Is Social Technology Integral to B2B Lead Generation?
The scope of social technologies and their potential to help maximize B2B lead generation efforts is real and valid. But marketers must look beyond the eye-candy. Having a bunch of social media medals (logos and icons on your website) won’t do much for your sales team that’s out in the field trying to close the sale on a hot lead. But being active socially will definitely help establish greater credibility and increase visibility; both important factors that positively influence prospects about to make a purchase decision.
It looks as though the online social landscape is no longer a “should we be there” arena for B2B organizations. It’s more like “how do we look socially?” or “what is our social relevancy quotient?” Given that the fundamental requirement of B2B sales and marketing is being able to establish trust and credibility, I can also see why thought leadership has become the most desired result of social media marketing. That, in essence, is also the purpose of my blog – to be a springboard for great ideas!
I agree that blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube do not mark the boundaries of social media.
- Video content marketing has become a popular and effective component of social media. Not only do videos help B2B companies crank up their search marketing efforts, the viral effect of video links being exchanged by viewers (customers and prospects) is very powerful. And when I say “video”, it isn’t always people and products in front of the camera; a PowerPoint presentation with compelling audio can heighten interest levels and generate true leads or inquiries. Isn’t that what B2B demand generation strives to accomplish?
- Crowdsourcing (see my last post on this) seems to be fast emerging as an acceptable (and effective) way of garnering feedback, brainstorming ideas, collaborating on projects, sourcing service providers, and more.
- Mobile networking is yet another rapidly growing way that marketers are connecting, sharing and engaging audiences.
While the power of social media can be harnessed to deliver qualified leads, it won’t work on its own. Social media technologies coupled with proven traditional marketing tactics is the way to go. All too often companies lose sight of this and fail to reap the benefits of their social media marketing campaigns and activities. I’ll conclude by saying social media is a great catalyst for effective demand generation but we still need to find the secret sauce for converting a prospect into a qualified lead or sale for a company.