Pro Tips From #SESCHI to Turn Your B2B Social Into a Lead Generation Machine

Every marketer is, of course, dreaming of working out the magic formula to leverage technology and social to get the lowest cost per lead (CPL) as well as the highest and the fastest conversion rates. B2B is no exception; to the contrary, the challenge is even tougher.

Here are a few nuggets harvested from the B2B lead generation panel at SES Chicago, courtesy of Michelle Killibrew, program director, strategy & solutions, social business at IBM, and John Lee, manager, brand & social marketing at Webtrends.

Overarching Principle: Work on Your User Experience

Killibrew focused on the corporate website as a lead generation instrument. She recommends serving your audience “things that will delight them.” Present interesting facts they can use now. Show them what’s possible and how to do it. Demonstrate the use of leading-edge web designs and technology to support your user experience and make sure your site is mobile friendly – a no brainer.

Lee focused more on the use of Twitter as a lead generation machine. In Twitter’s environment, speed and volume of information are both challenges and assets to be leveraged for lead generation. For instance, with 6,000 tweets slamming per second, whatever you write gets buried deep down in less time than it takes to say so. His advice was to be aware of the “B2B vacuum.” Read further to find out his tactics.

Facilitate Sharing

Another no brainer in keeping your audience engaged. Also helps to nurture your prospect/lead. Both Killibrew and Lee had their own tricks worth noting.

Killibrew’s notable tip was to use pop-unders instead of the usual (and highly annoying) pop-ups. While your prospects fill a form, you already serve them targeted content they will want, but on a mini site, in the window below the active one.

She also insisted on pre-populating the social sharing forms with different baits on each channel (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc).

Twitter it Up

Lee uses Twitter as a lead generation machine. Here are three principles to guide you:

• For acquisition: be a real person, keep it real

• From acquisition to nurture: be a DJ, think three steps ahead

• Think lead generation, not social

1. Keep it Real: Present yourself in a way that can compete with celebrity and top-of-mind brands (he used Kanye West and Virgin Atlantic to illustrate his point).

Beware: should you start talking about yourself too much, it may result in negative perception – vanity.

The other trap is desensitization. For instance, Lee warned against the “food porn effect,” which, according to a study by Brigham Young University, makes people find food less appetizing and less tasty because of overexposure to pictures of it (interesting!). The same goes for your content.

2. Be a DJ

Your goal is to move people from one point of inactivity (still shy, the party hasn’t really started) to utter activity. Remember, it’s not about you, your role is to play the music that will delight and move the people. It’s not about playing the music that you like. People click on things they like.

• Think three songs ahead. What are the next three touch points?

• Watch your audience: the life span of a tweet is 18 minutes. See what works during the 18 minutes and adjust accordingly to increase lead generation.

3. Think Lead Generation, Not Social

• Using his agency’s own study about Twitter’s lead generations cards, Lee showed how Twitter cards enabled an overall 996 percent increase in acquired leads and a 500 percent decrease in cost per lead. Note, as opposed to other lead acquisition tools, which require two clicks at best. (See Killibrew’s approach with registration above), Twitter cards don’t ask customers to click out. It also resulted in three times the ROI compared to Facebook or LinkedIn.

• Crucial part: targeting. Do not target your followers, Lee reminded the audience, go outside, find relevant conferences and/or/via hashtags, for instance.

Lee’s Tips on Crafting Your Twitter Lead Generation Cards

• Content hook: it’s not a title or headline. It needs to be valuable content for people who don’t know you.

• Supporting copy: the line should communicate the experience – let the users know that they should expect an email. Why? Twitter accounts are often linked to junk inboxes: your prospects will know to go check for your email.

• Image: you can still put text if you keep it simple. Think of creating multiple images for each asset you want to promote.

• Encourage immediacy: download now, sign up now… Make sure you automate so that people get your content immediately because twitter won’t do that.

Nurture is Important

Finally, for each asset downloaded, send an automatic email one week after saying something like: “we saw you downloaded this, here are a few more data points you might like. It’s free.”

In one sentence: optimize your user experience.

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