Social media has become every small business’ favorite thing to stress about: are you visible enough? Do you tweet enough? Should you start paying for ads? Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to spread yourself (and that new intern you hired based on their number of Instagram followers) too thin by posting constantly on every platform out there.
Instead, small businesses should focus their resources and cash on social media sites that will actually generate leads. Fortunately, social media categorizes users depending on who they are and what they want. You can use that categorization to your advantage to figure out where your target market logs quality time online.
For B2B Companies: Lead with LinkedIn
If you’re a B2B (business to business) company, you’ll find a higher concentration of your target market on LinkedIn. Other companies and their employees are on LinkedIn to search for tools and advice that make their professional lives easier. So, your marketing content will reach your target market while they are in the mood to consume business tips, and without the usual puppies-and-rainbows clutter of other social media sites. LinkedIn is also great for promoting educational marketing content like webinars, free e-books, and blog posts.
The data doesn’t lie:
- LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate (2.74%) of the top social networks, including Facebook (0.77%) and Twitter (0.69%) in 2012 (Hubspot)
- LinkedIn generated revenue for 37% of B2Bs in 2015 (WebMarketing123)
- North American B2B marketers rated LinkedIn the most effective and most used social media platform in 2014 (eMarketer)
For B2C Companies: Focus on Facebook
If you’re going straight after the consumer, Facebook is the best tool for casual community engagement. B2C (business to consumer) companies often employ advanced digital formats like interactive content and online tools, such as the widgets and shareable content Facebook supports. Facebook ads can also help engage potential leads with clickable, highly visual bites while guiding viewers to your company’s website, making them much more likely to become a quality lead--after all, converting leads is the #1 struggle for most (if not all) B2Cs.
The data doesn’t lie:
- Facebook generated revenue for 56% of B2Cs in 2015 (WebMarketing123)
- 77% of B2Cs acquired customers from Facebook in 2012 (Hubspot)
- 68% of B2C marketers said Facebook is their most important social network in 2014 (BI Intelligence)
Don’t Forget About The Other Guys
None of this is to say that you should stop linking and liking (and tweeting and pinning and gramming). Different kinds of businesses just work better on different kinds of platforms. And let’s not forget: the ultimate lead generation tool on the web is search engine optimization (SEO). However, with small businesses, time and resources (a.k.a. money and interns) can’t be thrown at social media all day. That’s why strategy is so important, and categorizing which kinds of social media are most effective for generating leads for your business is a great place to start. Once you know where to go, you can start to figure out how to fish for leads.