Any good inbound marketing plan will include publishing to and interacting on social media. Do you want to get leads for your tech company? Social is one really good way to do it. Here are a few good reasons to use social media for lead generation:
- A significant percentage of new leads will come through social networks. What I mean is, the first touch can occur on social.
- Posting links to new blog articles drives traffic to your blog.
- Some leads will prefer to interact with you first on a social network like Twitter. If that’s where they are, then that’s where you need to be also.
Social media trends for tech companies have changed for one main reason: Buyers’ habits have changed. Customers on the Internet are more savvy. They don’t want to be sold; they want to be educated and led to buy. While these two concepts may sound similar, they’re not. Social marketing trends center around positioning. If you position yourself to be helpful, you’ll attract leads. If you position yourself to be promotional or pushy, you’ll push your leads right off your page.
Social Media Trend #1: Publish Topics of Interest
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C tech company, most people love tech. So finding content to post on social is not hard but you need to find content that’s relevant. Social media trends for tech companies all center around targeting your key persona. A persona is that ideal customer who, once they contact you, is the customer you want to keep for life.
But what about posting promo content on social? You’ll want to be careful with that. If something really great happens, or you’re at a cool event, or you’ve just had a stunning office party, post those things. Post links to blog articles but only if your blog contains inbound content—content that informs and educates.
When you publish to inform and educate your persona, you are creating audience engagement and you’ll be seen as a thought leader in your industry. You’ll know you’ve hit the “thought leader” place when Twitter followers start adding you to their “tech gurus” list.
So what’s this have to do with marketing? Everything. Top of the funnel customers are not ready to buy just quite yet. But they are gathering information. If you are the one supplying information, they will keep coming back to digest more and more of your content. This one thing will accelerate conversions on your website.
Social Media Trend #2: Use the Right Tools
Social media trends for tech companies have changed because there are more tools available to you. Here are two important categories:
- Publishing tools.
- Content sourcing tools.
A publishing tool will help you schedule social posts. It’s just a lot more efficient when you discover some relevant content to schedule posts. We use Hubspot’s marketing platform. If you’re just doing social, a social platform like Hootsuite is all you need.
Content sourcing can be done in one of three ways: 1) Google all over the place, 2) head to your bookmarked sites every day, 3) or use a platform like Buzzsumo. We love Buzzumo. Buzzsumo is a content aggregator. The software finds great content and ranks it according to its level of “buzz” on social networks. There’s a free and a paid version. If you’re serious about social, you’ll eventually want the paid version. But for now, go try the free version. Do a search for “tech trends” and see what you see!
Social Media Trend #3: Engage Your Audience
If you’re just putting out social posts alone you’re missing one of the key reasons to be on social: An opportunity to connect with your audience. A good platform like Hubspot will help you by allowing you to monitor social channels for mentions of keywords and mentions of you.
How does this work? For example, if someone tweets that they loved your post, tweet back—engage. Asking questions on Twitter is a great way to get a conversion started. Have fun with this. If you’re a U.S. based company and someone from Manchester, England, for example, tweets on your channel, and you’ve been to Manchester or have a business relationship there, that’s an excellent opportunity to create an engagement. At the same time, you’re creating brand-awareness both with that contact and with everyone else who’s reading your posts.
Social Media Trend #4: Create Conversion Paths
I know I’ve been saying the focus on social should be to create interest by publishing and engagement, but we’re after leads, right?
One of the growing social media trends for tech companies is to add a conversion path to a social stream. If you have a really great piece of content, use it as a gated resource. The key is that it has to be really great, like a white paper. That resource needs to be on a landing page. Simply post a link to your landing page on social and you’ve got it! A true conversion path on a social network.
Social Media Trend #5: Use Metrics
I’ve written a lot about using metrics to analyze and to forecast what’s working and what’s not. First and foremost, you’re going to want to know which social networks are performing best for you. And that's going to depend on where your persona is when they’re online. They could be on Twitter, they could be Google+, etc. Tracking social activity, campaigns, and conversions all yield data you can use to increase performance of your tactics.
About 20% of New Destiny’s traffic comes from social. All of our blog posts go out as links on social so we don’t have to wait for people to search on Google to find us. Thus, any time we post a blog article, people are reading it within minutes of it being posted. We think that’s pretty cool!