattle Seahawks. Nevertheless, this event that keeps fans on the edge of their seats each year is no more just a game, and the fans are not just NFL enthusiasts. It’s all the big ticket ad blitz, the halftime shows and not to forget, the non-stop stream of activity on top social media channels that makes it a not-to-be-missed event. Check these attention-grabbing social media moments from Super Bowl 2014—wild, wacky and wonderful!
While phenomena like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have quite literally, taken our personal world by storm, there is still not enough quantifiable evidence to prove their bottom line impact on the B2B world. Having said that, I am strongly of the opinion that, if used the right way, social media can be a very effective tool in your B2B lead generation toolkit. I have said this all along, and when I see the kind of tumultuous social media activity that can occur with a single event like Super Bowl, I can’t help but reiterate the fact.
What can we as B2B marketers do to ‘Super Bowl’ our top quality leads and convert them into happy, loyal customers?
5 Social Media Strategies That Deliver Results For B2B Lead Generation
First things first—I want to emphasize a point I’ve made many times before—social media must be an integral part of an organization’s lead generation activity. It cannot and will not yield results when practiced in isolation. Pin it on to proven marketing methodology, follow a rational process, monitor and measure at every step, and you will be well on your way to bowling, umm, super bowling them over!
- Identify your social media leader. There is no hard and fast rule about who should lead your B2B company’s social media face. You can have a CEO’s blog, a customer service LinkedIn group, a creative team to update your Pinterest board, your marketing department to publish on SlideShare, and so on. What you must have though, is a social media leader internally—someone who understands your critical buyer personas, has the experience of dealing with these personas skilfully and who is versatile with customizing strategies and content for the various social channels. It doesn’t matter if this ‘leader’ is a fresh MBA graduate—the enthusiasm and the digital dexterity to juggle multiple social activities can be to your company’s greatest advantage! Think of this leader like your Kicker in the Super Bowl: called in to handle kickoffs, field goals and extra point attempts.
- Identify the social channels that are relevant to your audience and work those steadily. LinkedIn continues to lead the pack when it comes to social networks that deliver visible results for B2B. Social is no longer just a casual form of marketing; it has evolved considerably and has many dimensions. OPE or Owned-Paid-Earned media is the distinctive quality of social media which has successfully blurred and is steadily breaking down the traditional marketing silos. As long as you are not spreading yourself thin to be active on every social channel there is, you can count on increased impact of your social marketing. I found this informative article with ideas about how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to boost your B2B lead generation efforts.
- Pull, nurture, motivate and engage. In some ways, social marketing can be misinterpreted as door-to-door marketing. You reach out to aggressively build connections and then you give them your spiel. Right? Wrong! That is totally the opposite of what it should be. You don’t want to push your audiences to hear, see and get involved in something that does not remotely interest them. If you do that, you may end up pushing them so far away that your competition won’t even have to try to get a hold of those leads. Remember, your social activities have to “bowl clients over”. You need to pull qualified leads in, nurture them carefully, motivate them to find out more and then stay engaged in all that you have to share. In NFL terminology, you need a solid ‘ball control strategy’—the longer you stay in control, the less time your opponents have to generate a scoring drive.
- Be nimble with social media. This is real-time marketing. You can’t afford to drop the ball and lose a hot lead because you ignored red flags. Yes, you need a defined strategy and an action plan, but it is never cut in stone. Think like the quarterback! If you see something going on in the market that jeopardizes your original play, you must be flexible and nimble to deftly change play—and you need to do this by involving your team in the field. Or at the ‘line of scrimmage’ as they say in NFL. Organize those ‘huddles’ as often as you need to so that everyone is up to speed and fighting for the big win together.
- Focus on the end zone. That’s the only way to score a touchdown! Your social strategy and plays must enable you to traverse the full 10 yards at each end of the pitch so you can make it to the goal line and score that touchdown towards victory. It’s very easy to get caught up in a flurry of activities on every available social channel. But that’s when you ‘fumble’ around the field like the Broncos and crawl your way to a dismal 8 points while the Seahawks seize every opportunity they get and shoot to the win with 43 points. What a game!
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