Our Lead Gen Series would not be complete without a look at LinkedIn. With over 2 million members worldwide and a growth pace that has new members joining at two per second, it’s only natural for publishers to integrate LinkedIn into their overall marketing strategies—especially when it is the only social platform with a specific focus on professional networking. Consider also, this study by HubSpot:
“In a recent study of over 5,000 businesses, HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).
LinkedIn's conversion rate also outranked social media as a channel overall. In other words, of all the traffic that came to these business' websites via social media, .98% of that traffic converted into leads, compared to LinkedIn's 2.74%.”
Yet, it’s easy to get saturated: social media in general is a growing method for marketing and with several platforms harboring tons of potential, you might feel like your resources are getting spread thin. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use all these tools to your advantage. And luckily, as you will see, a lot of the same rules for success apply across platforms.
10 Tips for Generating Leads
Time and time again, we talk about content as the foundation for solid marketing strategies. Of course, LinkedIn is no different. As with your website and any social network, apply the 80/20 rule by providing useful, engaging and educational content that helps your audience do their jobs better most of the time, and posting more overt marketing content less of the time. And remember, it’s a dialogue.
2) Profile pages
With any social media platform, your profile pages (the company and the personal) should be complete and SEO optimized. For LinkedIn, this means use your logo and a custom banner. Be purposeful and develop a benefit-focused description—include keywords in your descriptions, products and service tabs. Be specific about the specialties, products and services you offer. It’s even helpful to include a list of key staff people can connect with via LinkedIn
3) Engagement tools
LinkedIn provides a number of methods for engagement with your network. Become adept at them all and use them to establish yourself as a thought leader.
a. Polls: use polls especially for targeted campaigns or to engage a particular sub-set of your audience.
b. Groups: join and participate in groups, not just in your field of expertise, but those that might fall a little bit out of the industry’s circle—expand your prospects. Remember, groups are forums that generate very specific conversations, not found on other social platforms.
c. Status updates: this is one of the best ways to engage on a daily level and keep in front of your audience, but make these updates count. Don’t post just for the sake of the showing you are active on the platform.
d. Comments: another great way to engage on a daily level, comments allow you to contribute to a conversation and demonstrate your expertise.
4) Team Engagement
Make sure that the employees who give face to your company not only have complete and error-free profiles, but that they are engaging on a daily basis.
- Make it a rule to include a connect button in email signatures.
- Encourage them to make regular status updates and comments, thereby building their own following and representing the business—much like a reporter would do for their publication (although with a little less pressure!)
5) Use the Media Linking Feature to Improve Visitor Experience
Think in terms of the practices you employ with your own website. You want to make user interaction with your pages on LinkedIn as seamless and engaging as possible. Utilize this feature to add media that optimizes the value of your LinkedIn interactions.
6) Get mobile for hand to hand networking
Making mobile part of your formula is necessary across the board. Get the LinkedIn mobile app, so that when you have the pleasure of engaging with prospects in person, you can strengthen that connection via LinkedIn—with a phone-to-phone handshake and real-time updates.
7) People search to target connections
Use the people search function on LinkedIn to target potential leads then use your existing connections to help you make contact.
8) Integrate LinkedIn across all marketing materials.
Of course you want to keep your messages consistent across all mediums, but you also want to integrate and encourage usage of your social channels. Include connect buttons in email signatures, eNewsletters, white papers, on our website, etc.
9) Leverage across social networks.
It’s likely that you are utilizing several social platforms. Again, you want to have consistent messages across these mediums, but also encourage engagement across them. Not sure how? Start with Cascading Content.
10) Test and Analyze
A critical part of any strategy is to test your methods and analyze results. Try various methods of engagement and monitor activity. Find what works with your audience and go with it. But don’t forget to keep experimenting.
As you can see, a lot of these tactics can be employed across social media channels. Providing quality content, participating in a dialogue and effectively utilizing the tools at hand will guarantee you success with most social platforms—but with LinkedIn, you also have the advantage of more targeted activity that is less likely to dilute your expertise or the quality of engagement for generating leads.