With over 300 million users, LinkedIn is well ahead of the competition and should definitely be on your radar.
When people talk about social media, professional websites like LinkedIn are often overlooked. However, for many businesses focussing on these niche and B2B sites may be a better online marketing investment to generate sales leads than moving in the traditional circles of Facebook and Twitter.
As a business that works primarily with other businesses, here are our 6 steps on how to generate sales leads using LinkedIn:
Be sure it’s the right platform for your materials
Professional networks are great online marketing tools for companies in the B2B arena and those who provide industrial services. They’re less suitable for consumer goods, unless you’re in the wholesale side. Try to only make pitches that the person receiving will be able to respond to with their work hat on – use Facebook or Twitter for family and fun.
Focus on high-quality leads
If you had direct access to anyone in a company, why wouldn’t you go straight to the decision maker? LinkedIn searches can help you track down the key people at an organisation, letting you perfect your approach. Whether you use an online marketing strategy or a classic cold-call, better targeting will certainly improve your odds.
Make your pitches personal
LinkedIn gives you access to professionals at all levels – but it doesn’t give you the right to their attention. Careful introductions and custom-designed pitches are more likely to be successful than a mass mailing. The website, quite naturally, doesn’t want their users to be hassled by online marketing which is why it restricts InMails on its standard business account to just 3 per month. You’ll have to pay extra for an upgrade to get more.
Add contacts to your network
LinkedIn should be a reflection and expansion of your real-life networks. Add existing contacts and approach new leads. Make sure you use a personal pitch each time – you wouldn’t rely on a generic formula in person, so why do so online when your pitch is that much easier to ignore? This sort of online marketing draws heavily on traditional sales skills, ideal for people who are better at a face-to-face than crafting a press release.
Build relationships and communities
LinkedIn groups are another way to gain access to key leads, but no one will listen if you’re just touting your wares. Focus on building a good reputation by providing comment or content of value to the group, and you’ll slowly develop the sort of business relationships that can really prosper.
Buy paid-for advertising if it’s more appriate
Want to send a message to a large group? Buy an ad. LinkedIn and other social networks offer paid-for advertising for a reason: it’s often an effective way to target a large group of strangers quickly and cheaply. Effective online marketing strategies often use a mix of paid-for and free channels. Choosing the right channel for the right message is key.
At boxChilli Digital we have a huge wealth of Social Media Marketing experience that we want to share with our customers. If you are a business based in Portsmouth, Hampshire or surrounding areas and would like to find out more about how to generate sales leads using LinkedIn, or other digital services please visit our pages, view our portfolio or meet and contact our web design and digital marketing team. We really like to talk.
*graphic courtesy of LinkedIn