Social media is proving to be a prime revenue driver for technology companies. According to Sprout Social, B2B social media advertising was used in Q2 2020 by 83% of marketers and ranked second in success (29%) behind search engine marketing (33%). Overall in 2020, as reported by CNBC, social media ad revenues reached $41.5 billion, making up nearly 30% of all Internet ad revenue.
While social media plays a vital role in establishing and expanding brand awareness, building revenue is just as important. With the right strategy and execution followed by analytical tracking, it’s a way for marketing teams to demonstrate how they can contribute directly to the top line of their company financial statements.
Brand Awareness & Demand Generation Both Play Key Roles
To delve into the different ways technology marketers can use social media to build revenue, we recently heard from marketing pros at Userful and Crestron. Leo Jenkins is the Corporate Marketing Manager at Userful, which deploys centralized visual network management solutions that enable customers to leverage intelligent displays—including video walls, digital signs, and locked-down kiosks.
To help generate revenue, Userful relies on two social media programs—one for long-term brand awareness and another for demand generation. The key for both is to develop quality leads so the sales team has a better chance to close on the business.
“We rely on a combination of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook,” says Jenkins. “And we’re always considering other social media platforms as they evolve. If we can leverage another platform to reach our audiences, we will include it in our mix.”
LinkedIn Helps Pinpoint Target Audience
Jenkins points out that LinkedIn is particularly effective for demand generation since it allows the marketing team to pinpoint targets—by industry, job title, location, company size, and other key attributes.
“This lets us channel our messaging to our ideal customer profile (ICP),” Jenkins says. “And that makes the audience more likely to click on the asset or information we offer and more likely to turn into qualified leads.”
Another key aspect of the Userful social media programs is the focus on content that’s of value for the target audience. Jenkins advises avoiding the posting of messages just for the sake of posting. It’s important to provide information that tells customers how they can solve a pain point or take advantage of an opportunity.
“As we post, we also experiment with different days of the week, different times of the day, and different content types to see what works well,” Jenkins adds.
“These can include customer wins, new product announcements, thought leadership white papers, testimonials from a customer, and any awards we win.”
HubSpot Helps Measure Social Media Effectiveness
A key tool for Userful in managing and measuring its social media program is the HubSpot marketing platform, from which Userful can post messages to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter all at once. And the analytics provided by each social media platform also provides an assist. These stats include impressions, shares, click-through rates, and website traffic coming from posts and ads.
“With HubSpot, we can also see the number of prospects that clicked on our postings and then follow them throughout the marketing and sales lifecycle,” says Jenkins. “We can see the number of social post leads that turned into marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and which of those turned into sales qualified lead (SQLs). We can then trace to see which ones turn into closed business.”
Using Multiple Social Media Channels Helps Drive Crestron’s Revenue
At Creston—which provides workplace technologies that transform corporate automation and unified communications—the company uses both organic and paid social media to reach audiences with different types of content.
“Organically, we use social media to communicate new products and event updates as well as content from our case studies, blogs, and other marketing assets,” says Samantha Lish, the Senior Manager of Digital Marketing at Crestron. “In addition, we reserve our paid social advertising for sales and lead generation.”
Crestron uses social media to generate revenue by leveraging ads across various social media channels. This helps the marketing team focus on reaching audiences through different types of targeting such as interest-based, lookalike, job title, and industry attributes.
“Our most successful campaigns run across multiple channels,” Lish says. “These include paid and organic social posts, as well as paid search and email. When we have a consistent message available on multiple platforms, we can ensure that our audience is being exposed to our content multiple times and on various platforms.”
For engagement metrics, Lish analyzes social media likes, comments, and shares. “Our team also takes note of our reach and overall follower growth,” adds Lish. “When looking at results from paid campaigns, it’s important to take a look at cost per impression, leads, and cost per lead.”
Turning Your Social Media Program Into a Profit Center
As you plan the social media strategy for your company, be sure to check out the algorithms and analytics offered by the social media platforms. They want you to connect with your audiences as much as you do—after all, that’s how they generate revenue too!
By establishing a consistent cadence with your messaging, providing value to your audiences, and giving them an experience while also measuring your performance, you will discover better ways to turn prospects into qualified leads. And that’s the key to turning your social media program into a profit center!