by: Rick Siegfried
Our friends at MarketingProfs hosted the most recent installation of their Digital Marketing World virtual conference series last Friday. The topic was that which no marketer can seem to get enough of these days, Social Media. It was interesting to see how social marketing has taken a profound shift from being about brand awareness to being about lead generation. Sharpening the harpoon of your social lead generation strategy is the new white whale that will be wrestled with and “white papered” to no end in this new era.
Fortunately for you, having been a happy sponsor of last week’s Digital Marketing World, I’ve been able to craft 3 summaries from the epic 5 hour event.
Can You Really Generate Leads on LinkedIn?
ProResource’s CEO, Judy Schramm, addressed what B2B marketing professionals are often asking themselves when investing time and money into a tool like LinkedIn, “Can you really generate leads on LinkedIn?” The answer is yes – though it takes some tact and time.
Begin with cleaning up and optimizing your own profile. If you’re interacting with prospects, it’s important to verify yourself as an engaging expert in your field through your LinkedIn activity. This is hugely driven by the completeness of your profile and the groups you’re a part of (recommended to be in 40-50). The rest is all about how you leverage those groups to meet people and add that personalized approach to beginning a business relationship. Engaging in conversations and offering up content is a great way to nurture those members of your network.
And the most beautiful thing? You only need to devote 60 minutes a day to broaden your knowledge, grow your network and nurture your leads. I’d say time well spent.
5 Keys to Success & Influence in this Digital Decade
Here Erik Qualman, founder and owner of socialnomics.com, discusses what will be your STAMP on this world. Leaving your STAMP is better than your digital footprint and shadows. Your footprint is what you post about yourself, while your shadow is what others post about you.
- Simple: Life is complex in these digital times, and those that simplify their lives, will win.
- True: Stay true to yourself and what you stand for, avoid short-term solutions because of the “steer from the path” affect they tend to have. One way to visualize this is to create your #140charactercompass. This is your tweet-length statement of what you want your legacy to be.
- Act: Take the time to act, instead of procrastinating. The concept here is to focus on output, not input. Focus on producing that output, those tangible results that are most likely the most important goals you need to achieve for the day.
- Map: Have a destination in mind. Look ahead, but not too far because you need to keep that flexibility. Firm in the destination, but flexible in the path.
- People: Surround yourself with the people that don’t laugh at your goals. They are the ones to provide support. Network before you need to network. Attract digital followers by being interested in them instead of trying to be interesting to them.
Using Twitter to Drive Business and Generate Leads
Much like Judy Schramm’s presentation above, Erik Deckers, author, co-owner and VP of Creative Services for Professional Blog Service, reveals creative ways to generate new sales leads via Twitter. Building your 140 character brand is just as important as your professional resume-style brand. It is more readily available, simpler and usually more revealing. Looking up one’s Twitter profile is a quick way for prospective customers to get a feel for the sales person that just emailed them, or the marketer they met at a recent networking event. Erik gives us 8 easy tips on how to optimize your profile for prospect sleuthing:
1. Fill in Your Profile: Complete your profile to make yourself searchable and reputable as a leader in your industry.
2. Don’t Advertise: This means constantly promoting your company’s ebooks, webcasts and blog posts, without contributing to the conversation.
3. Find People in Your Industry: Follow and engage with those in your industry and your customers’ industries.
- Spy on ‘em too: Find out what they care about. Paying attention to your prospective customers’ and thought leaders in your industrys’ tweets is probably the cheapest form of market research and career development there is.
- Find People in Your Community: Growing your network is great, but growing it with those who you can regularly have face-to-face interactions with is better. Those regional commonalities can be the catalyst for an extremely successful business relationship.
4. Follow Friends’ Networks: Assuming your friends are active on Twitter, and assuming they tweet about topics related to your business or industry, sifting through and following those in their networks can also be an easy way to make new connections.
- Triangulate a Few Friends: With a tool like Twiangulate.com, you can discover those who are similar to you, see who prospective customers are following, and get a visual representation of overlap in those who you follow or those who follow you.
5. The Gatekeeper is Not on LinkedIn: There’s no secretary on someone’s LinkedIn or Twitter. If you haven’t been able to get a hold of someone via phone or email, reach out on LinkedIn or Twitter. You’ll know that your message will get in front of them.
6. Set Up a Listening Post: Via tools like TweetDeck or HootSuite, create lists looking for particular keywords or hash tags. You’re able to monitor particular industry keywords, or more specifically your company name. This is essential to customer satisfaction in the digital decade, as most customers will vet their frustrations online publicly before calling Support.
7. Create Value: Post things that will help your network. Retweet/Repost content that will be helpful to them. Part of the “create value” concept is a rule of 9 to 1: for every 9 tweets about your industry/thought leadership/business/network-related, you tweet 1 time about yourself (what you’re doing, what you’re going to be doing, who you are with, etc.).
8. Write Your Own Good Stuff…Then Share It: Write information that your customers are going to benefit from. If your customers have a common issue or problem, you can answer their questions in a blog post. You can then tweet out that blog post to further help your network.
Yet again, MarketingProfs has pulled off an amazing Digital Marketing World. From generating quality leads via LinkedIn and Twitter, to the keys for leaving a powerful STAMP in this digital decade, I, for one, certainly feel better equipped to conquer the leviathan that is social. Make sure you register for MarketingProfs’ upcoming Digital Marketing World on Content Marketing.