When LinkedIn first launched in 2002, it was a small but mighty social media platform used by eager job seekers to connect with other like-minded professionals. Fast forward to today, however, and LinkedIn is the go-to social media vehicle for marketing and sales professionals. LinkedIn is no longer seen as Facebook’s “ugly step sister” but as a valuable tool for gathering quality leads and developing strong client relationships.
When used properly, LinkedIn can be a powerful marketing and sales platform. After all, the social network has attracted over 225 million people from more than 200 countries. While there’s no denying that other social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter are powerful lead generation tools, it can be difficult to sift through all of the mindless chatter to find quality leads.
Let’s face it, senior decision-makers are a difficult crowd to get a hold of; however, with access to valuable information – including where they work, what type of job they have and their network – LinkedIn makes it easy to identify and contact sales targets.
In fact, according to a HubSpot 2012 study of over 5,000 businesses, traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74 percent – almost three times higher than both Twitter and Facebook.
Why? It’s simple. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn was created specifically for professionals to display their career and work experience, not what they had for lunch yesterday. Odds are, when an individual logs onto LinkedIn, he or she is most likely searching for something business related. That being said, it’s important for businesses to leverage this lead-generation machine properly.
Stumped on where to start? Try participating in LinkedIn Answers, a section where inquiring minds ask industry-specific questions and get advice. This is a great place to showcase your industry knowledge and build thought leadership. Next, join some LinkedIn groups within your industry and beyond. This way, you can help grow your business and expand your reach. Last but not least, execute people searches, which is a great tool for salespeople or B2B owners looking to find contacts at larger companies.
Don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn when it comes to generating leads. This powerful sales tool is a goldmine filled with quality leads.
Tell us… how do you use LinkedIn to generate leads?