Lead Generation through Social Media.  As a marketer in the B2B world, you know that social media is the forefront of lead generation; but where do you begin?

2014 has been defined in many ways. From the year of the consumer as defined on Forbes to the year of the socially conscious brand; it is becoming more and more important to tell your brand’s story through social media.  However, without a strategy, how are you going to motivate individuals to follow and interact with your brand?

This is why, after a detailed search of insights offered by thought leaders on this topic, we would like to share an 8 step process to generating B2B leads on Social Media.  Special thanks to Jay Baer at Convince and Convert for their article “Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps

Step 1: Involve Your Entire Team

Nobody should “own” social media strategy in your organization. Social impacts all corners of the company, and should be more like air (everywhere) than like water (you have to go get it). Thus, the first step in the process is to create a cross-functional team to help conceive and operate the rest of the strategy.

Step 2: Listen, Compare, and Benchmark

It’s an old social media strategy mantra by now, but “listen” is still good advice that’s often ignored. The reality is that your customers (and competitors) will give you a good guide to where and how you should be active in social media, if you broaden your social listening beyond your brand name.

Step 3: What is Your Social Media Goal?

Yes, you can use social media to help accomplish several business objectives. But the best social media strategies are those that focus (at least initially) on a more narrow rationale for social. What do you primarily want to use social media to accomplish? Awareness? Sales? Loyalty and retention? Pick one.

Step 4: Defining Social Media Success

How are you going to determine whether this is actually making a difference in your business? What key measures will you use to evaluate social media strategy effectiveness? How will you transcend (hopefully) likes and engagement? Will you measure ROI?

Step 5: Research Your Follower Base

With whom will you be interacting in social media? What are the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your current or prospective customers? How does that impact what you can and should attempt in social media?

Step 6: What’s Your Claim to Fame?

It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you sell, your product features and benefits aren’t enough to create a passion-worthy stir. How will your organization appeal to the heart of your audience, rather than the head? Disney isn’t about movies, it’s about magic. Apple isn’t about technology, it’s about innovation. What are you about?

Step 7: Humanizing Social Media

The mechanics of social marketing push companies to compete for attention versus your customers’ friends and family members. Thus, your company has to (at least to some degree) act like a person, not an entity. How will you do that?

Step 8: Create a Channel Plan

Only after you know why you’re active in social at all, and how you’ll measure social media strategy success should you turn your attention to the “how” of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the rest. This channel plan should be distinct, in that you have a specific, defensible reason for participating in each one.

Do you need help defining your lead generation on social media? Sign up for our email newsletter to receive first notice when we release our Social Media eBook! Until then, contact us for a free Modern Marketing Report Card!

Related Resources

Is Your Marketing Modern? (Modern Marketing University)

Social Selling Part 1 (Hot Potato Social Media)

Content Marketing Definitions, Tips, and Strategies (Modern Marketing University)