This blog series explores topics laid out in our free white paper:? 12 Essential Tips for Socializing the Channel
Many companies are exploring social media channel marketing with MDF campaigns, but few have made the leap to generating qualified leads. Most? social MDF campaigns focus on building Twitter followers, or likes on Facebook, or other empty measures of activity that are easily gamed, and rarely lead in any measurable way to actual sales. But with the right tools and approach, generating leads with social media is easier than you might think.
The first step is to turn your MDF programs upside down. Most programs work by delivering leads to your partners, and then providing them with creative campaigns to pursue those leads. The structure of this approach, in which lead gen is centralized and leads are distributed to partners, causes several problems that undermine effective sales:
- Filling demand for leads with bulk lead generation techniques typically results in lower quality, and often unqualified, leads.
- Filling lead demand from purchased lists often results in over-marketed leads that are unresponsive.
- Because leads have no prior relationship with partner, outreach is often perceived as spam.
Turning your program upside down means empowering your partners to generate leads instead of just calling on leads you provide. This is an imperative in social marketing because your partners have to own their market role and their market relationships from the start. Your job is to give partners the tools, the content, and the support they need to generate leads more efficiently and effectively than they’re doing on their own—or with other vendors just slopping leads into their pipeline.
So how do you help partners generate leads with social media? Simple. Provide your partners with a non-stop stream of high-quality content that is relentlessly relevant to the problems their customers are trying to solve. Enable your partners to easily personalize and share your content to their own social networks to drive conversations and build followers. As your partners build their network based on high quality content and dialog, train them how to introduce relevant offers into the content flow that convert followers into leads—Webinars, white papers, contests, etc.
Our statistics show partners will share 20% of all the content you can send their way, and that their followers will click on anywhere from 10-40% of what is shared, as long as the content is of good quality and relevance. Once your partners reach a 15% threshold on click-throughs, they can start seeding their content with offers, ideally at the rate of about 1 offer for every 10 to 15 posts they share. Again, as long as the offers are of good quality and relevance, and as long as the partners maintain about at minimum a 90/10 ratio of helpful content to lead generating offers, they’ll start generating leads that already know them and what their value proposition is all about.
If that still sounds too hard, find out how? SocialRep? can make it easy.