Social media is a great way to generate traffic and brand awareness but it may be quite challenging in generating B2B leads. Why is social media not as effective at serving as a B2B sales funnel and how to overcome that challenge? Let’s try to figure it out!
Social Media Lead Generation Challenges
There are two main reasons why social media platforms are difficult to turn into lead generating channels:
- Social media marketing is interruptive – No matter how well you target your social media strategy, social media is normally not the place where people do business. They are browsing their social media feeds to catch up with friends, family and past coworkers. They may look for distraction from their work process and watch fun videos or memes. Your social media links interrupt the process. Even if you target those updates extremely well and reach the desired audience, it is often not the right time for your prospects.
- Extremely complicated buying journeys – When it comes to B2B, marketers and sales managers have to deal with decision making units, several people that may decide if your product is something they want to invest in. Decision-making units may include executives (founders, CEOs, VP, etc.), managers (marketing manager, product development manager, customer support manager, etc.) as well as the end user (a person who is going to be in the front end using your product, like an SEO analyst or a link outreach team). As a result, the buying journey may take weeks and months while your offer travels from department to department. There’s almost never impulse buying in place which works so well in social media marketing. You need many more touchpoints to remind your prospects of yourself and your product.
Yet, social media can still work extremely well to both generate leads and support your other lead generation efforts. Here’s how.
1. Set up your social media listening routine
Social media monitoring is fundamental to creating an effective sales funnel. You want to be able to be there to participate in relevant discussions and reply to social media mentions. It will also help you understand your competitors’ lead generation tactics as well as relate better to your target audience.
Awario offers a comprehensive social media listening solution that you can use to monitor your brand, your competitors’ names, your target audience discussions, etc. By using Awario’s boolean search feature you can monitor just about anything. On top of that, Awario offers a useful lead generation feature helping you catch conversations that may easily result in conversions.
In addition to social media listening, consider tracking key social media profiles for bio and profile pic changes: This will allow you to time your touchpoints better to when your prospect is promoted, celebrates a milestone, or markets something important, like a new book or an event.
2. Create a social media landing page (or site)
There’s a lot to be said about a landing page that is supposed to turn social media lurkers into leads, and none of the tips here is going to be ideal. You will have to experiment and A/B test a lot. There are basic principles:
- It should, obviously, be mobile-friendly as most people access social media from mobile devices
- It should load fast, and serve the most important section first for it not to lose impatient social media users
- It should have some clear social proof, preferably from well-recognized influencers. Reviews are very important for converting social media traffic
- Finally, it should engage your visitors right away, eliminating any extra steps.
Ideally, you want your page visitors to perform an instant action right away.
Inviting your page visitors to choose a time slot for a free demo is a great idea because that eliminates the amount of back and forth emails and shortens the sales funnel. Appointfix is a handy app enabling your prospects to schedule a call and add it to their calendar with one click of a mouse.
Another idea is to add a live chat option which is a great way to engage them in the sales process right away.
In some cases, offering something for free right away is the only way to engage your social media traffic. It is not a bad idea to get them to subscribe to a free webinar. There’s a huge variety of social-media-friendly webinar platforms allowing you to live stream to social media.
For certain pipeline funnels, it also makes sense to set up a separate site that will be separate from your main brand. For example, you can create a highly targeted niche newsletter or set up a niche forum and make that the first step in your pipeline.
In this case, creating a separate website makes perfect sense. No need to pay a ton for a domain name, you can use Namify to quickly find an inexpensive domain that will be easy to brand.
3. Make sure your updates (or ads) are truly engaging
Obviously, there’s no single recipe to creating effective social media content.
But here are a few ideas for you to experiment with:
- Use a lot of images and videos: These will also help your business with your organic visibility through rankings in image and video carousels
- Create native polls and then publicize your findings in a follow-up post
- Tag influencers you mention in your content to get them help with promoting it
- Ask a lot of questions
Text Optimizer is a great way to find interesting questions to ask on social media and engage more of your audience:
Here’s also a great guide on creating a social media content strategy.
4. Time your updates or ads well
Timing is everything in social media marketing because it allows you to override that interruption phenomenon we discussed earlier.
Some examples of good timing include:
- An upcoming niche event that everyone is talking about
- A trend or an economical shift that has made your product especially useful (think of Zoom serving remote working ads during Covid lockdown)
- Seasonality (e.g. an upcoming tax season), etc.
Google Trends is a good way to predict seasonal trends. It can also be limited to a certain locality:
5. Record those leads well
Getting organized is key when it comes to lead generation: You need to clearly know who you already contacted, what those touchpoints have been so far, and what each DMU (decision-making unit) looks like.
This is where a good CRM solution comes into play.
Here’s a solid comparison of major CRM platforms for you to choose from. Look for a software solution that offers a solid sales pipeline management feature and creates detailed lead profiles.
6. Seek help from influencers
Influencer marketing is a great addition to social-media-driven lead generation because people trust people. Onboarding a few niche influencers will help you generate some trust. It will also help you get some valuable reviews and testimonials to use on your social media landing page.
There’s a detailed guide on how to win social media influencers without sponsorship.
Awario offers a powerful influencer marketing tool allowing you to identify real micro-celebrities in your niche and the best way to approach them:
7. Involve your whole team in the process
Social media marketing includes more people than just your sales team. You need to have social media managers on board with your efforts because they are the ones involved in the process and you should always welcome feedback from your customer support team because they are at the forefront of interacting with your current customers.
Even your product development team needs to be involved because social media is a great way to generate real-time feedback on your tools.
So keeping your whole company involved in the process will benefit everyone and help you get even more tangible results from your efforts. If you are not sure how to do that, take this Unified Communications test to identify how to set up the process.
8. Segment and remarket your social media ads
Finally, social media is a perfect supplement to all your lead generation efforts because you can re-target your site visitors based on their previous engagement with the site.
At this point all major social media platforms offer remarketing feature:
- Facebook (and Instagram): You can retarget your ads to people who visited your site, converted, abandoned their shopping carts, etc.
- Twitter: You can remarket to users who saw or engaged with you on Twitter
- Linkedin: You can retarget your ads by website, video ads, Lead Gen Forms or soon a LinkedIn Event.
Social media marketing has one huge challenge to cope with: You have to always be there to see results. The moment you stop, the lead numbers will start tanking. So there’s no scaling here: It is a continuous process.
The good news is, using the tools and steps above you will be able to set up an effective lead generation strategy to make the most of your social media traffic. Good luck!
Disclosure: Martech Zone is using their affiliate links for some products in this article.