Social Media and Common Sense – How Common is it?

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For social media to work in a B2B context we need total alignment of all go-to-market tactics. Unfortunately, the “experts” are looking at social media as a single focus tactic, despite the fact that it is an unproven replacement tactic. If the end game is to produce a sales ready lead or speed up the process to a sales ready lead then organizations ought to start thinking integration and alignment. What is happening to your increased web inquiries, landing page visits, etc. that are being generated by your Internet marketing and social media activities? I see this whole issue as a more structural one. Are we throwing the baby out with the bath water? Social Media – yes and yes – but how about using some common sense?

Social media has its place, i.e., brand awareness and even pipeline acceleration. It helps you take your brand message to where your target audiences are. But marketing analytics will show that it’s no substitute for active pragmatic marketing and lead generation. As a B2B company, you can blog and tweet to strengthen brand awareness but remember, your executives will better utilize their time on providing stability to the organization.

Traditional lead generation is a scientific process with proven results. It’s the only one I’m willing to put my money on right now. I don’t believe that employees or executives have the time to tweet to your customers all day. Leave that to the Hollywood stars; they like being in the limelight, and have business managers to promote their careers.

I am really looking forward to seeing research that shows the percentage of prospects following, tweeting etc. Just because we do it, because we “have” to, does not mean it works. Getting the word out, getting critical mass from a reach perspective? Absolutely. But as a lead generator? Not even close unless we start using social media as one of several tactical elements in a bigger play.

Companies are still focused on how much money social media will save them v/s using social media as a means to accelerate and progress the pipeline. The good news is the smaller more nimble companies are getting the message.

Here’s a quick test – if you are not a service provider and/or a consultant, ask 10 of your busy colleagues when was the last time they read a tweet or tweeted for that matter. Analyze their responses in the context of why marketers are telling us that we should use social media. I think you’ll be surprised; but then again, maybe not. Where is that knowledge base coming from? Why are they telling us that social media is so great for B2B? I have not seen the benefit; cannot see it in the current format.

Digital PR (oops Social Media) is a great equalizer; hence its appeal. But in my strong opinion, it is a poor substitute for pragmatic lead generation campaigns. It is like the game of golf -you can have the best swing but if you cannot convert and score what’s the use?

Share your thoughts on social media and B2B lead generation.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.

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