Social media is great.
You can connect with people.
You can learn the news and the latest happenings in your industry.
And if you’re in business you can generate leads. But this one can be a little tricky. The first common inclination is to sell, sell and sell. Promote what you’re offering and wait for the leads to come in.
It doesn’t happen like that.
Social media offers you a way to connect with an audience of your target customers. But you have to focus on their attention. Odds are they’re only in buying mode 3% of the time.
But the key for you is to earn their attention the other 97% of the time so when they are in buying mode they’re thinking of you.
Here are some ways to generate B2B leads on social media.
This is #1 on the list for a reason.
You’ve probably read that you want to offer value on social media. The same with content marketing. The same with any online marketing.
But what is “value”?
It can be a lot of things, but a basic way to give value is to answer the questions your target audience is asking.
Join industry groups on LinkedIn and Facebook. Find the questions people are asking and offer answers.
Get on Quora and start answering questions. That site makes it super easy.
Do the same on Twitter. Search for “Anyone know” + and industry term. People are always asking questions.
Start your own hashtag. #ask+yourbrand. It’ll take some time to build a following but eventually people will see that you’re offering help and they’ll start directing questions to you.
The key here is to setup your profile. Make sure it describes who you are and what your business does. Include a link. Possibly to your homepage, but maybe even directly to a landing page with a special offer for your social media followers.
The more people you help the more people that will view your profile.
2. Link To Helpful Content…Often
Most people aren’t sharing enough on social media.
I know that you probably have that uncle that shares too much on Facebook. We all know that guy.
But in the business world businesses maybe share once a week if they’re doing good. Most aren’t sharing enough.
The thing with social media is that people want content just about all the time. Think about how often you check Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc…
It’s a general rule and doesn’t work in all instances, but the more you share the more valuable you are and the more followers and engagement you’ll receive.
If you don’t have content of your own to share follow a dozen industry blogs and share the best content from each. Up to 25-50 or more times per day.
3. Case Studies & Stories
You should be offering non-sales content about 99% of the time on social media. Your selling will come when people visit your profile.
But you can do a bit of soft selling with case studies and stories. You could link to a PDF or page on your site where the full story is or you could just post it natively on the social network.
More on native content next.
Case studies are kind of a humble brag. It’s not something you wan to do all the time, but in general you probably could be doing it more.
Your audience will take case studies for what they are. They know there is bias, but they’re still interested. If they’ve been thinking about a solution like yours they’ll be looking for case studies where they can put themselves in the situation and see if your solution will work for them.
4. Native Content
Native content is content that is hosted right on the network.
So instead of going on Twitter and sharing a YouTube link you just upload the video right to Twitter. Instead of linking to a blog post on LinkedIn you just post your article right on LinkedIn.
The social networks obviously want more native content so they reward native content with higher placement in feeds. So that’s more eyeballs for the content you’re creating.
Instagram has been a big winner with this strategy. They don’t really allow you to link to anything so it’s really all native. Same with Snapchat.
Those are two of the best channels to share video and photo content.
This strategy blends with posting more. It’s another way to post more other than just sharing links and your own textual thoughts, tips and ideas.
5. Partner Posting
Here is one that is often underused.
You can do this a lot of ways, but here are two ideas to get the wheels turning in your mind.
First, find an industry hashtag chat on Twitter. There is probably one. Businesses, events and even places like chambers of commerce have these. They might host the chat ever fourth Wednesday of the month for example.
Follow it and see what they’ve been doing. Then reach out and see if you can help in anyway. They’ll probably tell you to jump in with answers one week. They might have you be the host one week if they’re busy.
Second, look for complementary businesses. You’re a family dentist. Connect with the local library. You probably have the same target audience. Help each other by sharing each other’s content.
There’s a couple ideas to get you going.
6. Group Moderating
A few social networks, Facebook and LinkedIn come to mind, that allow you to build and moderate groups.
This goes back to the old days of forums. People just love the typical Q&A format. Sharing their lives with select groups. Little niche groups.
To start, look for your industry groups. Join them. Participate. Do the Q&A thing.
Then see where the gaps are. If there is a gap for the type of content you think people would like then start your own group. It definitely takes effort. When you’re starting a group or a forum or whatever you’ll often feel like you’re talking to yourself. You might even have to direct message some people to ask for favors. The favors being having them post questions in the group.
But eventually you’ll build some momentum and people will interact with other. And you and your brand will be at the center of it bringing exposure and leads to the business.
7. Influencer Marketing
Finally we have influencer marketing, which has really picked up with social media. It’s a concept that has been around for just about all forms of entertainment and media. But social media has allowed it to go to new levels.
It starts by identifying the players in your industry.
They’ll often want money in exchange for working with and promoting your services and products. But sometimes you can get an in by asking them if they need help with anything and then offering to help out.
It’s still an exciting time for social media. For businesses, the trick is not to so much do direct selling and promoting, but by looking to give people what they want. And they want answers to their questions and entertainment. Do those things and you’re on the right track to getting more exposure for your B2B, which will bring in more long-term leads.