The engaging nature of social media inspires exploration. You don’t need to learn how to use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or LinkedIn – you simply fool around with your account and absorb the lessons. For year, HRs in most companies have been using LinkedIn for recruitment purposes. Professionals have been using LinkedIn to approach companies and get jobs.
But, when it comes to selling stuff, LinkedIn, at the first glance, doesn’t look like an ideal choice. After all, people don’t use LinkedIn as frequently as they use Facebook or Twitter, and they are looking for jobs or people related to their business, not for products or services.
Can LinkedIn be used for B2B Lead Generation?
In spite of its apparent incompatibility with sales, LinkedIn can help generate more B2B leads than any other social media platform. For this purpose, you cannot simply follow your instincts. Over the years, digital marketers have found ways of leveraging the power of LinkedIn for generating lead. And, it work. We’ll talk about that, but first things first.
Prerequisite: a Strong LinkedIn Profile
If you do not have a good number of relevant contacts on LinkedIn, your chances of success are curtailed. Here are some quick tips for building a strong LinkedIn network:
- After call or meeting with clients, follow up with a LinkedIn request
- Add relevant contacts (potential customers or decision influencers) from other social media to LinkedIn
- Import Email contacts and add relevant ones on LinkedIn
- LinkedIn suggests “People You May Know” – add relevant
- Connect company / business account with that of all employees
- After a good discussion on LinkedIn groups, add the participants
- Share relevant information, comment on other’s status and be ready to answer questions the help solve problems – this will inspire people to add your to their network
What can I do to generate leads from LinkedIn?
In a nutshell: create a good impression with a complete and detailed copy in your “Company Profile” section, join and stay active in relevant groups, and share informative & entertaining content on LinkedIn. Now, let’s jump into the details.
# Building a Strong Company Profile
If you have ever tried to hire or screen candidates by simply looking at their LinkedIn profiles, you know how much weightage recommendations and endorsements carry. Just like you have a prominent Testimonials section on your website, you need to make sure that all your services or products are listed on LinkedIn. Next, you need to ask your previous and existing clients to give you recommendations and ask them to endorse your services by clicking the ‘plus’ button.
# Sharing in LinkedIn Groups
Reaching out to relevant people is essential for the success of any social media marketing project. The biggest advantage offered by LinkedIn is the ease with which you can find and join groups. A bit about the groups:
- By joining a group, you can start discussion as well as contribute to ongoing discussion.
- Some groups are open to all, while other require the permission of the person who has set up the group.
- You cannot contact unknown people directly on LinkedIn, but groups enable you to communicate with anyone.
- You can also start your own group.
How does joining groups further your lead generation efforts? Let’s try to answer the question using an example. Say you are an IT company offering Sitecore CMS development services. It is a niche category, and there aren’t many developers, nor is the demand that high. The only way customers can know about you is when they search Google and your company pops up.
But, you can search LinkedIn for Sitecore groups. While most of the groups will be run by Sitecore developers, they will also attract people that are facing some problems with Sitecore. These people (or even the developers – who are key influencers in decisions related to IT) may be facing some problem with Sitecore, and they may ask a question.
If you can answer the question to their satisfaction, they may choose you for their existing or future development project. Mostly, answering questions will not land a lead, but it will surely help you position yourself or your business as a great resource for the specific technology, service or product. And when they need Sitecore developers in future, they will think of you.
# LinkedIn Email Marketing through Groups
For this approach to work, you need a strong and relevant LinkedIn profile. If you have a large number of relevant connections, and if you have succeeded in positioning yourself as a good resource for useful information, you can start a group. First, you will need to work hard for building a successful LinkedIn group.
The best part of building a group of your own is that you have a lot of control over it. The most important feature is “Send Announcement” – using this feature, you can send an email to all the members of your group!
As the group is created for a niche topic that is most relevant to your potential clients, you know that most of the members of the group will be interested in your services. Once you are at this stage, just craft a powerful email and send it! As the audience is severely segmented and is formed of professionals, there is a good chance that you will get a number of leads.
While Facebook and Twitter seem to work best for B2C lead generation, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for B2B lead generation. Play with any of the above methods and you are sure to generate leads from LinkedIn. Remember: the stronger your profile is, the larger and more relevant your network is, the greater are your chances of success.
Author Bio: Rajveer Singh Rathore is a blogger and marketing expert working with Cygnet Infotech, an ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified company appraised at CMMi Level offering digital marketing services from India. He likes to take the road less taken, and enjoys exploring uncommon SEO tactics. If you are looking for an online marketing agency in India that can help you generate more leads, you can email us.