Are You Using LinkedIn Yet for Lead Generation?
In light of the recent news announcement of the Microsoft acquisition of LinkedIn you might be wondering — is it a good time to ramp up your social sales strategy there?
The brand and mission will remain the same:
“LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. We’ve been changing the way the world’s professionals have connected to opportunity for 13 years, and this is an opportunity for us to truly change the way the world works on a massive scale.” ~ Jeff Weiner, CEO
If your business is relying on your website and email marketing for conversions, it’s time to look at this networking and social selling giant to accelerate the process.
While Facebook and Twitter are two of the top social networks, it’s LinkedIn that will attract more interested prospects. According to an article on Top Dog Social Media, LinkedIn is 277 percent more effective in that regard than these two giants.
The reason why this number is so high is that LinkedIn is one of the best social networks for connecting with professionals in your industry and people who are more likely to be interested in your products or services. With the right strategy, you can make this platform a super charged social selling tool.
“By engaging your customers and connecting with them, you are providing them an opportunity to be educated, to feel a part of your company culture and to make informed purchasing decisions.” ~ Melonie Dodaro, LinkedIn Expert on Top Dog Social Media
When reaching out to your community for more prospects, it’s best to begin with your existing connections. The key is to approach them through helpful content and comments, and providing valuable solutions to their problems. By creating awareness and building relationships, your business is attracting warm leads who will be more likely to become a loyal customer.
In order to reach out to your LinkedIn network it’s important to stay active on a regular basis and be aware of the latest features this ever-changing network has to offer. There are several ways to tap into this powerful platform without appearing like a spammer or too strong on a direct sales approach:
• Use the LinkedIn Lead Accelerator for Business Tool – Earlier this year, a new product was released by LinkedIn, which allows businesses to:
Nurture their leads
- Engage with connections outside of InMail
- Create sponsored ads based on a target market
- Run A/B testing to find the best prospects, and more
If your business has grown to allow this service in your budget this is a time efficient and professional method for reaching the most interested potential buyers.
Take a look at this case study with Holiday Inn.
• Update Connections and Ask Their Opinion – If you are on a smaller budget, your business can simply reach out through individual emails to your contacts with a new product announcement or idea that they can weigh in on. The approach can be made simply for informational purposes in order to build a relationship and interest in what you have to offer. It’s better to contact each individual directly rather than in a bulk email in order to avoid appearing too “spammy” in your approach.
• Invest in Display Advertising – Reach a high number of leads by investing in ads on LinkedIn, which are targeted and can bring more traffic to your website. This also helps create more visibility to your network as well as attracting interested prospects both online and offline.
• Publish Long-Form Content – One of the newer features on LinkedIn that has been growing in popularity is the ability to publish articles or re-purpose existing content from your blog. This is a great way to include keywords to reach targeted users who can leave comments or feedback as well as social sharing features. Publishing in general helps establish your business as an authority in your niche in addition to offering helpful tips and information that solves a problem or question.
Here’s a great example from social media marketing expert, Robert Caruso, who is a regular publisher on LinkedIn:
• Participate in Group Discussions – If your business is already a member of some professional groups in your industry or you would like to join one, this is a great place to exchange ideas, share informational articles, and leave feedback on member posts. Avoid promoting your brand and instead become a helpful and contributing member in groups that would have an interest in your products or services.
• Follow Up with New Connections, Activity, and Profile Views – Once the activity increases on your LinkedIn profile, you will start to see more connection requests, endorsements, comments, and views. Each day, your business will want to monitor this activity and communicate with these people in a way that is personal, helpful and open. Avoid selling directly to them, but rather show an interest by interacting with them online.
• Post Daily Updates – This can include blog posts, quotes, new product announcements, a new video, etc. Your business will increase the level of interest by sharing your knowledge, expertise and updates on what you are doing in your industry. This information should also be shared on your company page on LinkedIn, which is a great way to attract followers and new connections.
These are just a few ways to get started in attracting new leads for your business from LinkedIn. The more activity and effort you put into the process, the better the outcome. Use this social network to build better relationships and create more brand awareness, which can be done in as little as just 15 minutes a day.