Bird Do you think social media is for the birds? Or is there an ocean of opportunity to explore?
Photo credit: brunkfordbraun

When it comes to social media, call me a skeptic. I’ve even blogged about my social media skepticism here in the past, especially using social media as a direct response marketing tool.

My skepticism, even for using social media as a B2B marketing direct response tool, is waning quickly.

Since early in September, we’ve been trying some different marketing tactics with social media for our own business promotion efforts. We’ve tested some different things and have found several techniques that actually work for lead generation.

What changed my mind, you ask?

First, we were intentional about our promotional efforts on social media starting in September. We started adding more content to our own website, we created a calendar of sorts and promoted our content regularly.

Second, we started using HubSpot in September. HubSpot’s web analytics and reporting are integrated into everything we do, and we now are able to measure effectiveness and attribution much more closely and accurately than we were able to with Google Analytics.

The result is that in the last two months, social media sources convert at a higher rate than every traffic source except traffic coming directly to the website. I’ll leave you to your own devices to figure out what specific social media sites give us our best results.

Even so, we have a lot of testing still to conduct and I certainly am not comfortable saying that the same things we’ve tried will work for all other B2B companies. What I am saying, though, is that it’s worth testing.

Some parting advice – be creative. Don’t just try posting messages, engage in conversation. Don’t just expect your customers to visit your website, but also engage them on social media sites. Test Facebook and LinkedIn paid ads, and test several kinds of messages and several pieces of creative. Finally, be consistent – be a regular participator.

What you’ll find might surprise you.

Have you been skeptical about using social media to promote your B2B company? Share your experiences in the comments below.