“Why B2B Leads from Social Media Are More like Joe Biden than Lady Gaga”

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Did the unusual headline catch your attention and perk your curiosity? Quite out of place for a B2B blog post and even more for a B2B Webinar – which talks about qualifying and converting social media leads!

Well, there is no denying that Lady Gaga is taking the world by storm, she is everywhere – more than 10 million fans on Facebook and 5 million followers on twitter. For long she has reigned the trending topic space on twitter and is now being touted as one of the biggest phenomenons of our times. You may like her or hate her, you certainly cannot ignore her.

And just like Lady Gaga, Social media has rocked the B2B World, there is enough that’s being written about it, strategies, methodologies, success stories, tips, measuring ROI. It doesn’t really matter, if you think social media is overrated and fails to meet the established definitions of B2B marketing, there is no way you can ignore it. According to most online marketers, analysts and soothsayers, it is the ‘it’ thing; If your are not on the social media boat yet, you probably don’t even deserve a mention.

Having said that, as companies who are accountable for every penny spent in the name of marketing, measuring it up against the returns it brings in, it is reasonable to question, if social media is really all the things it is projected to be? And if it is, how do you make sure, that as a company you too benefit from this phenomenal social revolution.

Several research and survey reports have established the fact that social media does help in creating brand awareness and in increasing the traffic to your website. Now if your company uses a sales opportunity tracking or Lead analytics solutions, you might be able to track the leads that come from referral sites (social media platforms). These leads can then undergo the regular process of lead scoring and lead nurturing depending on the interest and intent expressed by them on the site.

But then social media is not just about getting your potential customers to your website and then tracking them, its more about interacting with them on a neutral platform, engaging them and educating them about your company and its offerings, in a setting they are comfortable with and like to frequent.

In this context, social media takes a whole new meaning – a ‘like’ on Facebook fan page, a reweet or follow on twitter, a comment on the Linkedin group are all instances of your prospect showing some interest in your company and what it has to say. But can these small acts of liking and sharing be a reason enough to qualify a social media follower as a potential lead? Now that is a million dollar question and one that Neil Glassman, a digital and linear media marketing strategist, intends to answer in the upcoming LeadForce1 Webinar on August 19, 2010.

Apart from these signals of interest expressed on social media platforms there are also explicit requests for help, more information or suggestion, which if tracked can easily convert into sale opportunities.

In a post on his blog Buzz Marketing for Technology, Paul Dunay writes – “There are several types of conversations that you can encounter out on the social web anything from a complaint to a compliment to what I like to call the Expressed Need. The best way to watch for expressed needs is to look for keywords often used to describe those needs. People make known what they are doing and often ask the general public for advice when they are about to make a purchase. Both of these situations provide an opportunity to reach out with an offer of assistance, information, or even a free demo or sample. People appreciate when a company listens, and they don’t mind offers of assistance, especially when done in a helpful, friendly way.”

And mind you, your competitor is watching out for such expressed needs and responding to such leads on social media – to cite an example, a simple query on one of the groups in Linkedin about – “What program or company do you use to handle your e-mail marketing?” Garnered close to 500 responses, each respondent trying to push the product they use or promote.

So, while you might think social media is outlandish, difficult to measure and hard to keep track of, the truth is – social media today means serious business and a more healthy sales pipeline.

If you are still not convinced, register now for the LeadForce1 Webinar – “Why B2B Leads from Social Media Are More like Joe Biden than Lady Gaga” – Find out how to qualify and convert leads
from social media

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Merlin Francis
Merlin Francis is Director of Communications for LeadFormix. Merlin has over a decade of combined experience in the field of print and television Media, PR and Corporate communications. This includes her 3 year stint as an entrepreneur running a successful public relations and event management consultancy.

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