Brian Carroll gave some interesting advice in an interview with Chris Coch at Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA). He talked about creating a marketing funnel, and how this differed from a sales funnel. In brief, his interview covered five points:
Create a marketing funnel.
Create a universal definition of a lead.
Use the phone.
Ask about goals—don't sell.
Define lead nurturing—and the right people to nurture.
Check out the full interview for more information.
If we think about how this applies to social media, it's something we need to consider (somewhat) differently.
You might be blogging or podcasting for lead generation. If so, how are you helping sort your audience from your leads? If you're making media, that's a starting point to a conversation. Are you asking your audience about goals? If you need to further qualify a lead built from your online efforts, is the phone the next step, or are there steps in between?
The idea of a marketing funnel, where one builds up even more information and further distills prospective customers or clients from those simply enjoying the media, is something worth considering for your business. Have you looked at your media that way? How will you discern who's just consuming your media versus who's interested in doing business with you? What comes next after your blog post or video?