Social media lead generation has been notoriously challenging for B2B companies. It makes sense -- when your industry isn't consumer-focused, it's difficult to attract a large audience relevant to your business. Looking at data from 2011, we did a study of 3,000+ B2B businesses to understand how B2B companies are succeeding with social media. Shockingly (or maybe not), the data revealed that 63% of B2B businesses were not generating leads from social media. This means that, while these companies were generating traffic from social media channels, they were not converting that traffic into leads for their businesses.
So why might this be? The biggest disconnect is between content and social media. It's important to routinely publish content in your social channels to send qualified traffic to your website -- but how does that turn into lead generation ?
How B2B Marketers Can Generate More Social Media Leads
1. Use landing pages with forms to collect new leads. Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start!). If lead generation is new to you, the best way to generate leads is through a landing page with a form. Make sure there are multiple landing pages on your website that each house a specific offer (e.g. ebooks, free consultations, demos, etc.) accompanied by a form that people can complete to receive that offer. If you're having trouble coming up with lead generation offers, use this blog post as a guide to help you quickly generate new lead gen offers . This first step will get you off on the right foot with social media lead generation.
2. Make sure there is an easy way to direct someone to a form via your website's homepage. Often, a person may be learning about your company for the first time via social media, and then directly visit your homepage to learn more. Make sure there's an easy way to funnel homepage visitors to a form so they can potentially become a lead for your business.
3. Put calls-to-action (CTAs) on every piece of content you publish in social channels. If you're promoting blog posts, for example, make sure there is a link or CTA button leading to a form somewhere on every blog article. Similar to the homepage suggestion above, it's important to make it really easy for your visitors to get channeled to a landing page from every piece of content you promote.
4. Occasionally, directly promote landing pages via social media. There's no reason why you couldn't tweet some landing pages once in a while. Especially if the offer is valuable -- whether a helpful and educational ebook or a coupon your network is dying to redeem -- your network will appreciate the opportunity to take advantage of the offer.
5. Follow the 10-4-1 Rule. According to the B2B Social Media Book by Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey L. Cohen, the 10-4-1 Rule is a ratio that serves as a guideline for the right balance of content to publish in social media. For every 15 of your social media updates, 10 should be pieces of other people's content, 4 should be your own blog articles, and 1 should be a landing page. Make that a rule, follow that ratio no matter how much you post, and it will help you grow your reach (by promoting other people's content), send traffic to your website, and generate leads! If you're a HubSpot customer, it's now really easy to share other peoples' content with the new social bookmarklet . While you browse the web, you can select content you like to be published to your various social networks.
With these tips, you will begin generating leads via social channels and improving your marketing!
What tips do you have for businesses struggling with social media lead generation?
Image credit: Nima Badiey
Originally published Mar 26, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017