How to Leverage Social Media for B-to-B Lead Generation

Jamie Kightley, iBAengage
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Key Takeaways

​What? B-to-B companies can take advantage of social media platforms to generate leads.

So what? While some social networks appear to be more B-to-C friendly, they can also be great opportunities to reach the desired audience.

Now what? Try using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to truly focus your audience reach without stretching your resources. Sharing thought leadership is a good place to start.

​Oct. 17, 2017

There are three platforms you should be using to reach your audience on social

They say content is king, but can content rule if it’s on the wrong platform and shared with the wrong audience?

There are countless social media websites now that claim to be hugely beneficial for businesses. Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest can work wonders for B-to-C companies looking to promote their brand, but for B-to-B, it’s all about finding and cultivating those all-important leads. Choosing the right social media platform to deliver this message is the perfect place to start.

Social media is one of the most popular B-to-B content marketing strategies used by businesses, albeit to varying degrees of effectiveness: Only 13% of companies describe their lead generation as very successful. The average B-to-B company is on six social platforms with the hope that a wider net can catch more fish; however, focusing on too many platforms can have a detrimental effect on B-to-B social media strategies, stretching the resources of your team.

There are three social media platforms you should focus on to improve your marketing efforts, engage with relevant prospects and improve lead generation.

LinkedIn

Known as the Facebook of business, the company's takeover by Microsoft for $26.2 billion last year proves there is real value in the platform. There’s one very good reason why LinkedIn is the No. 1 site for B-to-B marketers: leads.

LinkedIn has more than 400 million total users in more than 200 countries. Users come from a range of different countries, industries, markets and job levels, including CEOs, upper-level management and C-suite professionals. In other words, these are the people who have the decision-making power to select your services.

No other site has a database full of prospects and leads ready to engage with your company. Prospects can be searched for by industry or job title to make sure your message is targeted toward the right person.

The platform focuses on building relationships with prospects by sharing content and creating conversation in more than a million groups, allowing you to establish your company as an expert in your field. IBA has had huge success in promoting thought leadership material on LinkedIn. 


Twitter

Twitter is well-known for its big celebrity following and as a platform that has allowed large B-to-C brands to thrive online. But the site can also be a useful tool for B-to-B businesses to share content, raise brand awareness and generate leads.

Unlike Facebook, which filters its content, Tweets can be seen by anyone and can be targeted to specific trends or topics using hashtags. Using Twitter can be a great way of listening to the important conversations happening in your industry from thought leaders, influencers, analysts and even your competitors, as well as finding the prospects your company can turn into sales.

Just like LinkedIn, Twitter allows users to build lists of targets to engage with, publicly or privately, and filter out all the tweets from your main news feed to focus on a particular industry or topic. For example, you can build a list of prospects to see what they're talking about, who they're talking with and use this information to start the conversation with them and build a relationship.

Twitter encourages and rewards user interactions, so don't be afraid to start the conversation with someone who looks like a relevant prospect.

Facebook

You might be surprised to find Facebook on this list, because the site is hugely popular with B-to-C companies, but don't let that put you off, as the world's most popular social media platform can be effective in helping B-to-B organizations reach new customers.

If used correctly, Facebook can help drive traffic to your company's website where you can turn a prospect into a lead. The platform boasts the largest audience of all the social media sites, so not having a presence here will ultimately lead to missed opportunities. Thirty-nine percent of B-to-B companies have generated leads through Facebook. Only LinkedIn generates more.

Because there is so much content being shared on Facebook, it’s essential that you use its large audience reach to your advantage by creating and sharing content tailored toward the type of market or prospect you’re seeking. Videos and images can work wonders for engagement, along with sharing relevant articles, thought leadership and hot topics from relevant industry publications.


Less Really Is More

Don't rush to every social media site out there just because you can. Concentrate on the most important ones first and build a platform for further success. It’s better to have a strong presence on the key social platforms that are proven lead generators than to have a weak presence on a lot that aren’t. Sharing content and focusing your efforts on these three social platforms will help find and cultivate leads that would have never happened elsewhere.


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Author Bio:

 
Jamie Kightley, iBAengage
Jamie Kightley leads iBAengage at <a href="https://www.iba-international.com/">IBA International</a>
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