LinkedIn is the most powerful professional social networking platform that’s used by more than 135 million businesses and more than 330,000,000 registered users. LinkedIn is much more than just a place to post your resume. Instead, the social platform is a favorite among business marketing managers as it’s an indispensable marketing tool, especially when it comes to establishing B2B connections. LinkedIn has excellent marketing features, including company pages, LinkedIn ads, and targeted groups to directly connect to a global audience for increased leads and conversions.
With nearly half of marketing managers using LinkedIn to build new relationships with potential customers, the site allows you to convert more leads into actual revenue. According to LinkedIn Expert, Wayne Breitbarth, nearly 76 percent of LinkedIn users found the site to be extremely beneficial for researching people and companies, producing an increase in face-to-face networking effectiveness for more than 41 percent of marketers. Offering a diversity of tools at your finger tips, you’re able to generate a buzz about your company to attract new customers, while actively making connections to expand your company’s reach.
Beef Up Your Profile
Your LinkedIn profile allows you to showcase your credibility and level of expertise in a specific industry. Utilize status updates, syndicate your blog posts directly to your profile, and integrate your Twitter account to keep your connections informed. Share any presentations or events on your profile to promote and generate an overall interest. In addition, make use of the “Recommendations” feature to enhance your profile, while developing a creative portfolio to showcase your work. Take advantage of “Huddle Workspaces” to privately and securely collaborate with projects and share your work with your connections. By taking the time to beef up your profile, you’ll become a recognized expert and an established LinkedIn leader.
With more than 4 million company pages on LinkedIn, they are a valuable tool with key features, including company overview, services/products description, Twitter/Blog feed, and the “in your network” options to encourage and build relationships. Keep your page update with information about products, services, videos, insights, and any other relevant information that will entice your customers to engage and converge with your company.
With 35 percent of LinkedIn users in at least 1 to 9 targeted LinkedIn groups, use groups to expand your reach as an expert. Not only do LinkedIn groups allow you to make great connections by specifically targeting an area of interest or expertise, but groups grow your circle of influence. You’ll connect with exactly the right people you need to further your marketing results by staying informed and keeping others informed about your company. By participating in group discussions, you’ll build your credibility, gain recognition, and become a go-to influencer; thus, attracting leads and remaining a relevant source.
Leverage Polls in Your Favor
LinkedIn polls offer an excellent opportunity to benefit your marketing strategy. Go beyond just asking for product/service feedback by using the polls to immediately conduct market research. LinkedIn polls are great data providers, allowing you to have a response to targeted questions to give you the information you need right now.
Polls are also an excellent means to generate increased customer interest. Extend the results of a poll on other social networking sites, on your LinkedIn profile, and in LinkedIn groups to attract additional customers. Use this opportunity to generate leads by offering incentives, such as whitepapers. LinkedIn polls also allow you to collect actionable data from your connections and professional audience without having to wait.
Social media advertising is quickly picking up steam. Although LinkedIn ads may not be receiving as much attention as Facebook and Twitter ads, they are still an effective means of social media advertising. Basically, you have two options when it comes to advertising on the site: Marketplace and Premium ads. Marketplace ads are small graphics on the right column; whereas, Premium ads are larger and include a picture suggesting to follow a certain company.
With LinkedIn users spanning the globe, ads are a fantastic tool for companies to access both international and U.S. markets. The highly targeted ads offer high conversion rates and an increased exposure to Decision Makers as 45 percent of LinkedIn users are Decision Makers. However, LinkedIn ads do tend to have a lower engagement rate and cost more than ads on Facebook and Twitter. But, as they do cost more, they tend to yield a higher return investment when utilized correctly.
Scope Your Competition
LinkedIn is a great way to scope out your competition to learn about a competitor’s past and current infrastructure and to discover who they are connected to. This allows you to reach out to snag one of their connections. In addition, you’ll learn more about their strategy and how you can incorporate certain features into your own or find a hole in their strategy that you can use in your favor to get a step ahead. Whether you want to learn more about your competitor’s employee infrastructure, marketing methods, or leads, LinkedIn is a simple and fast way to find the information you need to get a leg up.
Advanced People Finder
LinkedIn offers a huge database for finding people, who all have the potential to benefit your company in one way or another. No matter if you’re looking for the perfect employee to bring onto your team or seek potential customers, the “advanced people finder” feature opens a flood gate to connections. The more people you connect with, the more people who will appear in the “People You May Know” sections. It holds a ripple effect, allowing you to rapidly expand your network and lead generation possibilities.
Follow Up Leads
Use LinkedIn to follow up on leads and to act as a sales reinforcement. Whether you connect with someone via phone, email, or social networking site, send them a connection request and follow up message on LinkedIn to keep the conversation going. It’s a simple way to turn an initial interaction into multiple interactions, allowing you a higher probability of closing the deal. Whether it be a business associate, potential customer, or beneficial business resource or contact, keep the connection going by following up on LinkedIn.
Optimize Your Profile
Not only will you seek out connections on LinkedIn, but you want connections to be able to find you, too. With more than half of B2B companies finding customers through LinkedIn, it’s essential that your profile is just as easily accessible to your customers by optimizing it. When your profile is complete, keyword optimize your job titles, use anchor texts links that are SEO-friendly, and optimize your job descriptions, but don’t keyword stuff. Then, work to aggressively expand your network with groups, building recommendations, promoting your profile, and collecting endorsements.
Use LinkedIn like a Pro
With almost 39 percent of those on LinkedIn reporting their branding and marketing presence has increased with 45 more networking relationships with influential potential customers, you can’t afford not to utilize LinkedIn. You will see results when you incorporate LinkedIn into your marketing strategy as almost 30 percent of LinkedIn users report to have generated identifiable business opportunities. The most beneficial features reported include: who’s viewed your profile, people you may know, groups, direct messaging, advanced people searching, and searching for companies– all of which will generate leads.
In addition, it’s recommended you spend no less than 2 hours on LinkedIn per week to achieve the maximum benefits. And, while 84 percent of LinkedIn members use the free account option, it’s best to pay for a Premium LinkedIn account if you take your marketing seriously as you’ll gain from the ability to connect to a larger audience at once, sales navigator, and many other powerful business tools.
Make your presence on LinkedIn count by leveraging the world’s largest professional social network in your favor to produce real conversions in less time.
“About LinkedIn” LinkedIn.com