Wed, Oct 12, 2011
B2B marketers are constantly striving to improve the quality of leads that they generate with their marketing programs. In the traditional split between sales and marketing, the quality of leads always comes up. This causes marketers to focus on lead quality over lead quantity, but I would say that it is the same thing. If you use social media lead generation in a targeted manner and focus on increasing the overall number of leads, through the magic of mathematics, the number of quality leads will also go up.
Quality vs. Quantity
A social media program centered around a blog that provides remarkable content to your prospects, customers and followers and includes calls to action on each blog post has been shown to generate leads for B2B companies. Sharing this content on your other social media profiles extends the reach of your content and drives traffic back to your blog. Whether you grow your online followings manually, organically or with the addition of advertising dollars (for example, promoted Twitter accounts), you are better off with a larger audience than a smaller audience.
Some might argue that increasing the size of your audience, and thereby your potential leads, does not bring in better leads, but consider how you go about this. You are creating content for your target audience. You are providing valuable information that can help your prospects and customers be successful in their businesses. If you are a logistics company and you are providing content about warehousing, shipping, software and best practices to improve efficiency in these areas, it is not a big leap to say this targeted content will appeal to your target audience.
Marketing vs. Sales
The sales department is always going to say they want better leads, not more leads. This is a process problem, not a leads problem. By using social media to generate leads, you can increase the number of overall leads for your B2B company. As the number of leads goes up, processes need to be put in place to score or qualify the leads. This could be a people solution, a systems solution or both. It is critical to address the volume of leads that come in from social media early on, because as your content generation gets better and your audience grows, the number of inbound leads will also grow.
How has social media changed how you think about lead generation at your B2B company?