Most marketing experts know the potential of social networks like Xing, Linkedln or Facebook. For customer retention and brand marketing, the opportunities on social networks are far too interesting to be ignored. Open social networks, newsrooms and blogs are also ways to increase your Internet presence and build a reputation. In short, social networks are today an essential element of business communication.
Social networks also play a central role in lead generation. Indeed, lead generation is ultimately about starting a dialogue. The goal is to attract the attention, interest of potential customers, and then gain information on these leads. A company can therefore benefit from engaging in a direct and open dialogue via Facebook, Twitter or another channel for lead management. There is no other means of communication today that offers so many opportunities to attract and interact with prospects and experts as easily.
Lead generation via social networks: reach and reputation as prerequisites
In order to fully utilize social media platforms for lead management, it is necessary to already have a certain reputation and a presence on the Web. To increase the popularity of a company on a platform like Facebook or Twitter, there are a number of social media management tasks to accomplish.
Good social media management includes:
• Regular sharing of high quality content
• Dialogue with fans, subscribers and followers
• Answers to questions and comments
• Contribute to discussions, launch debates and add comments.
This is more than just collecting fans little by little. With professional and thoughtful social media activities, a company can acquire an expert position in a field and better control the perception and image of the brand by carefully undertaking the tasks mentioned above. If a company is able to build a strong communication and communication channel, it’s not only good for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), but it’s also an important starting point for generating leads on social media.
However, it is becoming more and more difficult for companies to establish radiation. The issue of paid advertising on social media should not be neglected, especially for small businesses without regular customers. So it makes sense to set a budget for the planning of paid ads on social media.
Effective social network management not only ensures that companies, brands and products can define target groups, but it is also often the first point of contact between the brand and those interested in the social network. This is the perfect time to start the lead management process.
Choose the right channel
The choice of platforms and channels in the field of social media is very wide. Indeed, new innovative platforms are emerging that offer marketing opportunities to reach a target group. Among the most important social networking platforms are the essential Facebook and Twitter but also newer platforms like Snapchat or Instagram . In the fields of image and photography, Pinterest and Flick are leaders in this market. And in addition to YouTube, Vimeo is gradually establishing itself as a key player for Internet video. In the B2B sector, professional portals like XING and Linkedlnare essential. Therefore, the most important questions that need to be asked are:
What are the relevant channels for my company and therefore for lead management? Is lead management sufficient via Facebook or do I have to include other channels?
The answer must take into account two factors:
1. Where is your target group?
The target group goes before the channel: it is essential in the management of social media. This means that you should focus on the platforms that fit your target group. A smaller but robust network that is widely used by the target group is often much more valuable for lead management (and also for other areas such as enterprise communication) than a portal with a huge reach but whose users represent only a small part of the target group.
To find out in which channels potential active customers and relevant influencers are, the target group must of course be known and studied. Market research, user metrics analysis, and a variety of social media analytics provide interesting insights into your target group. To learn more about this topic, you can read our article on social media marketing.
2. What financial and human resources are available for the social media domain?
Until a few years ago, managing the Facebook channel in many companies was often delegated to trainees. Now, most businesses know that social networking is a full-time job and requires expertise , time, and commitment. If a company has few resources available, then it is better to focus on one channel rather than focusing on many different networks in vain.
The decision to use a channel for corporate communication is linked to the entire digital marketing strategy . A coherent strategic direction is essential to hope for success in this area. In addition to the various social media channels, this also includes the areas of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and email marketing (or emailing).
Social Listening as a base for lead generation
An important activity for the generation of leads through social networks is the ” social listening ” ( listening activity of Internet users on social media) . Social Listening is a new Anglo-Saxon expression derived from the jargon of digital marketing, which however represents a simple practice, which is carried out unconsciously in some form by most companies. By Social Listening we talk about listening on social networksand therefore the evaluation of what is heard or read from the writings and comments of the users on the social networks concerning a company, a mark or a product. The evaluation of conversations on social networks can gain valuable insights in many ways. For this it should be noted:
• In what context do users talk about the brand
• What questions and suggestions are addressed by users directly to the company
• What discussions are launched by the competition
• What acute issues are mentioned about a product or service
Passive listening is not enough. After identifying the discussions and the relevant questions, it is necessary to focus on answering, helping, supporting and finally participating in the conversation. Being present on social networks, but above all being active, allows you to attract a community and create long-term customer relationships through an open dialogue with customers. Companies must be able to control a reputation on the Internet and for example to be able to react and face a “shitstom”, that is to say an outburst of virulent criticism towards a person, a group or a company. When Social Listening is used correctly, it is an ideal starting point for the lead management process because it identifies problems and issues, and the company must come up with a concrete solution and provide an answer.
Bottom line: social media as the perfect starting point for lead management
A direct communication channel, like the Facebook social network or the Xing professional network, is perfect for connecting with potential customers and contributing to the lead management process. It is essential, however, that social media marketing be firmly anchored in the company’s communication strategy. The different channels selected should be monitored professionally and regularly updated. Social media marketing becomes an integral part of the overall digital marketing strategy. The focus must be on content, relevant and multi-valued and must be adaptable to target groups and answer questions from potential customers.