In my experience, many B2B companies are struggling with what to do with social media, in particular LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is ideal for the modern-day professional, it allows us to connect with other professionals and form relationships with like-minded people. This is all well and good, but how do you turn this to your advantage businesswise? Let’s take a look at how you can use LinkedIn to create a financial impact on your business by generating leads.
1. Add LinkedIn Applications
LinkedIn’s Application section is where you can find and add apps that can improve the experience people have on your page. For example, let people know what business books you are reading with Amazon's ReadingList app and set up polls to find out what is on the minds of your customers and prospects.
2. Join LinkedIn Groups
Joining groups is very beneficial for lead generation, but the key is to not only join groups relevant to your industry but also groups outside of your industry – expand your reach! For example, an accountant should not just join accountancy groups because they will be full of competitors. Instead join recruitment groups, SME groups, entrepreneur groups and restaurateur groups because this is where the leads will appear from.
3. Conduct a LinkedIn People Search
This is a great tool for getting your foot in the door with specific target companies. Search for people who work at that company, check that you have connections and if you do not have any direct connections ask a shared connection to introduce you.
4. Experiment with LinkedIn Direct Ads
LinkedIn’s advertising program works just like Google paid search ads. You simply write a headline, add some content and create a destination link. Then you bid on how much you are willing to pay for every time somebody clicks on the ad.
5. Use People You May Know
People you may know is a great feature that allows you to connect with your secondary connections. If there is somebody who you think would be useful to connect with, simply ask an existing connection to introduce you or see if they are member of the same groups as you.
6. Add Customised Banners
Give your company the edge because many companies on LinkedIn do not take advantage of this valuable feature. Adding banners is free of charge and each banner can link back to your company website. You are authorized to add up to three linkable banners.
7. Be Strategic
You should post status updates at the times of day when you get the mo
st impressions on LinkedIn, which is generally in the morning for businesses. Analyse your LinkedIn engagement metrics to determine which types of posts trigger the most website traffic and lead generation. If you gain most traffic between 10-11am, post more often at this time.
8. LinkedIn Sponsored InMail
An InMail campaign may be just what your company needs to optimize LinkedIn lead generation. With InMail, LinkedIn identifies exactly who you should contact to advance yourbusiness. Just create your message, add your URLs, and then let LinkedIn take care of the rest. Why would you use it? To reach anyone on LinkedIn, no introduction or contact info required. It's professional, credible outreach - with your LinkedIn profile attached.
To access InMail you must upgrade your account to a paid tariff. InMails are more successful because they are less of a cold, spammy email, the person to whom you are sending it instantly knows that you are part of the LinkedIn community and the receiver can also simply click on your name and check you out very quickly. If they like what they see, they may respond favourably.
9. LinkedIn Lead Collection Widget
The LinkedIn Lead Collection Widget is a little box that sits at the top of your page. Once enabled, the Lead Collection widget allows you to gather consumer information right from your company page and allows prospects to submit their email address to you. For each campaign that you want to collect leads for, click on the campaign's name from your Ads Dashboard and change the Collect Leads setting to Yes.
The widget is placed at the top of your site and lets people give you their email addresses in one click which helps snap up leads faster. It can help you generate more leads, more quickly. The box is non-invasive and great for mobile users, who typically will opt out when asked to type in lots of information from their phones. If people want to share their email address with you they simply opt to click a button.
LinkedIn has so many features that sometimes are not exploited enough. Do you have some other ways of utilising LinkedIn to enhance lead generation? If so, leave a comment below and share it with us.
About the author: Kristin Hodgkinson has recently joined Direct365 to apply her vast knowledge and experience to the company’s marketing activity. She has experience in the fields of marketing, public relations and social media, which has already helped Direct365 to become a more recognisable brand. Direct365 are a facilities management and business products supplier who operate from the north-west of England. The company already has clients nationwide, however with Kristin’s know-how it is looking to expand even further.