Whether it’s a blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram—your prospects are online and they’re social. Potential buyers and customers are sharing content, opinions, and experiences publicly on the Web.
It’s obvious that social media has changed the game for lead generation and it’s important for marketers to get involved in those online conversations as early as possible. That being said, lead management is evolving and marketers are figuring out how to integrate social media throughout their campaigns from first touch to close of business.
So, how can social drive lead management? Below is a four step framework to help B2B demand generation marketers get started in the social world.
1. Awareness. Before engaging potential buyers through social, it’s important to find out what these potential buyers— specifically your target buyers—are talking about in various social channels. Figure out who the influencers are and where the relevant conversations are taking place. It’s pointless to have a huge presence on Facebook, for example, if your buyers simply aren’t there.
Similarly, there’s no point in talking just to talk. Produce content that your target audience will be excited to share.
2. Engage. Once you know where your target buyers are and what they’re saying, it’s time to start engaging. When you’re on social channels such as Twitter and Facebook, be sure to start a conversation as opposed to broadcasting a message. In other words talk “with” your audience, not “to” it.
Embedding social sharing tools within your content will help prospects and current customers serve in an ambassador role. If these targets feel engaged, they may start sharing your messages virally to new contacts. Remember that it’s important to not only attract leads, but to engage with people who might influence the buying decision. Also, endorsements from influencers can result in faster conversions.
3. Enrich. Social channels provide unique data around stated preferences and specific behavior. This kind of data is gold for sales and prospecting. Capture data by analyzing what social channels are driving traffic to your existing marketing assets and then capture the additional actions that those leads take from there.
Tools like social sign-on are really catching on. Social sign-on gives a marketer permission-based access to social data, which you can then append to your database. This data will then be massively helpful when it comes to segmentation and lead scoring.
4. Measure. It should go without saying, but measurement is crucial to determine what’s working and what’s not regarding your social efforts. Be sure to measure what social channels drive traffic to your pages and what campaigns drive the most conversions.
There are lots of new tools that can help close the loop on social campaigns and from there, you can determine how your social campaigns are stacking up against your more traditional marketing campaigns.
Rob Bois is product marketing manager at Eloqua, where he is responsible for strategy and positioning for the Eloqua Social Suite, as well as the overall enterprise market segment. For additional information on integrating social into lead generation, download Eloqua’s free eBook, the Grande Guide to Social Demand Generation.