Wow…B2B social media really works
There is a great deal of discussion about social media’s place in B2B marketing. Although collecting a group of Facebook likes is nice, it is easy to wonder what they are truly worth. Companies are often quick to judge the success or failure of a social media campaign based on measureable ROI. While analytics such as likes, links, conversations and leads is relatively easy to measure on a social media campaign, placing a value on them is much more challenging.
The truth is, if your social media campaign is well managed, over time it can produce highly qualified leads. To accomplish this, your program needs to do two things: provide value and encourage feedback.
Value. Why should people follow and fan your company on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook? You have to ask yourself – what’s in it for them? If you’re just going to bombard your followers with promotional product information, they’ll quickly lose interest and not come back. Give them something to use – interesting articles, industry information, tools to grow their business, etc. Make your platforms inviting and engaging, and make it a destination site for them to visit often.
Feedback. The whole idea behind social media is to engage in conversation – so make conversation. Pose questions to your followers; solicit their thoughts on related topics and create a dialogue. People are often all too eager to share their opinion on a topic that’s close to them. By creating conversations, you’re making your social media sites destinations that people will continue to visit.
When your social media campaign accomplishes these two things, leads follow. This is what’s happening with LiteSteel Technologies, the manufacturer of LiteSteel beam (LSB), a product aimed at the residential and commercial building markets. We help LiteSteel fill its Facebook page with a mix of product and industry-related news aimed at builders, architects and remodelers. The site also poses to its fans questions about the industry to help generate discussion.
This ongoing discussion with LSB’s growing list of Facebook fans is leading to detailed, technical questions about LSB, i.e. applications, strength, installation tips, availability, etc. LiteSteel is answering those questions for others to see, and can then follow up directly with those folks to provide more detailed information. Keep in mind, this isn’t just people saying they love LiteSteel beam, rather they’re asking questions that any salesperson would recognize as purchase interest.
What social media is doing for LiteSteel is bringing forth leads that are pre-qualified and could easily turn into sales. It’s also become a leading source for online referrals. Of course, social media isn’t the end all to be all when it comes to marketing B2B or B2C – but when used correctly and properly managed, it can deliver leads – and that leads to good, measurable ROI.