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LinkedIn as a valuable lead generation tool

Woman looking up at LinkedIn as a valuable lead generation tool

With more than 259 million users, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals as well as one of the top social networks overall. But can you use LinkedIn for lead generation and, if so, how?

HubSpot research has shown that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate (2.74%) of the top social networks, almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (69%) and Facebook (77%). So in short - yes LinkedIn can be a very effective tool in attracting new people to your website and driving awareness of your company to help generate leads.

Here are a couple of ways to ensure you are getting the most out of LinkedIn...

1. Make your existing connections work for you - The easiest way of searching for leads is to leverage your existing connections. No doubt you have already built up a strong professional network of contacts from your industry or related industries and you can benefit from this to find more contacts and leads. Once you have found a company that fits your criteria, you may discover you have some 1st or 2nd connections inside the company that you were unaware of, giving you a good entry point and a way to make contact. Having contacts within the company makes it much easier to get an introduction into the organisation.  You can also grow your network by joining alumni groups and other industry groups 

2. LinkedIn Search – The LinkedIn search function is perhaps the quickest and most efficient way of sourcing new contacts. You can search for people currently at a company, people that were formerly at a company, people with certain job titles and much more. You can also use LinkedIn to find out how if a company would be a good fit based on a number of factors. Sales people can use LinkedIn to find a decision-maker in the company.

3. Add value in discussion groups – Show buyers you care about the things they care about by joining the groups that they're in and participating in them by posting about items of interest and initiating discussions. Using LinkedIn to generate leads requires a detailed understanding of your buyer personas – some investigation work to find out where they look for information, and some creative writing to get them to engage with you as experts in your field.

Suppose you sell software into manufacturing companies. Posting into a LinkedIn group for a manufacturers forum might seem obvious, but it depends what you are selling and to whom. For example, if you are selling HR software to those manufacturers then getting your own HR team to post interesting topics into the CIPD forum is probably a better approach. Those topics should be informative and valuable to the audience – not sales messages. Then again, the IT directors will get involved in software decisions too, so it might be an idea to find LinkedIn groups and topics that appeal to them.

4. Create your own industry LinkedIn Group (or subgroups) – You could create a LinkedIn Group (as well as subgroups if you're so inclined) of your very own. This could be a group based on an industry-related topic, and become a LinkedIn Group administrator. You can then use this group to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, grow a community of advocates, generate new marketing content ideas, and even acquire new leads!

To conclude,  LinkedIn is a great platform for identifying, connecting with and engaging the right contacts in your target market.  

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Topics: Digital Marketing B2B Lead Generation