Two strategies for Social Media lead generation

There are clearly two different approaches to lead generation in social media:

  1. online marketing on the social channel
  2. 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.


lead generation

2 thoughts on “Two strategies for Social Media lead generation

  1. God summary. We used to be reluctance to talk about lead generation and social media in the opening conversations as it could lead to misplaced expectations, and perhaps short-term bad practices. But because companies have become more educated about social media in general, they understand that lead generation should be done in a way which supports an engagement and doesn’t turn people off.

    So the question in 2010 has come down to tools to make such a plan efficient and effective. There aren’t many tools which assist at this level. We decided to become a partner of Xeesm and to sell their navigation tool, which is one of a number of their social business applications. These are aimed at sales goals and help manage your activities in the social web efficiently, because we all know that it’s easy to get distracted. It’s an evolving art but the early results are very positive from this way of starting “from the bottom” up.

    With respect to Part 1 of your post, McKinsey recently wrote on Word of Mouth and came up with a rule that the power of WOM was a function of Volume X Why X Where X Who X What X How things were said. Guy Kawasaki on cars would satisfy the Who + How + What but as far as Why and Where it is likely to not be credible, as you said.

    Walter Adamson @g2m
    PS you don’t seem to have any “share” buttons on your posts?

  2. While companies have taken the route of automated messaging and “brute force,” they quickly learn that this is not the best approach. Rather, fostering conversation via targeted channels is a much more effective method to spreading brand awareness.

    Just a Thought.

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