Social Media Marketing

linkedin business lead

What is the best way to generate business leads from Linkedin?

Adapted from Rohit Onkar:

I am  always asked this question “How can LinkedIn help with marketing?” from  clients, subordinates and even my bosses. If you follow the below  mentioned power points, LinkedIn can do wonders for your business.

1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile – Chances are when people are looking to buy products/services, they  might just stumble upon your profile. A good description of what kind of  services/products you provide might just help you rope in few leads.
#Tip: The new skill endorsement feature is another reason why you should list your skills and expertise on your LinkedIn profile.

 2. Brand your company page and keep it active – LinkedIn has realized the importance of a company page as a community  building tool and is in the process of re-designing it to make it more  visual in nature. Having a products and services tab and doing status  updates is a must. If you can get a couple of existing clients to  recommend your products/services that will give your company page the  initial buzz that it requires. Also, it will have a significant impact  on the purchase decision of your prospects. Company pages also serve as a  medium where existing customers can come and ask for support. Once you  have a good number of followers, you can lure your prospects by special  offers in addition to giving existing customers discounts on  repurchases.

 3. Identifying prospects through LinkedIn Groups & Answers – This one has worked wonders for my current clients. It’s always  better to target people who are already looking for a product/service  you provide. It’s more of shifting the paradigm form  “push” to “pull”.  Use LinkedIn signal to look for such prospects. There are numerous  conversations going on in LinkedIn groups and answers. You just need to  find them 🙂

 4. Using LinkedIn advanced people search – This one is more of building a prospect network and tends to give  benefits in the long run. Add people who fall in your target category  and start interacting with them. But be careful about being too pushy.  This method is a double edged sword and might lead to a social media  backlash. There is surely an amount of success rate involved with this  process but you just need to be a little extra careful. For quicker  results, Inmails with guaranteed responses are also a good option.
#Tip:  Upgrading to a premium LinkedIn account will help quicken the above  process and also give you insight on prospective clients visiting your  LinkedIn profile.

 5. LinkedIn advertising – A solution offered by LinkedIn which is totally worth it. For B2B  specially, the ability to target people by job function and industry  gives a great ROI. The self advertising program starts with $2/ad click.  This is great and you tend to get better results when you target the  mid-bottom section of the organizational pyramid. These people may not  be decision makers but are most definitely strong influences.

For targeting the upper section of the organizational pyramid (in a b2b  scenario) or if you are looking for a b2b/b2c branding + lead generation  solution, you must take a look at LinkedIn custom ad units &  solutions –…

 These solutions though a bit on the higher end ( you need a minimum  budget of $2,000 ) give you better reach and “hotter” leads. So if you  are looking to beat the competition in the self advertising program and  reach “only” decision makers, you should consider using them.

 6. Converting “Weak Social ties” into “Strong Social Ties” – Quite a few times, the prospects you have identified on LinkedIn via  any or all of the above steps, don’t convert into customers immediately.  This is specially true for high end b2c products and almost every b2b  product wherein the purchase cycle is long and involves a lot of social  elements. In such a scenario, you must create a LinkedIn group and get  all of your prospects to join the group including your existing  customers. When your prospects hear the experiences/testimonials of your  existing customers, they sure will convert into customers. In addition,  by doing this you are creating a community of product/service/brand  evangelists and advocates.

 The group will also be a resource  to cross sell/ up sell your services/products. Just like your company  page, customers can also seek support within your group.

 Once  the group becomes large enough, you can create sub groups for existing  customers and “weak social ties” ( prospects ). Also, if you have a  large sales force, you should invite them to join the group as well and  get them to close some sales 🙂

 The major difference between a  company page and owning a LinkedIn group and the reason you must own  both is the fact that via a company page you will always be the one who  has to initiate a conversation ( the functionality is such ). Whereas in  a LinkedIn group, people talk amongst themselves. Another point to  consider is that whenever you post a company page update, it is pushed  into the news feed of the people who follow the company, whereas group  discussions are sent via email to people ( 1 email per week ).

 7. Being patient and staying away from myths about LinkedIn – Just accept the fact that good things take time to materialize. Be  patient and LinkedIn can work wonders for you. Finally, stay away from  myths like “LinkedIn is only for HR” or “people come to LinkedIn only  when they want to switch jobs”. A recent study shows that people come to  professional networking sites like LinkedIn because it helps them  perform better in their present job assignment as opposed to “just”  looking for a new job. You can refer the snapshot below.

linkedin business lead

P.S.  I asked myself why I come to LinkedIn and the better part of me agrees  with the “blue” guys on top. Do you agree too? How successful has  LinkedIn marketing been for you? Let us know in the comments section.

Can LinkedIn Help You with Your Marketing?

As far as a practical example is concerned, my firm SMG Convonix has been able to identify 120 prospects for a b2b client in a period of 6 months from point number 3 alone! The cost per customer lead has come down to $20 from $96 as a result of point 5. All the above steps have resulted in an increase in lead conversion rate by 84%!