If you run a business that sells to other businesses (B2B), a presence on Linkedin is a must. It’s the world’s largest and best known social media site for business, and it can be a highly effective channel for generating new leads. The State of B2B Marketing Report from Wpromote found that 89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for lead generation, and 62% have successfully generated new business from the platform.
Yet so many business owners just create a basic Linkedin profile and leave it to gather dust. If that sounds like you, read on: there is so much more you can do.
Here are three ways you can proactively use Linkedin for lead generation.
1) Fill out your profile
Did you know that your Linkedin profile is visible to Google, as well as other users of the platform? You should use keywords throughout your profile, in much the same way as you would use them on your website. E.g. If you are a web developer, talk about ‘website development’, ‘building a website’ and other related terms. This will help new leads find you on both Linkedin itself and via Google searches.
Make sure you write a detailed and compelling description in the ‘About’ section as this is your chance to show prospective customers what you can do for them. Pay particular attention to the short “headline text” section near the top of your profile to ensure it doesn’t just read ‘Job Title’ at ‘Name of Company’.
2) Make connections
Linkedin was designed as a ‘little black book’ of business contacts, but these days you can choose to connect to people you haven’t yet met in real life. In fact, Linkedin will make suggestions of other users it thinks you might wish to connect with, and offer you the option to send them a connection request with one click, but try not to do this. One of our top tips is to always add a personal message with your connection request to explain why you want the connection and encourage them to accept.
Don’t restrict yourself to just adding contacts from your industry, or only those people who are relevant to your area of business. Look for some clever ‘outside the box’ opportunities. These include connecting with people where there might be some interesting collaboration opportunities, or a chance to introduce your services to someone who might need you in the future.
Once you’ve made a new connection, don’t just move on to the next one. Check out their profile, comment on their posts and pay attention to job changes, anniversaries, or anything else that you could reasonably engage with.
One particularly effective way to foster goodwill amongst your Linkedin connections is to tag them in other people’s requests for help. E.g. if one of your connections asks whether anybody knows a good freelance graphic designer, you could add a reply tagging in a designer from your network. This will benefit both the person you’re tagging and the person who asked for help. It also boosts the chances of them tagging you in relevant posts in the future.
3) Give recommendations – and ask for them, too
Writing recommendations for your connections on Linkedin is a win-win. They get an endorsement on their profile which makes them look good, and you get your name in front of all of that person’s connections. Plus, they’ll probably write one for you in return. You can also request recommendations from your connections: just click ‘Ask for recommendation’ in the relevant section. You can then select which connection(s) should receive your request. Once you’ve built up a bank of recommendations, you have a strong resource that you can use to prove your credibility to prospective clients.
LinkedIn is a powerful business tool, but only when you actually use it. And it’s not ‘just’ for B2B usage – we encourage anyone in business to embrace it, and connect with the right people. The old “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” phrase has a lot of truth in it, so increase your business connections and grow your profile on LinkedIn with a clever strategy behind your actions.
If you feel your social media strategy could do with a helping hand, get in touch with our friendly team. We offer a range of online training options specifically tailored to small businesses, and we’d love to help you too.