Molly Buccini

Lead generation might be a top goal for B2B marketers in 2015, but social media isn’t where they’re expecting to bring in qualified prospects, according to a new BrightTalk report.

In fact, social media and print advertising ranked the lowest on a list of 15 different lead generation tactics. A full 30 percent said these are ineffective lead gen tools and just 12 percent said they’re highly successful. On the contrary, email marketing was cited as the top tool, with 55 respondents saying it’s effective.

Lead gen satisfaction survey

In an era when 7 out of 10 people utilize social media (and the average social media user is active 2 hours and 25 minutes daily), this is unsettling data. Marketers who consider social media ineffective for lead gen need to reconsider their current strategies and revamp what they’re doing to both promote the brand and nurture people to take the next step to learn more.

Where marketers ARE finding success on social

To understand where B2Bs can make improvements, it’s important to identify what that 12 percent are doing right. Of those who said social media is somewhat or very effective for lead gen, 79 percent use LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the most ‘business-driven’ of the social network landscape, where professionals are looking for connections and business leads. So it makes sense that this is where B2Bs are focusing their efforts and noticing measurable returns. However, there’s the counterpoint that they might be missing opportunities on other networks or not noticing the impact they’re having because – by nature – they’re not ‘professional networks.’

LinkedIn best for B2B lead gen

On LinkedIn, most marketers said they find success through:

  • Publishing content
  • Participating in group discussions
  • Sharing status updates

Want to know what a successful LinkedIn strategy looks like? Check out our Content for Social eBook to see how one of our clients used Group Discussions to generate 14 percent more conversions through social media.  

4 Reasons why people might overlook your social channels:

In order to get leads from social media, you need to engage a community and build up brand awareness first. Here are a few reasons why people won’t be interested in your brand on social:

1. You never post

If someone checks out your social page and notices you haven’t shared an update in several months, the likelihood of  that person following you is pretty slim.

Quick fix: Create a social media calendar and schedule posts ahead of time (we use Sprout Social!) A social calendar can be similar to a content calendar – You can check out the 7 steps to crafting one here.

2. You post too much

On the flip side, if you’re posting so much that you’re clogging up your viewers’ timelines, they’re going to get sick of your brand and unfollow.  

Quick fix: Scale back and share different content on various channels. Find out what that particular audience is most interested in, and then focus solely on that topic. OR if you want to post frequently, try targeting posts to specific audiences (this feature is available on both LinkedIn and Facebook.)

3. Your content appears to be boring

If the content you share isn’t visually appealing and the headlines don’t engage your readers, you probably won’t be building an audience or generating leads.

Quick fix: Make sure to share a mix of visuals (including GIFs and videos), and change article headlines to be more catchy, social media-friendly titles.

Twitter Screenshot 1


4. You don’t respond

Nothing irks a person more than when they try to get in touch with a brand representative and are met with silence. And the sad truth is that 87 percent of customers’ posts (including customer service requests) go unanswered.

Quick fix: Set up a social customer service strategy. (We have one here you can use as a baseline)

Want to see real life social media marketing results? Click below to view this case study with Daniel’s Trading:

Daniels Trading Social Media Stats