In the world of social media marketing, LinkedIn has emerged as a prime platform for lead generation. There are more than 706 million members (about 250 million of those are active monthly) along with 50 million companies listed on the platform. This means there’s an ample pool of potential customers you can tap for your products or services.
Unlike on other social networks, the quality of the leads on LinkedIn is high. LinkedIn is a professional platform, so in addition to being highly engaged with networking and checking their accounts, many of its users are representatives for companies and organizations. This is a large part of what makes LinkedIn the favored social media hunting ground for companies in the B2B world.
You’ll need to know how to navigate the landscape properly, though, if you want to harness the full potential of LinkedIn. The following tips will put you on the right track when it comes to optimizing your profile, developing lead generation ideas, and tailoring your approach for success on this unique social media platform.
Step One: Assess Your Profile
Even the most cunning lead generation strategies will fall flat if your LinkedIn profile isn’t up to snuff. To be more specific, your profile should be information-rich, professional-looking, and optimized so that it’s search-friendly for potential leads.
Your first move should be filling out your profile completely, which will improve your chances of making connections and thus increase your opportunities for capturing leads. As you fill out the various sections of your profile, keep the following in mind:
- “Complete” does not mean “overly verbose.” You’ll want to fill out every section, but there’s no need to provide a heavy wall of text as you do. Remember to keep your profile simple and easy-to-read.
- Keywords are vital. Be sure to perform ample keyword research so that you know which phrases you’ll need to include in your profile.
- Be careful not to resort to keyword stuffing. The long-term detriments of this practice aren’t worth the limited short-term gains.
- Don’t ignore social proof like recommendations and skills. These sections might be easy to overlook, but they both go a long way in establishing your legitimacy in the eyes of prospects.
- Keep your profile fresh. You can’t just set it up and forget about it — continue to update it regularly so you can continue attracting prospects.
Finish up by adding an eye-catching background image and a professional profile picture.
Step Two: Make Connections
Engagement is a key component to LinkedIn lead generation, and it’s something you’ll need to stay proactive about to get ahead. You have to actively connect with and nurture potential clients, but you shouldn’t do so haphazardly. Your best bet is to start with some research so you can narrow down your ideal leads.
LinkedIn has its own paid research tool, but it’s plenty feasible for you to perform your research without it. If you know what job titles the decision-makers and relevant contacts in your industry hold, you can use LinkedIn’s search function to find the individuals occupying those roles at a whole host of organizations.
Alternatively, if you’re searching for potential contacts at a particular organization, you can check out the “people” tab on that organization’s LinkedIn page. It will show you who works there and what their job titles are. From there, it’s a matter of reaching out by sending an initial connection request.
To increase your odds of making that connection, remember to personalize your connection request. Instead of sending off a default LinkedIn message, add some context to why you’re reaching out and give your prospect a reason to accept.
With your connection made, you’ll then have to put some time into nurturing that relationship. Start a conversation, share relevant content, and ask questions that you might be able to use to transition to a future meeting.
Don’t be too salesy or pushy, though. Some prospects won’t be open to nurturing at all, so you’ll need to be able to recognize that and cut your losses once you do.
Step Three: Make Yourself Visible
Proactive lead generation doesn’t just come from chasing down connections. You’ll also want to attract potential leads by making your LinkedIn profile highly visible. This means understanding LinkedIn’s algorithm and thoroughly participating on the site.
You should regularly engage in activities like sharing articles, posting comments, reacting to items in your feed, and publishing your own content as well. Again, you’re more likely to succeed in staying visible if you implement some strategies to reaching your goal:
- Establish a schedule for posting so that you can maintain consistency. You want to share content at least once a week to stay visible. You can generate more opportunities by posting more frequently.
- Post updates during peak times (weekday mornings and early afternoons) to maximize your reach. Ensuring that you are regularly at the top of peoples’ feeds will improve your chances of getting engagement.
- Tag your posts with the appropriate hashtags, contacts, and companies.
- Cross-promote your posts on other platforms to drive traffic to your LinkedIn page.
- Pay attention to what content makes the most waves and adjust your approach accordingly.
In addition to making yourself visible through posts and engagement, you might also consider taking advantage of sponsored content and other advertising options to boost your lead generation.
You’ll need to focus on the right demographics and firmographics to hit your target clients, but with the right filtering criteria, you can funnel a good number of high-value leads in your direction.
Staying competitive on LinkedIn takes effort, but you can put yourself in a good position to succeed if you’re able to tap into what your leads are after and provide them with straightforward content that speaks to what they want.
Be sure to utilize tools like Sharetivity to help further your goals, which can help take the guesswork out of finding relevant content that resonates with your prospects. With less time spent hunting down content, you can spend more time personalizing your approach, nurturing your leads, and adding to your bottom line.