At its core, demand generation is about developing and capturing the interest of target audiences. It also is about the buyers of the individual accounts. In today’s competitive landscape, companies hoping to successfully generate demand must first establish themselves as authorities in their specific industry.
After all, brands recognized as experts in their space are far more likely to have their campaigns resonate with growing audiences and boost their conversions.
This is where social media can be a powerful tool. As the number of platforms continues to grow and evolve with changing user behavior and trends, so do the opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences where they are. This begs the question: What makes a social media strategy essential for demand generation?
Before we explore the answer, let’s begin with the social media tactics that will help you craft a solid base for your next campaign:
3 Best practices for social media
Building a social media strategy takes time and planning to connect with your intended audience and yield the results you are looking for. This is also subject to the constant changes in social media trends and features.
Although the continuous evolution of social media can sometimes be a welcome challenge, it can also be frustrating when trying to gain traction. Cut out the irritation by setting up your campaign for success with the following fundamental best practices.
Before even getting started on developing your social media strategy, be sure to define what you want to achieve. In the case of demand generation, this should include how you plan to quantify an increase in demand.
Whether this is an increase in lead generation in general, marketing qualified leads (MQLs), or simply traffic back to your site, it is essential to decide on objectives. Without setting goals, determining the success or failure of campaigns will be more difficult.
Establishing a presence on social media, as you would expect, requires regularity with your posting. Plan out your social media calendar with a detailed strategy and schedule for posting times to maintain consistency and hopefully steady results and growth.
Define your audience
As with any strategy, your social media campaigns should be informed by audience preferences and behavior. Therefore, setting the definition for your target audience is crucial for developing your strategy.
The next step is choosing the right social platforms and the right content to share at the right frequency. As users are flooded with fresh content daily, making it to the top of your audience’s feed can be a challenging task. Highly personalized content informed by an understanding of your target market is, therefore, essential for competitive positioning.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at how social media can be leveraged to boost demand generation campaigns:
4 reasons why social media is essential for demand generation
Consistently generating new demand for a company’s wide range of products and services takes time and requires brands to secure competitive positioning across multiple platforms.
Here’s where social media comes in. First and foremost, social media provides users with the opportunity to share their voice. It also expands upon their ability to reach and connect with others with similar interests, which is essential for demand generation.
This underlying principle of social media makes it the perfect channel for B2B brands looking to improve their demand generation.
Below, we explore the various ways in which a detailed social media strategy can lead to enhancing growth and demand generation.
1. Build and boost brand awareness
Improving awareness of a brand’s products, services, and story is the first step in demand generation. It’s also one that can be facilitated with social media. For example, in the case of a B2B company looking to make inroads with thought leadership, social media is another platform for both the publishing and promotion of content.
Another benefit of social media is the ability to interact with your followers and connections. This is the case with LinkedIn. This not only allows you to field interesting insights, but to also hold discussions with your audience. These interactions can lead to organic boosting for posts and, by proxy, increasing brand awareness.
Essentially, if implemented correctly, your social media strategy can feed this process and build exponential growth for your brand image and a prospective audience. Therefore, also the demand you generate.
2. Humanize your brand
Growing an audience purely off the strength of a brand’s image or name can be challenging in today’s landscape. More and more, prospects look to relate to, and have a deeper connection, with a brand.
That is why it is particularly important, especially in the context of B2B, to humanize your brand. And what better platform for doing so than social media?
Lending a face to your social media strategies with members of your team can be far more effective in generating demand than positioning your brand as simply an organization with useful products.
Leveraging C-suite executives, in particular, not only adds authority and credibility to your social media posts but also makes your brand story more relatable than simple marketing messaging. It is essential for demand generation and can lead to generating more revenue.
Although your sales team can also establish themselves, team members with a higher position within your business will likely have more influence. C-level executives utilizing their following/connections influences. Your business also might gain new networking opportunities simply due to their role.
Posts from your team on social media should be human in their tone. Also, promoting strong thought leadership sets your brand apart from the competition and bringing value to your audience.
Tell stories with your social media content. Generate more demand in the market by building narratives behind what you offer, along with how they tie into the current state of your industry.
These strategies create a stronger brand voice, establish your brand as an expert in your space, and boost demand generation by encouraging prospects to connect with your company on a deeper level.
After all, prospects are more likely to relate to an individual expert than with a company page. The company page messaging could be interpreted as purely sales-driven.
3. Collect valuable data
As mentioned earlier, the success of demand generation strategies is often determined by the depth of a company’s knowledge. Deep insight into their audience and collected data make a difference.
Social media has the potential to provide companies with valuable information behavior, preferences, and needs of their audience. This informs future campaigns—social or otherwise.
One example of data collecting is social listening. After interacting directly with your target audience, you can gain a sense of their changing pain points and interests. This will help you shape your demand generation campaigns. Additionally, it showcases the features and benefits of your offerings most interesting to prospects.
Social listening also applies to non-members of your audience. Collect insights from those who are actively engaged with your content and also influencers, competitors, groups, or even media outlets. This is essential for demand generation for your business.
Keeping an eye on others in your industry, particularly in the same market as you, is a great way of identifying trends and preemptively adjusting to them to stay ahead.
Social media can also be a great source of information in the traditional sense, with analytics serving as great indicators for the success of your demand generation campaigns. Clicks and traffic back to your website can be especially demonstrative of performance.
Social media is also a fantastic platform for testing the waters for new campaign features or initiatives. Note do this in moderation. This ensures that it doesn’t affect the consistency of your social media presence but instead adds a welcome variety.
4. Go beyond demand generation
As your audience grows and helps inform and evolve your social media strategy, you can better prioritize content that successfully generates demand.
While successful social media strategies start by boosting demand generation, the campaigns that truly suit target audiences have the ability to support the entirety of the buyer journey.
Creating and sharing content that accurately aligns with your audience, empowers your lead nurturing. Consistently posting valuable content strengthens the relationship potential clients have with your brand. It also qualifies them as leads.
Shaping a successful social media strategy takes a significant investment in time and work from your team. However, if approached properly, social media can become a powerful tool for generating significant demand for your brand and offerings. Be sure to follow the tactics detailed in this article to make the most of social media for your business.