Which Social Media Perform Best for B2B Technology Lead Generation?

Turning social media participants into ‘sales leads’ is tricky to say the least.  Risks include turning off the social network you are mining to the entire approach.  The concept has been around for decades, literally.  You offer a forum to discuss the pros and cons of a specific product and as those who are participating express need for more products, you attempt to address them and pitch them.  It’s one thing if a participant responds to an offer seen on the forum, it’s quite another to intrude on what might be considered a private chat.  The lines are blurred and you don’t have much in the way of clarity from the member or the community to establish any particular protocol.

Not so if you’re simply mining Twitter or LinkedIn or our Tek-tips community as an advertiser.  We can insert a white paper or other offer and make the call-to-action part of the resource offered.  There is almost zero risk that anyone on an outside forum would interpret your offer as intrusive, and no reason to be concerned.  However, your own community deserves extra care and handling.  If your own blog is gathering an audience, first off, kudos to you.  This is the first sign you know what you’re doing.  It isn’t easy and the critical blogging mass has made it hard to penetrate the IT buying community.  But since you have this figured out, even more of a reason why you don’t want to risk losing them.  The key is to get an offer in front of the audience that will take the member to a separate landing page where you can interact.  Think cautiously and listen carefully to the member to learn how to close the sale without offending the responder.

Another offer that will lower any risk on your company blog, and this is one we’ve yet to see done affectively in the B2B space is the coupon.  Nothing lowers your risk more than making a member feel like he has an option to save he gained by being a member.  Let the member know this is why he is receiving this special treatment.  It is marketing well spent.

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Twitter and LinkedIn are special for the technology marketer and ought to be handled attentively.  Both share a large tech community and each offers salient and unique information and intelligence on the audience you are seeking.  Try to focus on spotting and connecting with the leaders who set the pace for your products and services.  You can glean a lot of actionable intelligence from both so don’t simply assign these to underlings and hope something comes of it.  Create reachable, measurable, goals and be willing to adjust those to suit the way things are flowing.

Forums and third party blogs are our milieu so it’s smart to talk to people who make a living 24/7 checking this out and learning.  Facebook is probably not going to land you any worthwhile ROI for the sort of applications we market, but since you’re going to assign this some people who can make it work, it can’t hurt being on the list and it will help with getting hits in Google and search engines.

Let us know your questions and concerns and if we can answer any questions, we’ll be happy to do so.

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