A lot of people dismiss LinkedIn as the most ineffective social media platform when it comes to generating leads. Honestly, most of these other social media platforms such as facebook, twitter and more are overrated.
LinkedIn is by far the largest lead generator when it comes to social networks for B2B leads. A company that engages in company/business to company/business marketing should incorporate linkedIn marketing into one of it’s major marketing objectives.
Here are some top line strategies for B2B marketing
Convert your linkedin company profile to a lead generation page
In order to make leads from LinkedIn, you have to be intentional. Leads don’t just fall into your lap. You work for them.
The best way is to turn your business or company page into a lead generation page. This is a course reversal from the typical company page, which shows basic information and facts about the company. Who reads that stuff anyway?
Your company page is a pipeline for LinkedIn leads to visit your actual company website.
What you can do is structure your company page in such a way that it leads up to a conversion action. The conversion action is a click through to your website, either in the company description or Recent Updates.
1. Use an image that gets attention or creates interest
The header image is the first way to attract a user’s interest.
The header image should be clear way of prospecting for those who are interested in learning more about personalized marketing. The header image is only where it starts.
You want a response, and the next logical response is to keep reading. The image both grabs attention, and makes the user eager to find a way to get their hands on that guide.
2. Create a clear and compelling pitch in your company description
This is where many companies falter. The company description should not be a dry explanation of how much you grew, and how many offices you’ve opened. That’s not the stuff of lead generation.
Instead, you want to speak directly to your target audience, and invite them to convert. (Don’t worry; the conversion part will come soon enough.)
The most important part of your company description is the first two lines, because that’s all that LinkedIn displays. In order to read the rest of the description, the user must click “see more.” You’ve got to grab the user with your first couple of sentences, or they won’t read all that sparkling copy you created.
3. Make your Recent Updates section clickable and conversion-focused.
Just in case prospects don’t click through your company website on the company information section, you want to get them in the Updates.
As long as you’re regularly posting updates, you’ll have an active and engaging feed. The best way to gain leads from this section is to post updates that are directly aimed at your target audience. You can post blog updates, link to your infographics, and share other information, but keep this in mind: You’re looking for clickthroughs from information-seekers.
Those are the basic steps to optimizing a company page. If you’re an industry that has broad appeal, you’ll probably see quite a few leads from this source. If you’re in a very small niche, your answers lie in the information below.
4. Use Advanced Search
So far, I’ve explained two inbound techniques for gaining leads. Now, I want to explain how to go out and find your prospects. They may not come find you, but you can go find them.
LinkedIn’s advanced search gives you an incredible way of identifying the exact type of people who you are targeting.
From the LinkedIn header menu, click the search people icon, and the advanced option.
Even without the upgraded LinkedIn membership, you have a great filter for narrowing down your search.
The most powerful aspect of Advanced People Search is the center column, in which you can filter your search by location, current company, industry, past company, school, profile language, and nonprofit interests.
Here’s how you might create an Advanced Search. This particular search is looking for people in my network who are in the Seattle area and the commercial real estate industry.
The results are focused, giving me a chance to connect with these people.
The great thing about these results is that I can continue to filter them, without having to go and rework my initial search.
The search filters are helpful, because I can instantly see how the search filters will change the results of my initial search. Plus, I can gain insight into how a particular company or area may be a better target for my prospecting.
Advanced search is the single most powerful technique for directly finding targets.
Keep in mind that the bigger and better your personal network, the greater your chance of finding warm prospects. While LinkedIn’s advanced search does allow you to search the network as a whole, the best leads will come from people to whom you are already connected at a first, second, or third level.
5. Save Searches
When you go through the work of creating a highly specific and targeted search, you’ll want to save it.
Saved searches create a way to stay active in your prospecting. You know that getting B2B leads isn’t a one and done activity. You have to maintain consistency in order to have a steady pipeline of sales.
Directly from your advanced search, look for the “Save search” option in the upper right corner.
When you create a saved search, not only do you get to find that exact search again, but you can also set up alerts.
Keep in mind that without an upgraded subscription, you can only save three searches.
6. Search Groups
Searching for people is a very detailed and granular approach to looking for leads. It’s a great approach, but there’s another one: Groups.
At the time of writing this article, I identified 2,058,816 groups on LinkedIn. You can be fairly confident that there’s a group in your niche.
A great way to find blocks of leads is to search for groups, join these groups, maintain some level of activity in these groups, and nurture leads in that way.
Simply perform a simple group search using relevant keywords.
Group searches do not have the same advanced features that people or company searches have, but you can narrow down your search according to relationship level, category, and language.
Look for groups with the following features:
Highly relevant. The group must be a nearly exact match to what you are seeking in a target audience.
Active. LinkedIn ranks groups according to their activity level, so all you need to do is pay attention to how active they are in the search results. Select groups that are “very active.”
Medium size. There’s no “ideal size” since that depends on the nature of your business and niche. Keep in mind that you don’t want to get lost in a huge group where no one will notice you. Neither do you want to join a group that has too few people to matter. LinkedIn allows you to be a member of 50 groups, so choose carefully.
7. Start groups and Publish content
LinkedIn groups offer a lot of great networking opportunities. One of the ways to get even more from the power of groups is to create your own.
As you join groups and interact with groups, you may identify an opportunity for another group to be formed.
When you become the owner and moderator of your group, you gain leadership and recognition in the industry. As long as you position yourself authoritatively and not in a salesy way, you can form a place where your target audience can gather and interact.
LinkedIn has a powerful content publishing platform. Be aware that publishing has not yet rolled out to all users.
If you have publishing access, be sure to use this platform for even more exposure. LinkedIn members who are publishing report that they’ve experienced a lot of success.
This is a broad-level strategy that leaves you lots of room to trace down more precise strategies. LinkedIn offers a lot of opportunity, and is the ideal resource for B2B marketing.
But without the right knowledge, it becomes just another time-sucking social network. Next time you’re on LinkedIn, spend at least thirty minutes doing some advanced search or group search, and see if you don’t come up with at least five prospects.
It’s a start, and it could very well turn into your next B2B sale.