Many B2B marketers are turning to social media for lead generation. However, with an overwhelming amount of information shared through social media channels, it is becoming harder for companies to stand out and engage their target audiences. Plus, when companies attempt to use social networks as another direct marketing channel, many find that this approach backfires and results in negative ROI.
There is a way to achieve ROI and generate high-quality leads through social media — learn to build long-term relationships with customers rather than going after a quick sale. In my recent live chat on Twitter with host The Social CMO, I answered the top questions on “How to Create Social Media Content that Drives Action.”
Here are the 5 biggest questions about creating content that turns social media fans and followers into sales leads.
What is “social content”?
Social content is ANY content people will share. It’s not just what you post to social media, but anything on your website or elsewhere that your community will want to share. These can be reports, videos, case studies or other content. When you think about it, all of your marketing can be social.
How do you make your content sharable?
Make it relevant. The more relevant your content is to your audience, the more they will share it. If you don’t know if something will resonate, you can ask. Twitter is a good tool to get instant feedback on your ideas before you commit time to developing and publishing them.
How do you write copy for the social web?
Focus on providing your audience with educational content. People are looking for solutions to their problems. The more you educate them, the more they will see you as a trusted advisor. Use the word ‘you,’ instead of ‘I’ or ‘our company’. Focus your content on your readers and their needs. Be casual and friendly. People will respond to you if they view you as a likable person, not a faceless corporation.
Can you make sales through social media?
It’s possible to make sales through social media, but selling shouldn’t be your focus. Instead of trying to sell products or services through social media, try to sell readers on the next step. For example, ask them to click a link to your blog, comment on a post, download something free or provide you with feedback. The point is to ask them to take risk-free baby steps until they begin to trust you. Then, they will be willing to take bigger steps such as opting into your list or eventually … buying something.
Are there any examples of B2B companies that have successfully used social media to drive leads or sales?
The Social Media Marketing Industry Report said that 48% of respondents have used social media to help close sales. Here are some case studies:
Cisco launched a product using only social media. They saved $100K on the launch and gained 3 times the media coverage …
IdeaPaint, a Boston start-up, says social media is their largest source of leads and traffic…
What about you? What are your biggest questions about creating content that drives action? Feel free to share your comments and questions below.