How to use LinkedIn to generate more leads

Internet lead generation is a complicated process for many B2B firms. It can be difficult to find the right prospects. However, there are a number of tools to make this process easier, but sales representatives may not be taking full advantage of them. While social media lead generation often receives somewhat of a lackluster response in the industry, LinkedIn can be a valuable source of new prospects for your organization.

Why social media marketing can be tricky for B2B

Although social media can help marketers connect with new prospects, many companies hesitate to make an investment in this tactic because of the difficulty in measuring return on investment. Unlike other forms of marketing, it’s more challenging to determine success with various social networks. Some brands measure performance by the total number of likes they get on Facebook, but this isn’t always a good indicator of engagement levels. However, the Like feature on LinkedIn performs slightly differently compared to Facebook.

The LinkedIn interface gives you the ability to share content, and many B2B marketers believe this extends their reach. However, this can actually have the effect of segmenting your audience, which can frustrate prospects if the articles aren’t aligned with their interests, according to an article for The Drum written by Michael Ash. But the like feature displays content to all first degree connections as an update on their news feeds. This acts as a time-saver because you don’t have to share content with individuals. In addition, it prevents connections from seeing the same content multiple times, making them more likely to click on it.

Tips to make the most out of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a highly valuable source of leads in your industry, especially because you may be able to find new prospects through existing ones. It takes practice and preparation to utilize this network to its full potential. Here are some tips to make the right connections through LinkedIn:

1. Respond to questions in groups

While it can seem hard to find new prospects in niche industries, there are professional groups for almost every business sector on LinkedIn. First, you need to identify the groups target prospects are most likely to participate in and check the number of discussions and responses, Charles Gaudet wrote for Forbes. It’s important to only answer questions where you can provide a detailed, thought-provoking response. Quality over quantity is important for LinkedIn discussions. Offering detailed answers helps you establish credibility on the social network.

2. Assess your current company profile

For company pages, LinkedIn offers a blurb where you can include information about what you do. However, many businesses make this mistake of being too salesy in this section, Ash wrote. There is a button that gives potential prospects the opportunity to view more details, but most people won’t click this the firs time they view a company page. This is especially the case if the blurb is too hard to digest. A good way to improve the first impression your profile gives is to make the information more industry and service-related. Prospects care more about how your solution can help them rather than how great you think you are.

For company pages, LinkedIn offers a blurb where you can include information about what you do. However, many businesses make this mistake of being too salesy in this section, Ash wrote. There is a button that gives potential prospects the opportunity to view more details, but most people won’t click this the firs time they view a company page. This is especially the case if the blurb is too hard to digest. A good way to improve the first impression your profile gives is to make the information more industry and service-related. Prospects care more about how your solution can help them rather than how great you think you are.

3. Take advantage of the advanced search features

One of the clear benefits of LinkedIn is the search features. You can find people by their names, companies, locations or even school, which helps B2B firms attract more relevant prospects. There are other search options, but these are only accessible with a paid account, according to Gaudet. These include seniority status, company size and job function. Because B2B marketing is highly complex and firms need to target specific prospects in niche industries, the paid options may help salespeople connect with more relevant leads.

4. Start using Showcase Pages

LinkedIn gives the option to create different pages for each of your product offerings, which can be helpful if you provide more than one solution. It can help you strategically target content for specific customer segments, according to Ash. Showcase Pages are a great way to share product news with prospects without being too pushy.

5. Use InMail instead of cold calling

The Internet has largely eliminated the need for cold calling as the primary form of prospecting. InMail allows salespeople to send direct messages to any LinkedIn user, even if the individual is not a connection. Because buyers increasingly do their research online, cold calling is becoming less effective over time, which can make it difficult for sales reps to reach leads when they don’t have any other information. InMail provides a new way to bypass this issue. According to data from LinkedIn, this feature is 30 times more likely to generate a response than a cold call, Gaudet said.

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