By Claire West

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.

“As social media continues its rapid growth, many marketers have felt intense pressure to get on board. But too few resources are available for demand marketers,” said Heidi Melin, Chief Marketing Officer at Eloqua. “With the Grande Guide to Social Demand Generation, we’re giving the mix of practical guidance and wisdom demand pros need to join best-in-class companies that are already developing a social demand strategy and start passing highly-engaged leads to sales.”

We spoke to contributor to the e-book, Carmen Hill, Social Media Strategist at Babcock & Jenkins, a B2B marketing agency and Eloqua partner. We asked her to reveal some of the top tips provided in the guide, specifically for our readers:

Companies want to combine social media tactics with traditional demand generation to not only counter negative buzz from competitors marketing campaigns and sales team, but also proactively build positive momentum and thought leadership.

To do that, you need a contact strategy. These are ten touch points we’ve seen work in action.

1. Industry events: Engage key influencers in person to demonstrate the product, and seed positive word of mouth. Engage in and share lively Twitter streams.

2. Influencer blogs and forums: Participate by providing relevant, data-rich content and comment or respond when appropriate.

3. PR: Reach out to reporters and bloggers covering the category with personalized pitches and exclusive access to data.

4. Online media: Drive awareness and generate leads through content syndication.

5. Social networks: Respond to conversations, answer questions and share content.

6. Demand-centric website: Showcase content and capture information about visitors, through Web analytics and/or registration forms. 7. Newsletter and social opt-in: Invite followers and site visitors to subscribe to newsletter and social feeds. Include optional social contact fields in addition to email.

8. Nurture via email and social channels: Stay in touch with responders until they indicate interest or intent to purchase.

9. Telemarketing/sales: Once someone registers for decision-stage content or requests contact, follow up with a sales call. If you have social contact data, reach out via Twitter or LinkedIn.

10. Encourage advocacy: Empower trial users and customers to share their successes by recording short videos that can be posted on YouTube or embedded in a blog. Push that to social channels.

Carmen Hill is Social Media Strategist at Babcock & Jenkins, a B2B marketing agency and Eloqua partner. You can read the full Grande Guide to Social Demand Generation click here.