When it comes to social media marketing no business wants to be left behind. It’s mostly free, elicits immediate response and has tremendous reach. Employees and executives are encouraged to ‘tweet’ new products/services and events, keep in constant touch with the target market and manage customer relations when the waters get choppy. And Hollywood thrives on it.
However, while Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, etc. were earlier being used for B2C communications, today social media is being touted as a cost-effective B2B lead generation machine.
Let’s look at some recent examples of B2B companies using Twitter and other social media tools:
- Networking giant Cisco saved $100,000 on a product launch by using social media. The trail blazing campaign was given the 2010 Leading Lights Award for Best Marketing. However, LaSandra Brill, senior manager, social media, Cisco agreed that social media does not replace sales interaction; it just helps speed it up. We know that this launch cost one sixth of a traditional one but I’d like to know more. Its success with demand generation for instance! The question is what is the protocol to convert awareness generated by social media activities into qualified leads? From a tactical perspective social media may have replaced traditional means of go-to-market but at the end of the day, what is the final output?
- Closer home, Kinaxis, the Canadian supply chain management company’s Learn, Laugh, Share and Connect strategy exceeded expectations. 2.7 times increase in web traffic and 3.2 times increase in inquiries. They used LinkedIn, Twitter, a free public forum and the company blog to reach out. But let’s not detract from their main idea here…brand awareness. They’re hoping that their social media effort will generate business down the road. Let’s wait and see! Again, how do you convert this increase in brand awareness to a B2B sales ready lead?
- Encouraged by the social media buzz, UPS is launching a new logistics campaign to boost its credentials with small businesses. The company’s new Twitter and Facebook pages will no longer be a complaint forum but include a variety of media and case studies on the benefits of logistics in life. These social channels will complement the B2B discussions on the UPS website. Will this generate the small business inquiries they’re looking for? And in what numbers? Only time will tell.
Results speak louder than words. Show me the numbers and I will become a believer.
Share your thoughts on Twitter and B2B lead generation.