The Essential Elements of a Good Social Strategy

When your lead-gen efforts are flagging, it’s time to refocus

Precise targeting of your audience removes any need for cold calls
Olivier Le Moal/iStock

More companies are realizing that their current business-to-business lead-generation strategies are not working. It’s now time to replace the cold call with a targeted approach that identifies and attracts the audience that wants your products or services.

However, there is more than one approach to filling your sales pipeline and securing more customers. According to Sapper Consulting CEO Jeff Winters, an authority on lead generation, “The most effective social strategies result from starting at the very bottom of your funnel and working your way up to the top. This isn’t news, but it’s critical to understand who’s buying from you, why they’re doing it and what information ultimately leads to a sale. By starting at the bottom, you can more effectively optimize your social messaging and focus on the channels and audiences that will ultimately convert.”

To replace the cold calls, Winters believes you need a good social strategy made up of the following essential elements:

Precise targeting

Precise targeting of your audience removes any need for cold calls. Those calls are for feeling the audience out to see if there is even any interest. With precise targeting, you are only reaching those you know are interested because they have an issue or problem that can be solved by what you offer. When you are only approaching targets that you know are already aligned with your offering, your lead-generation rate will climb.

This is where technology can make a difference. For example, leveraging internal algorithms and platforms can help target those audience members and replace the cold calls altogether. Specific parameters within the algorithms include the defined profile characteristics of businesses that would value your offering. From there, you can create buyer personas that may each get different messages or content that addresses a different primary issue based on each persona’s need.

Unique content

Once precise targeting is in place, the next element of your social strategy is to determine what you are going to talk about with that audience. The topics should be based on what you know about the businesses that compose your target audience. You’ll need to think of engaging ways to address the ongoing challenges they face, focusing on the differentiating features you offer them.

This is where creativity becomes an essential ingredient in generating truly unique content. You want to transmit the social element in the content you create so that the members of your audience will share it with their colleagues (who are also on your targeted list of leads). And content doesn’t just have to be in paragraph form. Even business audiences enjoy videos, contests, infographics and user-generated content. Other options include ebooks and whitepapers.

As long as your content gives your audience something they are looking for, you’ll be successful with this element of your social strategy.

Email channel

Email should still be viewed as one of the channels through which you “socialize” with your target audience. First, email is still the preferred way to engage with companies. Second, email is an effective way to collect more information from this audience and understand what else is necessary to earn their trust and win their business. Finally, it provides a medium for generating action from the audience, such as downloading a whitepaper, signing up for a newsletter or redeeming a special offer.

Custom solutions

Having your own cloud, mobile, integration platform tools or predictive analytics can be an important element in creating a competitive advantage. Rather than just using the same technology as everyone else, your custom approaches will speak directly to the audience you want to reach.

Companies like SalsaMobi enable you to work with experienced developers who understand how to customize a platform or tool that addresses your specific audience needs, including aspects of those personas that can be leveraged as part of a personalized interaction.

Big data

When big data is categorized and organized, it leads to new patterns. From there, the patterns provide a deeper understanding of your audience, bringing your strategy back full circle to precise targeting. Here, you’ll be able to add further refinement to that targeting or even see separate groups that require different sales approaches.