Twitter-ListsBy Bailie Losleben, marketing consultant for Heinz Marketing

There is reason why marketers are flocking to social media to help with lead generation efforts- everyone is logged on. In fact, a 2013 study from Pew Research found that 73% of online adults use social networking sites.

Setting aside the sheer number of people logged into social networking here are some big reasons to add Social Selling to your marketing plan:

  • A 2013 study revealed that 65% of small businesses saw an increase in sales following the launch of a social media campaign (Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner)
  • Closing leads is actually easier with social media than outbound marketing because of the personalized approach
  • Can use various social media tools to help respond to leads right when they express interest or identify a pain point – which can help with quick lead generation
  • Helps increase brand awareness and can provide an easy way to promote content and events

How to Use Social Media for B2B Selling

Create a Company Page and actually use it
This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised by the number of businesses not actively using their LinkedIn page. All blog posts, new content pieces and PR pieces should automatically be fed to your LinkedIn company page. Using tools such as HootSuite or you can streamline this process and make it easy.

Get your sales team to use LinkedIn
The company page shouldn’t be the only place updates are posted about your business- get your sales team/employees involved. By posting the content on individual pages you increase your audience 10-fold, increasing the likelihood that your content will be clicked on, responded to, and even increasing your number of followers.

Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups can be a great place to network, learn, and find and promote interesting events and webinars. LinkedIn groups are very well targeted- you would be surprised how many registrants you can get for a webinar or event through an applicable LinkedIn Group.

Promote Gated Content
Turn followers into leads by promoting Gated Content on LinkedIn. Add gated content to your company page, share it on individual pages, and even share it as sponsored posts.

Tweet, Tweet, and Tweet Some more
Twitter is made for noise. There is a lot going on and it is constantly being updated. To get through this noise constantly plaguing your followers feed you must send out tweets several times a day.

Make sure you tweet some gated content so you can turn twitter followers into leads.

If you pay close attention you can actually discover some great leads on twitter. People are constantly complaining about the problems they encounter at work and in life and are sending out all of the buying signals you need to make a sale. In addition to listening to buying signals, it is also important to listen for company mentions. If someone complains about your company or mentions you as a referral it is good to know about this and deal with it quickly.

There are some tools that can help you dig through all the messages being sent out- such as Socedo. By simply entering in some target keywords and profile preferences Socedo can help you find great leads, follow them and even message them.

Make Friends
Another great way to engage on twitter is through social influencers. Social Influencers are those people with TONS of followers that are respected in their field. You can use tools such as LittleBird to track these influencers down—follow them and start engaging with them. Ask for them to provide guest blog posts, ask them questions, and send them interesting information to turn their followers into your leads.

Site Traffic
While Pinterest has really become a hub for fashionistas and foodies, if you think creatively you can use Pinterest to drive a fair amount of traffic to your website.

Choose Interesting Pictures
Pinterest is ALL about pictures- so it is important to find the most interesting images you can to upload to your Pinterest board. Infographics are great, book covers and graphs can also be appealing.

Don’t forget to include a link in the Pinterest image back to what you are referencing. Setting up unique URLs for each pin can help maximize demand generation- telling you which assets are performing the best.

Sending the pin to a landing page or blog which has a basic description, but requires a person to enter their contact information in order to access the full document is a great way to turn Pinterest into a lead generating machine.