B2B Marketing: How to Turn Social Media into a Demand Generation Tool by Julie Bevacqua
As you can tell, I am such a big fan of social media. It’s fun, affordable, creative, and intelligent. Yet
as companies begin to jump onto the social media bandwagon, the question that arises is, how do
you use social media effectively to convert your audience into paying, repeat customers? A high
number of followers do not necessarily indicate a high conversion rate (sorry to disappoint any
twitter collectors). And if figuring out what a ‘like’ translatesinto is difficult, imagine the various
measuring options you need to employ if you have multiple channels you promote on!
Yet social media is undoubtedly the fastest growing lead source for B2B companies today and a
single social media strategy, if used correctly, can convert into opportunities and sales. But many
have not figured out how to use social media correctly and as companies continue to gather larger
followers and sign up to more social networking channels, the entire prospect can become rather
If you don’t know where to begin, streamlining it into smaller, more manageable steps poses less of
a challenge. To achieve maximum results, you need to adopt a holistic approach that can create
single campaign streams, which can be used as engagement tools. You also need to align your
sales and marketing teams in order to create a unified approach. But more importantly, you need
to understand how social media can work as a demand generation tool.
Firstly, in visit those spots where your clients play. Look at some watering holes they gather at –
LinkedIn, Twitter, and Quora are all great hubs for the business customer to hang out at and the
first place you need to look when engaging your audience.
Next, assess the landscape and find out what the most important trends are at any given moment.
The landscape will change even though the watering holes may remain the same, so be prepared
to roll with the flow. Learn exit strategies, map out communities, and engage in forums and
Social media is used and consumed in different ways, depending on the audience, where they
gather, and what their decision making processes look like. In a study conducted by The
Buyersphere Report, here’s what they found: When a buyer seeks a recommendation, the most
influential channels, across all stages, were Twitter, Facebook, blogs and word of mouth. These
channels provide a personal recommendation, which is clearly valued by business buyers, whether
those recommendations are delivered face-to-face or enabled by social media.
Social media drives changes in the buyer/seller relationship. It also churns out data, which if the
seller is not prepared for, can be overwhelming. However, if you can use this to your advantage,
social media can be leveraged to generate new leads and convert existing leads into actual
By combining social intelligence with a social media setting, you can create a whole new lead
generation tool. Here’s how you can work with your existing channels:
Monitor and track opportunities by following relevant conversations online. There are a
number of tracking tools which will allow you to research and select appropriate segments. By
following and engaging in the conversation, you are letting two things happen – you are positioning
yourself as an expert and you are encouraging others to connect with you.
Wow the audience by creating and distributing unique, relevant, and targeted content. There
are two types of followers you may acquire – those who want to increase their own following and
try and do so by pursuing others, and those who want genuine access to original, intelligent
content. There’s no question which type of follower you would prefer to have. To attract the right
audience, discover who the influencers are within a community and try and get them onto your
Nurture potential leadsinto ready customers. Select the right kind of social media tools, like
blogging and video, to challenge and excite potential leads and convert them into buying
customers. Tools like twitter and facebook can also be leveraged to create evangelists out of your
existing customers. Early adopters of social media can see their lead generation numbers increase
significantly as they get others to spread the word for them.
Sell creatively. Social media does not work for hard-sales, but it can be extremely effective when
it comes to soft-sales and upsells. Use plenty of fresh content, interspersed with creative sales tags
to promote offers and upsell to current customers.
POSTED IN: SOCIAL MARKETING / TAGGED: DEMAND GENERATION, INBOUND MARKETING, LEAD
GENERATION, LINKEDIN,MARKETING & SALES ALIGNMENT, MARKETING AUTOMATION, SOCIAL
MEDIA, TARGETING & SEGMENTATION, TWITTER
A thought-leader in the technology marketing space, Julie Bevacqua is a leading expert in
business-to-business (B2B) marketing with hands-on executive experience in corporate, industry,
and product marketing; demand management; and social media. She has held executive positions
at global enterprise software companies, heading up integrated marketing strategies from brand
differentiation, demand generation, sales and marketing integration, and digital marketing
strategies to media and analyst relations and corporate social responsibility.
By taking every opportunity to extend the company’s digital footprint, Julie guides her team to
achieve online dominance within the global marketplace. A natural networker, motivator and
mentor, Julie shares her marketing and business savvy through her blog www.JulieBevacqua.com.
Business and corporate marketers and entrepreneurs gain unique insights into the latest
techniques on digital and social marketing that can be applied in any organization.
Julie lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia, a haven for technology and enterprising
upstarts, dubbed ‘Silicon North’.
Reach Julie Bevacqua at:
LinkedIn: Find Julie on LinkedIn
Twitter: Follow Julie on Twitter
Google+: Add Julie on Google Plus
Blog: Visit Julie’sBlog
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