Contrary to what a number of people think, LinkedIn is not just a social network for job seekers and job recruiters.
It’s also not just a social network you signed up to a few years ago, uploaded a pic, shared some basic information, and then forget about. No, no, no. It can be much more than that.
We’re getting fantastic results focusing on LinkedIn and would like to stick our necks out and declare LinkedIn to be... the hottest B2B lead generation tool of 2013.
So what exactly are the tactics you can use to drive leads using LinkedIn?
1) Building an Effective LinkedIn Company page
LinkedIn allows you to build a company page which showcases who you are and what your business is about. You can use your page to explain your brand and build a brand narrative to be proud of. You can also post status updates and share content that’s valuable to your prospects.
Whilst you can also post jobs on your page (not strictly lead generation but powerful for your business), one of the coolest features is the “services” or “products” tabs which showcase your solutions.
With 200 million users on LinkedIn, having a company page is a must and the time to manage it is minimal.
2) Creating Layers of Social Proof Using Recommendations
One of the coolest features of LinkedIn that’s still relatively little known is the ability to ask for recommendations. Testimonials are some of the most powerful aspects of social proof. You can get recommendations not just for yourself but also for all of your products or solutions.
If you have good relationships with influential figures in your industry, ask them to share a few insights on your company and products.
3) Triangulating Prospects Using the “Who Viewed Your Profile” Functionality
You might have noticed that LinkedIn shares notifications with you when someone “has viewed your profile”. If you are trying to reach out to prospects (perhaps outside of LinkedIn), it’s a good idea to go and view their profile. Not only will it triangulate that you are keen to get in touch but it will also show you’ve done research and alert them to your actions.
4) Contributing to Groups
Playing an active role in groups can be a great way to develop B2B leads. Some of them have between ten and hundreds of thousands of members who contribute to debate and publish updates. You can tap into this group of highly targeted prospects by posting thought leading updates. Think of them as a social network within a social network.
You can choose which groups to target based on the level of activity, the size of the community or the theme. Once you join those groups, you can post to all of your groups at a time by locating the “share” button.
For advanced strategies on using groups to build tons of leads, check out Michael Alexis’s blogpost on Kissmetrics.
5) Creating Your Own LinkedIn Group
If you have the time to do it, you can set up your own group on LinkedIn. The benefits of this are twofold. Firstly you can control the flow and direction of the discussion on your group. And secondly, you get the chance to send a weekly announcement to all the members in your group. If your group becomes popular and highly active, that is effectively an email list you can target with your desired messages and special offers.
6) Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
LinkedIn offers the chance to target specific groups of business people via their PPC platform. As you can imagine, it’s highly targeted and you can drill down based on industry, company size, location, job title and more. You can even target particular groups and choose the time of day for your ads to be shown.
Whilst the cost per click is typically higher than other platforms, the leads are generally better qualified.
7) Invite to Connect Extensively
Growing your presence and your connections on LinkedIn is a great way to get you and your brand noticed. It pays to get into the habit of connecting with a new contact after an interaction. The more people you are connected with, the wider your messages will spread.
A great way to grow your connections naturally is to promote your LinkedIn profile on a range of marketing materials. Make colleagues aware you are on LinkedIn and open to connections using your email signature, newsletters, brochures, and website. Also promote your company page using these tactics.
8) Sending InMails
Is there someone really important you’d like to get in touch with but they are out of your network? Then InMails are a great way to make contact. Once you sign up to a LinkedIn premium account, you can send InMails each month. What’s more, LinkedIn have backed up the service with a response guarantee. If you don’t get a response within 7 days, you’ll get an InMail credit for free.
Whilst they aren’t cheap, they can be highly effective to target high value leads.