While there’s little doubt that social media has changed the game for sales and marketing professionals, many marketers have struggled to use it to drive actual demand for their products and services.

Marketing automation company Eloqua recently released the Grande Guide to Social Demand Generation; an e-book, packed with real world examples, interviews and how-to advice, exploring social media within the context of demand generation.

We spoke to contributor to the e-book, Jesse Noyes, and asked him to reveal some of the top tips provided in the guide, specifically for our readers:

Social Sharing Buttons

These make it easier for leads to push your content to their connections across social networks. You can include them on your website, blog, landing pages, etc. without taking up too much space. Social channels like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, and Pinterest, to name a few, all have these buttons.

Social Sign-On

Social sign-on can really cut down barriers to conversion, allowing prospects to skip the long forms you require for a gated offer. You still get the data, but the prospect saves time and effort.

There are social sign-on tools that pull data from platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. This provides valuable data points like associations, skills, and number of connections or followers. You can better segment and score leads, sending relevant content to them based on what association they belong to, their job skills or even by how influential they are.

Social Plug-ins

With social plug-ins prospects can who in their social networks has interacted with your online content. Facebook and Google+ make badges you can add to your website or blog displaying how many people, and who in their network, have endorsed your offer. You can also easily add Twitter lists and searches to landing pages so leads can see the conversations around your content. These relatively simple tools are a cost-effective way to establish trust early on in the discovery and education phase.

Influence Measurement Tools

These come in many shapes and sizes. Brands range from highly specialized to one network (such as Twitter), while others are more expansive. Klout is probably the best known. It grabs data from a variety of social networks (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) and assigns a score from 1 to 100 on an individual’s influence on the social Web, as well as who they influence. Other tools like PeerIndex, TweetLevel and PostRank carry out similar functions. This data can be valuable for understanding a lead’s influence on others.

Social Measurement

Social monitoring vendors say they can help measure sentiment about your brand. Tools like Radian6 and Vocus, for instance, are used to help monitor what people are saying about particular brands and topics. These tools can be vital for informing the awareness step of social demand generation.

Jesse Noyes is Managing Editor at Eloqua. To read the full Grande Guide to Social Demand Generation click here.