Two strategies for Social Media lead generation
There are clearly two different approaches to lead generation in social media:
- online marketing on the social channel
- relationship building and consultative selling using social platforms
We have tried both – as did most of our clients- and both have advantages and drawbacks as described below:
1- Online marketing with social media
Here, the logic is: Online marketing and advertising have been fantastic at generating leads and sales (AdWords), consumers have moved to social media, so why not apply the same tactics to the new channel.
Most consumer brands have taken this direction:
- reach as many potential clients as possible
- spot a signal from these targets that make them a potential buyer (keyword in a tweet, joining a FB fan page, change in their profile)
- provide an automatic answer that bring people into the sales process.
The social part is in enabling clients/prospects to virally distribute the message (retweet, share…).
This is clearly a strategy for consumer brands. These brands have to keep in mind that “brute force” advertising may not be the way to go, and that the messenger is the message when they bet on the viral aspects.
To me receiving a car advertising from G Kawasaki is a non sense. Although he’s someone I enjoy reading on social media and entrepreneurship, he has no relevance in car and such message is just … spam.
This put some stress on deep targeting of communities and influencers.
2- Relationship/ Consultative selling on the net
Here, the reference is different. People use to make deals on the golf course or with Avon like settings. It is effective but expensive.
Social media enables this process to be conducted online at the fraction of the cost.
This is by the way closer to the initial promise of social media.
It is very appealing for companies that were already doing consultative selling or for the ones (like us) with a customer lifetime value that make this sales process cost-effective.
One easy trap is to mix both worlds and bet on relationship building that scale with similar numbers as online advertising. Really the trick is to find the right number of the right people that like your brand.
Companies can use technology to make people productive at it but have to keep in mind that relationship building cannot be done with an algorithm or an automate.