How to increase B2B lead quality from your social media traffic

Stephen Bavister, MD, Lexisclick Online Marketing, explains how you can drive more qualified B2B leads from your social media traffic

Most of us in B2B marketing are tasked with driving more leads. If that sounds like you, I bet that you've been asked plenty of times whether you can deliver more leads to help meet sales targets. When the sales team ask this, what they are really asking for is more qualified leads. Quality leads convert more frequently and at a higher value, they also tend to require less work from the sales team. So how can we increase the quality of leads we are driving through our marketing?

In digital marketing, online visitors who become contacts can arrive from a number of different channels, including: organic search, paid advertising, referrals and social media. The one that alludes many in B2B marketing is social media. 

With your growing use of social media and the investment that you are making in it, you need to pay attention to the leads that you are generating from it. B2B buyers in sectors such as construction, manufacturing and professional services will rarely complete a purchase online, but they will refer to their social networks for recommendations and advice. 

Increasing your inbound leads from social sources such as LinkedIn, should be part of every inbound marketing plan. In this post we'll look at why social leads can be better qualified than leads from other sources. We'll also look at steps that you can take in developing a B2B social media presence that will deliver a flow of quality leads each month. 

Getting more value from your social media activities

The common social media scenario we come across in B2B markets, goes something like this:

"We've got a Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook page with a few followers each and we keep them up to date, but I don't think that we've attracted any leads through them. Most of our followers are our employees or competitors, so we don't expect to get sales opportunities from them!"

Does that sound familiar? 

If it does, you are probably just keeping your social media up-to-date because you have to, rather than using it to develop a business-orientated audience. If this is the case then most of your web traffic visits from social media is going to be from visitors who are not likely to ever become qualified business leads. 

What can you do about it? The trick for using social media for lead generation is seeing your channels as search engines that your prospects are using to look for social recommendations. It's critical that you move your mindset that social media is something that just needs to be done, to it becoming an essential marketing channel that promotes your expertise and builds an audience interested in learning from you.

Your online audience are looking to hear from people with interesting things to say. Social media can be one of your most important methods of promoting your message and attracting new attention. You just need to be using it that way.

Your ideal customers are on social media and they are looking for your advice

Think about it, how often do you see people asking business questions in the LinkedIn groups you are a member of? It's one of the most common types of posts that I see. 

When customers are making a considered purchase, it makes sense to turn to social media to get other's views on a product or service from others. They won't always be sharing those questions publicly. They may be asking close contacts in private discussions, or looking for other's publicly shared views in groups and forums. Wouldn't it be valuable for your company to be that resource that is positively shared on social media? 

A recent IDC report shows that 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions. They use it to gain greater confidence and comfort with their decisions. The study also identified that "the average B2B buyer who uses social media for business support is more senior, has a bigger budget, makes more frequent purchases, and has a great span of buying control than a buyer who does not use social media." Does that sound like the type of customer you would like to attract?

It's unlikely that a B2B buyers would turn to their Facebook friends for a business purchasing recommendation, so where will they go? The same IDC study found that 56% of B2B buyers used LinkedIN to support their purchase decisions. 

Get started today - How to build traffic from LinkedIn to increase qualified social media leads

It's time for you to take advantage of the leading social network for business professionals. LinkedIn presents a massive opportunity to position yourself, your company and your employees as thought leaders and industry experts. Here's 3 simple steps to start getting the most out of LinkedIn and start generating more quality leads today. 

1. Identify and get involved in the LinkedIn groups your potential customers are using. Share your industry insights by linking to your company's most relevant blog posts. You can also answer questions by referencing your helpful content pieces like e-books and how-to guides. Why not try asking questions around the pain points that your prospects are likely to be experiencing? You'll need to monitor these discussions and make the most of opportunities to respond, so displaying your expertise.

2. Publish long-form posts to provide in-depth answers to the questions your prospects are looking for. LinkedIn's publishing platform for long-form posts is a great way to publish your content and increase your reach beyond your existing networking. LinkedIn has over 300 million members, so there's a massive opportunity to attract new contacts who don't yet know you. 

3. Get found more often by optimising your LinkedIn profiles. Identify the important search phrases your prospects are using and optimise your company page, your personal profile and employees’ profiles with these phrases. By optimising your various profiles it will significantly increase the chances that these profiles will be displayed in searches relevant to your industry.