We’re always banging on about LinkedIn. It’s an incredibly powerful platform and one that should represent a constant stream of leads if managed correctly. LinkedIn lead generation campaigns are valuable for businesses in virtually every sector and, particularly, B2B businesses. LinkedIn management has become some companies’ most valuable source of leads and is a service we deliver for a range of clients in some pretty obscure industries.
LinkedIn campaigns work for businesses who wouldn’t naturally regard their company or brand as marketable over social media. This is because most people see social media as content platforms; places to share thoughts, pictures, videos and links. For social media content management to be successful, the content needs to be sexy, it needs to be engaging and shareable. Some products and services are not that sexy.
But this is the important thing:
This doesn’t matter on LinkedIn.
Whilst LinkedIn is a content platform, its most useful features have nothing to do with content. LinkedIn enables users to find and contact very specific individuals; individuals at companies (and who are in roles) that you need to speak with.
Effective LinkedIn management can be broken down into six stages:
1. Profile optimisation
Remember that your LinkedIn profile acts both as your online CV and is the first impression you’re conveying to potential contacts. Three basic rules are:
- Make sure you have a clear, professional headshot
- Write a captivating summary, clearly demonstrating your passion and expertise
- Make sure your previous role relate to your existing role (or the one you’d like to have!).
For any LinkedIn campaign, getting your profile perfect is the best starting point. You can also check out these six great LinkedIn profile tips.
2. Advanced, targeted search
This is the more complex and time-consuming bit. You’ve identified what someone in your target audience looks like and you want to find them. Here’s where LinkedIn’s advanced searches come in. The results of these searches will draw up a list of potential prospects. For example, if you know the job title of the person typically in charge of employing companies like yours, search for them! These types of LinkedIn lead generation techniques explored in #Winning at Social Media.
Follow JC Social Media on LinkedIn for more tips!
3. First approaches
Carefully crafted first approaches are your key to a successful lead generation campaign. Whether your first approach also requests to ‘link in’ with a contact or not, you’re looking for a response. Achieving a strong conversion rate relies on effective searches and tactful, well-worded approaches.
This is the part most people skip:
4. Further approaches
The majority of people contacted first time round will do nothing. They will not respond (positively or negatively) or accept your invitation but some will. The ones that do go straight to part 5. The ones who don’t need to be approached again. Some won’t have seen your approach, sought after contacts might get lots of approaches, some will think you’re a spambot. A second and third approach demonstrates a) you’re not giving up easily, b) you really might have something for them and c) that you’re not spam. It will also act as a reminder to the approached.
Check out our six reasons people aren’t accepting your LinkedIn requests.
5. Deliver the call to action.
There should be a clear plan in place as to what the call to action for responders is. It might be to send them a brochure or arrange a phone call – now they’re a lead and they should enter your sales pipeline.
This is where we tend to hand over a lead to our clients. We do the specialist LinkedIn work to actually find and qualify prospects and hand them over to you to do the rest.
And the really important bit:
6.Record your success and actions.
Whether you use a CRM or sales system or just an Excel spreadsheet, it is vital that you keep tabs on what you’ve done, when you did it and how your approaches have panned out. Managing all this on LinkedIn is not ideal and your results are much easier to analyse on a spreadsheet, especially when it comes to scheduling follow ups and the other sales processes you may have.
JC Social Media works with numerous businesses on their LinkedIn management (here are a few examples). For some of them, LinkedIn is the ONLY platform we work on for them. Why? Because they happen to be pretty unsexy B2B businesses that make the world go round but simply won’t generate great engagement over Twitter and Facebook, for example. For products and services that can be marketed via other means, LinkedIn management might well play a part in broader social media management – common for companies with both a B2B and B2C element.
You might consider outsourcing LinkedIn management if:
- You’re not unfamiliar with the platform
- You lack the time to run a concerted lead-generation campaign
- You don’t have the expertise to find potential leads
- You know those important decision makers that you need to connect with use LinkedIn
Measuring the ROI of LinkedIn campaigns
We don’t buy into the ‘you can’t measure the ROI of social media’ rubbish and LinkedIn campaigns are certainly very measurable in terms of return. Your campaign will result in a tangible number of qualified leads handed over. Based on how many of these leads convert and the value of these conversions, you’ve gained a pretty solid idea of your return. And this doesn’t even account for the collaborative relationships built, increased awareness amongst decision makers and maybe clicks to your site or brochure downloads.
However you proceed with your LinkedIn management, like all social media activity, it is imperative to identify clear goals and measure your activity and success rates. Without this knowledge, it is incredibly difficult to determine how useful your activity is and how you might improve it. This is precisely why point 6, above, is so crucial to the process. As a social media management company, we’ve had some fantastic success managing LinkedIn campaigns for many businesses, so we’d love to hear from you.