There’s still a lot of skepticism around whether serious business can be done on social media. Many companies still don’t believe their target audience or decision makers are accessible through these networks in a way where successful deals can be achieved. In order to begin quashing this distrust around social media’s inability to be a solid lead generation platform, we’re going to draw some comparisons between traditional lead channels and leads found via social.
Inbound marketing is centered on getting your product, business or service discovered by customers. This could be through eBooks, SEO, blogs, podcasts and other forms of content marketing.
Traditional: An example of traditional inbound marketing could be a lead who searches a keyword on Google and finds a blog post written by your company.
Social: For social, the equivalent would be a lead who follows your company on Twitter, or clicks a link back to your website that was ReTweeted by someone else.
Outbound marketing is centered on pushing information in front of prospective customers. This traditionally is through TV advertisements, cold calling, radio, or paper mail.
Traditional: An example of traditional outbound marketing is cold calling thousands of prospects and hoping someone picks up.
Social: Social outbound marketing could be sending a personalized Tweet to someone you noticed was Tweeting information relevant to your industry. You could also favorite the Tweet or follow them, then see how/if they engage back with you.
If someone was to pick up the phone and start having a conversation with you, it’s equivalent to having that interaction on Twitter. Maybe you interjected in a Twitter chat, or joined a conversation about a relevant topic in your industry area. This doesn’t mean the prospect is ready for a sales call yet, but you’ve started to warm the lead. What’s more, this isn’t just a random person on a cold call list. You found them, whether through Twitter search or Socedo, by using keywords important to your target audience.
Networking to find potential leads is applicable to conferences and industry related events.
Traditional: Traditional networking would be to send your marketing and sales team to conferences loaded up with your company’s business cards.
Social: One of the most amazing evolutions of social media is the ability to be at conferences without physically being there. By using event hashtags, you’re still able to engage with prospective clients and other industry thought-leaders, all from the comfort of your office chair.
Referral marketing is a way of promoting your services to new clients via referrals from past happy customers, usually through word of mouth.
Traditional: Your company would go to your existing clients and ask them for a referral, usually by encouraging, promoting, and rewarding customers who talk as much as possible about your product or service.
Social: With social media you can go to happy customers and send a suggested Tweet that they can post about their experience with your service. Then, the people who respond to that Tweet are the potential customers to focus on. LinkedIn also is a great place to uncover referrals. By perusing your existing customer’s LinkedIn profiles, you’re able to see who they’re connected to and request an introduction to another prospective client.
Broadcast marketing is just what it sounds like, broadcasting your company’s message, without engaging with your prospects.
Traditional: Traditional broadcast marketing is buying an advertisement in a magazine, billboard, or newspaper.
Social: In social media, broadcast marketing are advertisements like promoted Tweets used to show off your brand. However, unlike traditional broadcast, people who see your advertisement on Twitter can click, follow, and share it. If you see an interesting product in a magazine ad, sure, you’re being exposed to the ad and seeing their value proposition, but there’s no way to click on it and directly go and buy it. There’s no way to subscribe, or follow the company to get updates. With social, customers can also RT a company’s broadcast Tweet to people that they know.
Hopefully this blog post shed some light on the fact that not only are these lead channels comparable, but that the discovery and engagement process is a lot more easy as well as exact on social media.