Leads are the lifeblood of a business’s operations and a key performance indicator that guide marketing and sales efforts. Learn how to leverage LinkedIn as a tool to attract new leads and professional contacts in your industry.
Leads refer to prospective buyers or clients and are essential for businesses to make sales and earn revenue.
The quest for generating leads has become less daunting and more streamlined with social media.
LinkedIn, especially, has been proven to be a great platform for generating leads.
LinkedIn Acts as a Professional Networking Platform
At the core of LinkedIn is a digital CV platform designed to connect people based on professional interests.
Unlike other social networks where users actively interact with each other, LinkedIn users simply maintain the presence and mark their professional milestones.
According to Hubspot, LinkedIn is the best social media site for generating leads. It offers a conversion rate of almost 2.74% for visitors-to-leads, compared to less than 1% for Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook and Twitter tend to be saturated with more content which can make it difficult for businesses to focus on viable leads. LinkedIn, however, tends to be less saturated with content unrelated to professional topics.
Aside from keeping an accessible CV, LinkedIn is good for:
- Maintaining routine business communications (less formal than correspondence)
- Developing credibility and trustworthiness of the brand via content
- Gathering information regarding persons of interest
- Providing a productive backdrop for making deals
Businesses can take advantage of the opportunities LinkedIn offers by being attentive and persistent.
How to Get the Most Out of LinkedIn
Businesses can take advantage of the opportunities LinkedIn offers by being deliberate in how they present themselves on the platform, share their content, and track interest.
After you’ve created your LinkedIn profile, you can begin building a professional contact network by searching for prospects, joining industry groups, encouraging colleagues to join your network, and engaging with people.
1. Keep Track of Who Is Watching Your Profile
LinkedIn notifies you any time someone views your profile. You can use this feature to build a network of contacts with minimal fuss.
If people view your profile, they are already expressing initial interest in your business’s products or services. With the right approach, you can develop this interest into a business connection or lead.
To do this, make sure you:
- Keep an eye on who views your profile
- Scan your viewers’ profile to determine if they are relevant to your business (i.e., are they potential clients? Employees? Experts?)
- Find their contact information
- Reach out to the person to establish a connection
Completing these actions in a timely manner is key and shows your interest in engagement.
2. Complete Your Profile
According to the experts from The App Solutions, being transparent and accessible are the cornerstones of well-mannered lead generation.
Just as you need information to assess the lead, the leads themselves need time to assess your business.
To make this as easy as possible for potential customers, complete your profile and present all relevant information.
3. Employ the Latest Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques
If you want to generate leads, people have to be able to find you in search results.
LinkedIn is a search engine-friendly social media platform. You don’t need to bend over backward to make your profile visible enough to gain attention; you just need to follow SEO guidelines.
Your goal is to be discovered. To do this:
- Check for the relevant keywords and use them on your website and all written content
- Add anchor texts to the links in the profile to show the purpose of every link. Anchor text contributes to the visibility on search engines which scrape text to find content relevant to users’ queries
- Add recommendations and endorsements to build credibility and confirm expertise
By using SEO best practices, you increase your chances of being “seen” by Google and other search engines.
4. Use LinkedIn Pulse
Blogging is an easy way to get noticed, so why not take advantage of LinkedIn Pulse?
While it can’t fully replace your company’s official blog, it can be a good mirror outlet for presenting the company directly on the platform.
In the context of lead generation, LinkedIn Pulse is a weapon of showcasing your expertise and building up your credibility.
You can post content such as:
- News reports
- Case studies
LinkedIn Pulse’s user experience is very similar to Medium, so you won’t need to worry about formatting your content.
5. Engage employees to post the company’s content
Lead generation requires a large scope of operation to deliver results. Parts of that process can be automated (especially the initial stage), but the rest requires a human touch.
To maintain consistent visibility, you need to engage more people in sharing and mentioning your cause.
Your colleagues can help by building-up and promoting the brand.
6. Use Plugins
You can use plugins to help you streamline processes and increase productivity. There are a number of plugins you can use on LinkedIn to help you generate leads.
The top 5 include:
- Rapportive scrapes for information based on the email address of the contact. It can find LinkedIn Profiles, Twitter handles, Skype nicknames, and other connections with the provided email address.
- LinkedIn Connection Revealer is good for understanding the big picture surrounding the lead. It shows how many connections the lead really has and whether or not it is worthy to proceed to nurture him.
- Headliner optimizes content. This tool can help you to come up with the catchy headlines that will surely grab the audience’s attention and probably even more (wink-wink).
- LinMailPro is an extension that automatically sends invites to every person who had viewed your profile. You can also send personalized emails.
- LinkedIn ProFinder manages numerous profiles according to set requirements so that only the relevant stuff remains.
Using plugins such as these can help you generate and manage leads more efficiently.
7. Make a Showcase Page
Companies that want to show the diverse range of products or services they offer can make a showcase page. They can highlight a separate branch of the company, a specialized department, or one of the company’s projects.
Showcase pages work with the narrowed down targeted audience who are interested in very specific niche subjects.
This legitimizes your image and brand in the eyes of potential customers.
8. Use Sponsored and Targeted Ads
Another way of getting leads on LinkedIn is via targeted ads and sponsored content.
LinkedIn advertising toolbox contains enough features to laser-focus your ads on a specific group. In addition to that, you can configure direct targeting that is personalized to fit a particular profile.
The InMail feature also allows you to send simple messages to those in your network.
After that, you reach out to your leads, you need to make sure you continue engaging with them and present them with solutions that are relevant to them.
LinkedIn Can Generate Valuable Leads If Approached Correctly
LinkedIn is a powerful weapon for lead generation and nurturing. When used right, it can be a serious source of leads and a solid foundation for further business connections.
If you're still not sure how to leverage the opportunities of LinkedIn, talk to professionals with experience in your industry for advice and suggestions.