LinkedIn is more than a social network, it’s a professional networking site for business people. This makes it ideal as a B2B lead generation platform.
In fact, according to Oktopost, a social media management platform, 80% of all social media B2B leads come from LinkedIn. If you want to turn LinkedIn into a lead generation tool, however, you’ll need to start treating it like one.
Here are 3 essential ways to start pulling in B2B leads from LinkedIn:
1. Employ a Few Good Inbound Lead Capturing Tactics
Rather than passively treating LinkedIn like a social network, you need to treat your profile and pages as lead generation pages. This means that you shouldn’t simply create a company description that includes facts: you need to sell your company.
Every point of contact on LinkedIn should be considered a conduit to your company’s website. As such, you should be using your LinkedIn presence to communicate value.
Here are a few essential techniques to do just that:
On your company page, grab attention with an eye-catching image and tagline. An image that stands out will grab attention and a tagline will help you hook prospects. The right combination will give an immediate sense of your company’s message and aim.
Follow up the image with a pitch, not just a description. If you’re in a meeting with a potential client or partner, you won’t be telling them about your company – you’ll be selling them your company. Use your company description in exactly the same way, since the vast majority of people who visit your company description will be other business professionals. Use a professional copywriter to create a descriptive pitch that pulls readers in and directs them to your website.
Create a showcase page. If your company has multiple target audiences, then these pages are ideal ways to help you segment and target specific portions of your audience. According to LinkedIn, they help businesses better represent a “brand, business unit, or company initiative.” As with your company page, these pages should be sales- and conversion-oriented.
2. Prospect for Leads
Of course, lead generation isn’t just about waiting for them to come to you. Using LinkedIn’s advanced search allows you to search for the leads that don’t come searching for you.
The advanced search capability offers detailed search functionality and allows you to filter results by location, company, industry, school, language, and even nonprofit interests.
This search function allows you to sift through the entire network for prospects that you can turn into leads. Bear in mind, however, that the best leads are those you’re already connected with. One of the best ways to use this function is to build your professional network…so you can then turn those connections into leads.
Save your searches for later and come back to them on a regular basis. LinkedIn is always growing, and so are the people that make up this network. Use the saved search function to set up alerts and notify you of new results.
3. LinkedIn is About Networking…So Network
LinkedIn’s groups are an excellent way to get in touch with people in your target market. These forum-style groups are simple ways for like-minded professionals to interact and build relationships. Use them as you would any other networking event in the physical world: build your presence and hunt for leads.
In general, you want to find groups that are active and relevant to your industry. They don’t necessarily have to be big – their size will depend on the nature of your industry and your target audience. As with most B2B marketing, your focus will be on quality.
And if you join a few groups and still find the experience lacking, you can always start your own group. Administering your own group can help you establish authority and thought leadership in your area of expertise. However, in the same way that content marketing shouldn’t always be salesy, you should take this opportunity to provide a forum where people can interact and exchange information.
Creating your own group can be an effective way to build recognition, but it does require commitment. You will need to devote company resources to moderating and maintaining the group. Even if you don’t see immediate results, it can help cement your brand’s reputation on LinkedIn if you work at it over the long term.
Though LinkedIn is called a social network, it is much more than that. To make use of it for marketing and lead generation, however, you will need to use it properly. Even if you only implement a few of these strategies, you will likely see substantial improvements in the number and quality of your leads.