Using LinkedIn for Lead Generation


LinkedIn tends to be overlooked when it comes to lead generation because too many people believe it to be a site solely devoted to networking with other professionals. This simply isn’t true. While it’s a great space for networking, it can also be a really powerful tool for lead generation. In fact, according to HubSpot, LinkedIn is most successful when it comes to generating leads for B2B businesses.

If you’re considering incorporating LinkedIn in your lead gen efforts, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to ensure you are successful in your efforts.

Have a complete profile

Being as social media savvy as you are, you probably know that when it comes to these platforms, your profile has to be as complete as you can possibly make it. The less complete it is, the less legit you appear to be. Make sure you’ve got a professional picture, a strong headline, and a complete history of experience, for starters. What’s nice about LinkedIn is that it will tell you how complete your profile is and what you can do to up that number.

Be an active, consistent presence

If you’re going to commit to LinkedIn for lead generation, you’ve got to really commit to LinkedIn. You can’t just update your profile or status every now and again. You can’t only participate in discussions in different groups a few times a month. So let people know you’re there. Consistency shows a commitment (the same commitment you will provide to that lead if they convert) and builds an authoritative presence.

Within groups on LinkedIn, you can promote content that will help to further spread your authority. Careful, though.ย As Chad Pollit of Kuno Creative points out in a post for Business 2 Community, the content that you share needs to be timely and relevant to the conversation in which you are sharing it. If you’re posting content just hoping that people will read it and it’s got nothing to do with anything people are discussing on various group forums, you’ll be considered a spammer in no time and banished from those boards.

Another great idea that Pollit suggests in the aforementioned slideshow is to share content that poses a hot question or is controversial in nature. This will draw more conversation participants. But again, only share it if it’s relevant. And as with any social media platform, make sure it’s not just your work that you’re sharing on LinkedIn, but others’ work as well.

Make good use of LinkedIn Direct Ads

If you’re a fan of Google’s PPC advertising options, then you’ll like LinkedIn Direct Ads. They work in much the same way, with you choosing how much you’ll pay per click. Then you just set up your ad and direct your traffic to your landing pages, website content, or any other page you wish.

Get active on LinkedIn Answers

You know that using question and answer forums is an awesome way to build and spread your authority, as well as to increase your social ROI. LinkedIn Answers, which is a concept similar to Quora, allows you to respond to questions and prove yourself to be a valuable resource within your industry.

Again, though, as with forum participation, take care not to use LinkedIn Answers merely as a way to share your blog posts or other content. If it’s relevant, great; but if it’s not, seek to be the answer in another way if you’re able.

Also, remember that it’s never cool to say something like, โ€œGreat question! Find the answer here on my blog (your blog link will be inserted here).โ€ If you want to be considered an authority, you can’t cop out like that.

Use the search and view profiles

If it sounds really basic, it’s because it is. But it can also be tremendously useful when it comes to targeting potential leads, particularly in the B2B realm.

With LinkedIn, you can search for users by company, title, keyword, or a variety of other options. You can also search for businesses and then view the employees listed along with it. Use this to help you reach out to your potential leads, as well as to monitor your target market. Additionally, it’s a useful means of lead nurturing, as well.

To sum it up…

LinkedIn is more versatile than many people give it credit for being. Sure, you can use it to network, but you can also use it to build your authority, as well as for lead generation and lead nurturing.

Does your business use LinkedIn for lead generation? What are some of your favorite techniques? Drop us a comment and let us know!

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Renee is a writer currently living in Central Pennsylvania (whatever you've heard is probably true). In addition to writing for CEM, she serves as the Managing Editor for Business 2 Community and pursues her dream of once again renting her own apartment (preferably in Philadelphia), if only to house her ever-growing collection of books. She received a BA in English from Susquehanna University and an MA in English from George Mason. She's still waiting for someone to write a song about her life so she can just quote the lyrics for her author bios. Catch up with her on Twitter , LinkedIn, or reneedecoskey.com.

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Comments

  1. Great post Renee! Thanks so much for letting me know. Many people believe LinkedIn is for Job Seekers or, as you said, professional networking. We teach sales people how to use the platform for lead generation and relationship-driven business development. Excellent points are made throughout your post, including advanced techniques and all presented in a you-can-do-it way.

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