This guest post is by Rebecca Corliss, head of the social-media lead generation team at HubSpot. HubSpot is a marketing software company in Cambridge, MA, that makes inbound marketing and lead management software. Follow Rebecca on Twitter as @repcor.
Social media is a fantastic, quickly growing channel that marketers around the world are using specifically for B2B lead generation. By promoting your best blog and lead-generation content, your company can successfully grow a large social-media reach and funnel a portion of that reach into traffic and leads for your business. But what tools should a marketer use to generate leads most effectively through social media?
This article will walk you through the most useful social-business pages, monitoring applications, and measurement tools that will help you fully and easily manage your social-media lead generation.
Company Business Pages
1. Facebook Business Page – Facebook is a great place to collect "likes" for your company. Use your Facebook Business Page to showcase some of your most intriguing and fun content to your community. To optimize your Facebook page for lead generation, make sure to post a solid mix of fun, visual content and business-focused educational articles that can funnel your most qualified prospects to your Website.
2. Company Twitter Account – Use your Twitter network to develop a fast-growing community of people who will look to you via your Twitter account for interesting information and links relevant to your industry. People especially appreciate content that is educational or information that will help their business.
3. LinkedIn Company Page – Company pages on LinkedIn have been rapidly improving, including a new status-update feature (similar to Twitter or Facebook) that can be used to share similar content with your LinkedIn network. Company Pages also have a "Products and Services" tab, where you can promote specific offers. You can also use this tab to request product recommendations from your network as an additional promotional tool.
4. Pinterest Page – Pinterest has gained popularity recently and can be a great way to promote your company's most visual content and drive traffic back to your Website. Use Pinterest to create "boards," which will act as a collection of the best visual content around a specific topic. Make sure that your collection includes content from your company and others. Promoting your content exclusively contradicts the nature of the site and could anger your followers.
Monitoring & Posting Tools
5. HootSuite – It's important to monitor social buzz around your company to prove that you're listening and receptive to feedback. Use HootSuite to monitor a constant stream of your company's mentions or other search terms that are important to you. Be sure to respond to relevant requests for help, kind words of praise, and other tweets that deserve a reaction from your company. HootSuite also allows you to schedule posts for the future to help you save time later.
6. TweetDeck – TweetDeck is another monitoring tool. Download TweetDeck to monitor most important terms and mentions for your company, similar to HootSuite; however, it does not include the same publishing and scheduling features as HootSuite.
7. TweetChat – Ever consider hosting a Twitter Chat related to your industry? (HubSpot's Twitter Chat is every Tuesday at 3:00pm ET.) Twitter Chats are a great way to create a wave of Twitter content around your company by hosting a crowd-sourced discussion. Use TweetChat to consolidate the conversation to one page and encourage chat participants to follow your company.
8. HubSpot – HubSpot is all-in-one inbound marketing software that includes analytics tools that help marketers measure how much traffic, leads, and customers you generate from social media or other channels. Use it to prove the true ROI that your social channels drive for your company – a great way to argue the value of social media to your management team.
9. Google Analytics – If you want more in-depth Web page analytics, use Google Analytics to learn how specific pages within social networks are driving traffic to your Website. This will help you figure out which are the best sources for promoting your content to drive the most visitors.
10. Topsy – Topsy is a great Twitter search tool to analyze usage of specific keywords and hashtags. If you are promoting a specific Twitter campaign that has a hashtag, use Topsy to understand how often that hashtag was used before and after the campaign.
11. Klout – Curious to know how influential your social accounts are? Klout helps you understand how much pull you have over your network on Twitter, Facebook, and more. You can also see how it changes over time based on the content you offer or the number of retweets you receive.
12. Twitter Counter – It's very important that your social-media reach grows consistently so that your business always has a fresh network of visitors to attract to your Website. Use Twitter Counter to understand the rate at which your Twitter account is growing and recognize any key dates that led to significant growth.
With these key tools, marketers can optimize their social channels for lead generation and measure success with meaningful metrics. Over time, you’ll learn which social channels drive the best leads for your business, and with that data, you can focus your efforts on the ones that are most effective.