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Social Media has long been used as a platform where brands publish content in order to attract, engage with, and build relationships with consumers.
But with customer journeys becoming more complex, and social selling becoming a growing trend in today’s world, social media marketing is becoming an even more powerful way to attract paying customers.
Having led social media marketing at CleverTap for more than 2 years now, I’ve had the opportunity to do some deep-dive experiments to learn what works and what doesn’t.
In this article, I’ll highlight a few of my findings and social media strategies to help marketers reach the right audience via various channels across the B2B marketing funnel. They’re too good not to share!
Here is a quick snapshot of the number of leads (across lifecycle stages) that social media has brought CleverTap over the last 2 years.
I’ll cover the three main stages of the marketing funnel and dig into the social strategies that work in each stage. You can also jump to the infographic at the end of the blog post for an overview.
Publish a message and watch the impressions and link clicks grow. Isn’t this every social media marketer’s dream?
But in a crowded online world, this just doesn’t happen. The content your brand broadcasts may have taken you months of strategy, production, and execution, but in the digital world it is just one more piece of content that users skim past in microseconds.
So how do you earn those impressions, clicks, and conversions?
When it comes to top of the funnel, it means individual leads (not necessarily prospects) in a certain profile who need to know of your business’s presence. Educating the audience must be the focus rather than asking them to sign up for a demo, or share their details with you.
As a seasoned B2B Social Media Marketer, I recommend a combination of channels and content formats to get this going.
When you want eyeballs always rely on moving graphics.
Almost all popular social media channels prioritize videos in feeds. On Twitter, a video is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a photo. Also, native videos work better on social compared to YouTube links. Make engaging videos that convey an educational message, and avoid hard sells.
First week results from 3 Facebook video campaigns
Organic image post vs video post on LinkedIn (within 12 hours)
LinkedIn reports that companies who post 20 times per month reach 60% of their audience.
Tweet across time zones with scheduling tools like Sprout Social, Buffer, or Hootsuite. Make it part of your weekly routine to identify and answer questions on platforms like Quora.
If you’re looking to increase brand awareness, don’t shy away from paid campaigns on Twitter. Twitter can be highly effective for reaching users in new geographies and beyond your brand’s network — in fact, I’ve found Twitter to bring in the highest number of sessions to the website.
The darkest blue is traffic brought in by Twitter
Your audience consumes different types of content on different channels. Know what these are and be available to them!
For us, Pinterest and Slideshare have been unexpected wins where we’re seeing an increasing number of views, shares, and visits.
When it comes to building a brand presence on social media, focus on awards the company is nominated for or won, talk up employee achievements, business milestones, and more. People are always interested in the behind the scenes, and that’s how brands become part of people’s conversations (on social media and beyond).
We see a spike in our social followers on days posts like these are published:
Reach and impressions matter at this first stage of the funnel; so don’t be disappointed by metrics like link clicks and views. Instead focus on improving reach, optimizing CPM, and achieving more 50-100% video views.
So your business is winning awards, hiring industry superstars, has a slam-dunk product — and you’re shouting it all from the rooftops on social. Yet you’re not seeing people knocking the doors down to know more.
Going beyond eyeballs to start engaging your audience’s at a deeper level is another challenge that social media can help you overcome.
At the middle of the funnel you’re looking for Marketing Qualified Leads: people who have shown a greater inclination to become a paying customer based on things like web pages visited, assets downloaded, etc.
Having achieved our quarterly social media MQL targets for 2 years now, I am sharing a few broad strategies that helped me build a solid lead list.
This reduces the number of clicks for users and keeps the experience smooth since you’re collecting information on the same platform. Use this for all gated assets like whitepepers and webinars, and integrate with an automation tool like Zapier to have MQLs flow into your CRM in real time.
Conversational marketing has never seen better results than in today’s clutter of social media.
Hold real conversations with real people. It’s one-on-one marketing that’s highly visible and can spark interest among countless others. Just be relevant and authentic.
While paid campaigns certainly help with brand awareness and niche audience targeting, organic is what gets people to engage with your brand. Get creative and experiment with platform capabilities to impress and engage your audience.
Look at this Twitter thread we created to engage marketers — all it took was creativity and effort. No paid promotion.
Goodies waiting at the other end of this challenge! 🎁 #DontLoseHer
— CleverTap (@CleverTap) July 28, 2019
The wealth of insights and experience on Q&A sites like Quora or active Linkedin groups can’t be underestimated! If you can find your niche, it’s easy to get in front of the right audiences.
Promoting best answers and Interest/Topic based targeting on Quora has worked really well for us.
When it comes to lead generation, there are many distracting and ultimately meaningless metrics. Focus on campaigns metrics like CTR, CPL, and number of leads. It is also important to keep an eye on industry benchmarks so you can track your success and optimize campaigns month over month and quarter over quarter.
Comparison of Lead Gen Ads in Q1 vs Q2 2019
While social media is most popular for driving top of the funnel goals, it does work to convert leads into opportunities and customers.
But it won’t just happen on it’s own — it has to be done strategically and after you’ve laid the right groundwork. If you haven’t worked hard to build your brand on social, you won’t have earned the trust necessary to convince a lead to move from a simple click or download to purchasing enterprise software.
Once you’ve set the stage, here are a few effective ways to drive bottom of the funnel conversions on social:
Leads who view these ads are already aware of your business and its offerings. Retargeting can be done in two main ways:
You may not always be targeting the end user for your product. For example, you might run ads and posts targeting C-Suite executives who are decision makers but not the end users. Crafting messages that will get them interested encourages them to tag the appropriate person within their team to look into your offerings.
On platforms like LinkedIn, managers and executives often recommend tools and delegate to team members, which can lead to a significant number of demo requests and conversions.
Micro-targeting the right companies, titles, and even individual professionals helps warm leads before an SDR reaches out. Plus it adds context and relevance to your conversations. We’ve had several important calls with major brands who recognized CleverTap from our targeted LinkedIn efforts.
When you get a lead on a social channel, send them an in-mail or direct message instead of an email. The lead and the email marketer lose the context of the first touch point that caught the lead’s interest, making the message less effective. And since social media leads mostly share personal emails, nurturing emails are more likely to end up in the spam folder.
Every employee is a marketer for an organisation. Encourage employees to share and retweet your content with a personal point of view. Employees talking about the brand on various communities and Q&A platforms not only opens doors to personalized conversations but more guaranteed conversions.
While Quora’s broad and audience targeting are good for brand awareness, contextual targeting (especially question targeting) works well at the bottom of the funnel. It’s an effective way to reach the right people who are looking for exactly your solution.
LinkedIn lets you target your competior’s customers and prospects while platforms like Quora can help prospects choose among alternatives.
The right metrics are essential for measuring your success at the bottom of the funnel. You need to know each channel’s contribution to revenue, and metrics like conversion rates from MQLs to SQLs to Opportunities to Customers and ARPU are so important.
Social media marketers are dealing with constantly shifting trends. As a community of marketers who believe in experimentation, I would love to hear what tactics have worked for you in the comments below!