Generating high-quality leads that fit your Target Filter requires strategic efforts. If you randomly “market” your company, you may create leads, but they typically won’t be the kind you want. Today’s post is about Tactic #3 from my article Ten Tactics to Drive B2B Sales with Social Media: Learn how to use social media to generate high quality leads.
You might think social media activities are simply random, and you may wonder if you can really acquire B2B leads through social media sites. But here are five proven ways to use social media to create leads in a B2B market:
- Publicize Events. Host a virtual or face-to-face event on a topic that is important to your prospective customers. It can be a seminar, a webinar, a teleconference–many formats will work. Your event can be free or paid. If participants pay for the event, you will have smaller numbers, but they may be more highly targeted prospects. Free events will generate greater response, and you will still have some great leads among your participants if you’ve chosen the right kind of topic. Once you’ve planned your event, use Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote it. Proof? Jill Konrath orchestrated the Sales Productivity Summit with five other participants and attracted over 9500 registrations for two, 2-hour webinars. Countless more will download the archive.
- Join LinkedIn Groups. I’m sure you have a LinkedIn profile (if not, you need to create one today!) and that you regularly connect with new business associates. But there’s real lead generation power when you join groups whose members are, or may be, among your targeted prospects. For example, I belong to sales groups, entrepreneur groups, small business groups, RFP group, women in business groups, regional groups. These are great places to keep informed, meet prospective customers, and announce your events (and books, white papers, blog posts, etc.) that will be of interest to the group. If you haven’t joined The Whale Hunters LinkedIn group, do that today!
- Comment on Blogs and Discussion Boards. Build your reputation as a thought leader by amplifying, agreeing with, disagreeing with, or otherwise commenting on blogs and discussion boards hosted by others in your field or industry. These are places where prospective clients are searching for knowledgeable information.
- Blog. Host a blog of your own or organize a company blog in which several employees contribute. The key to this tactic is to add new content frequently. Your blog will help you be found by prospective customers, and over time they will subscribe to your blog and even post their own comments. If you need help in creating a corporate blog strategy with multiple authors (and other content publication tools), I highly recommend you contact my friends at Compendium.
- Host a Community. Many social media “do-it-yourself” options make it easy to convene prospects, allies, even competitors in a virtual conversation, dialog space. Forming your own LinkedIn group is an easy way to start. You can create community within and around your blog if you encourage comments and interact with readers. WordPress is a great free platform to use for a blog (and easy to upgrade as you get popular!); Ning will help you create a total community space with lots of options.
Here’s the thing. How this works is that all these tactics will bring prospective customers into your sphere of influence. Then it’s what you do NEXT that matters. Call them. Send an email. Thank them for coming or commenting or asking. Ask them how you can help. All of the tactics you would use for cold calling you can suddenly do with a warm intro, since you reached out into social media space and met someone there.