LinkedIn for Lead Generation

LinkedIn can be a powerful sales tool when used as part of lead generation and networking activities. As social selling and reaching social influencers becomes ever more important in raising awareness of a company, brand, product or service it is important to use LinkedIn effectively.

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However, before any lead generation can happen, it is important to build up your network and influence across the social groups on LinkedIn.  Every business, marketing and sales person should focus on 3 key actions.

  1. Give to receive: Share quality, relevant content and news from multiple sources.
  2. Behaviour: Buyers are well informed and knowledgeable so be genuine and insightful.
  3. Connecting: Invest time connecting to people you know plus customers, influencers etc.

Here is some pointers to maximize LinkedIn for lead generation:

Tip 1. Profile: Yes, it seems obvious that you need a profile but the point is you need a full profile (photo, career, articles, social pitch) that will support the lead generation activities, not just any profile mashed together.

Tip 2. Think of your profile as a commercial that clearly spells out “what you do”. So make sure you complete the entire profile (also state that you are open to connecting with people), you could also import your resume or CV.

Tip 3. Make sure maximize the section below your name by using keywords. Select keywords that promote your products or services. If a potential buyer is searching for someone to do “sales and marketing” they are more likely to find you than if you list your company name.

Tip 4. Spend time completing your work history, summary and employment sections (again using active keywords), highlight any accomplishments or achievements. This builds trust within the LinkedIn community.

Tip 5. On-line users can be very visual, so try to include Slideshare content, presentations or videos on your profile and not forgetting any articles you published on LinkedIn pulse. This builds authority.

Tip 6. Unless you are a major social influencer, it is best to keep your LinkedIn profile pretty open as you are using LinkedIn for lead generation, so the easier it is for “social ties” to connect with you, the better. This builds connections to business people and weaker social ties.

Build Relationships Steadily

The whole premises of using LinkedIn is to build  relationships with business colleagues, potential buyers, existing customers, business people you know and to build connections with weak ties via group participation

LinkedIn suggest this 5 step process for building effective relationships based on social media best practices:

  1. Establish presence (Give to receive)
  2. Attract followers (Give to receive)
  3. Engage followers (Behaviour)
  4. Share your message (content, news, articles) through your network (Connecting)
  5. Analyse results and refine your strategy

As I keep stating, you will attract more followers and connections if you post fresh, valuable content on a regular basis.

Use Content Marketing

I have written elsewhere on The Bitter Business site about the power of content marketing. On LinkedIn stories that have a social twist, that educate, that gives insights or have a human element will attract the highest readership.

Posting articles with a variety of content, on a regular basis on LinkedIn or indeed any social network is best practise. The content should consist of sharing blog (links) updates, as well as unique written content for LinkedIn to share with your connections.

Remember content marketing creates awareness of your company and puts you on the road as an authority within a group or subject. Also, as with all content marketing, make sure your content is SEO optimized. Without being overly promotional try to include a subtle call to action (CTA) in your LinkedIn posts. Including a link back to your company website is a great way to increase your lead generation performance.

Content marketing is not just about self-promotion, it also includes content curation and is a good way to encourage connections by sharing updates from social influencers and industry experts in your own updates. It is all about, giving to receive as you cannot expect sharing of your own content unless you are willing to share quality content written by others.

Try to give LinkedIn updates daily, maybe once or twice a day (with no more than a couple per day). Some social media gurus believe sharing posts in the morning works best, my own view is either late afternoon or just after lunch. Experiment to see what times work best for you.

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Match the Buyers Journey

Content marketing is aimed at matching the needs of potential customers as they travel the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration and decision. We now know from studies that in today’s on-line world, B2B buyers do most of their information and awareness gathering on-line, not waiting for some salesperson to ring them up. In fact, many B2B customers prefer to purchase on-line — that’s how Dell created a global business selling computers online.

It is critical that you DO NOT view your content shared on LinkedIn as some sort of teaser or preamble in B2B lead generation — it is the main tool in creating buyer awareness!! Always give readers all the information they need to work with you, not just a few selected sound bites or customer success stories. Your tactics is to carry potential customers on the buyer’s journey from awareness to consideration, on to decision and through post-purchase. So the content shared should include information on using the product or service, answers about installation or how to use, any industry recommendations or awards plus encourage feedback on the articles are all important factors in providing for the entire buyers journey.

 Analyse and Tweak

No lead generation or marketing campaign is complete without capturing data to assess performance and provide information to tweak the campaign. LinkedIn provides some good analytic tools to track performance of your LinkedIn company pages including clicks and other interactions. Make the most of these analytic insights by doing conscious testing — article headlines, post types, post times — not just monitoring passively. With patience and work, LinkedIn social selling can not only generate leads but also influence buyers considerations.

LinkedIn- No Irish Jobs

43 LinkedIn Business Groups with over 150,000 members but less than 300 jobs.

LinkedIn is a great business networking tool; however when it comes to Irish jobs for people seeking employment (sales, marketing, management) in Ireland it does not look so good. I am a member of 50 business groups on LinkedIn; of these the 43 Irish business groups I am a member of are focused on Irish business, sales, management, marketing and technology.

As the Irish economy is booming with projected growth rates of between 4.6% and 5.7% in 2015 and 2016 (rte, NTMA) and as we are well into 2015 I wanted to check out how the jobs available on my LinkedIn groups were going to be able to keep up with the skill shortage the Irish press love to write about.

The table below lists out the 43 group NAMES I am a member of, with the membership numbers and then jobs or roles available. Of the 354 roles available when you remove duplicate postings on multiple groups the number drops well below 300. Also with my Ireland Inc. hat on, I could only find 1 or 2 roles for local Irish companies, are these numbers a truer reflection on the local Irish economy, 2 roles across 43 very active LinkedIn groups?

Group Name Members Jobs
1 121 Marketing Network Ireland (First Wednesday Club) 4836 0
2 All About Business Ireland 4744 0
3 Venture Capital and Private Equity Ireland 401 0
4 The Startup Network | StartupRepublic.com 421 0
5 The Sales Institute of Ireland Group 2930 1
6 The Dublin Hub 225 0
7 The Board – Ireland 29 0
8 The “Business Owners Network” 5696 0
9 TechLudd: Digital Network 435 0
10 TechCentral.ie 568 0
11 Dublin Chamber of Commerce 3234 0
12 Startup Ireland 5347 1
13 Social Media Marketing Ireland 3120 1
14 SOCIAL MEDIA IRELAND 10430 17
15 SME Links Ireland 2070 0
16 Small Business Can 815 0
17 SALES LEADERSHIP IRELAND 2143 171
18 Paddytech 5939 1
19 OpenCoffee Ireland 1943
20 LI Mastery Ireland 28 0
21 IT Ireland 10972 10
22 Irish Technology Leadership Group 4030 0
23 Irish Software CEOs 426 0
24 Irish Software Association 4984 0
25 Irish SME’s 1919 0
26 Irish Sales Leadership Institute 408 0
27 Irish Non Executive Director (INED) Group 683 0
28 Irish Internet Association 2723 0
29 Irish Executives 22474 150
30 Irish Businesses Online 140 0
31 Irish Business Group 504 0
32 Irish Business Forums 140 0
33 Irish Business Association 996 0
34 Irish Angel Investment Forum 1351 0
35 Irelands SME Community 868 0
36 Irelands Small Business Community 5211 0
37 IrelandInc. 1223 0
38 Ireland Business and Professional Network 20000 1
39 Innovation Ireland 8491 0
40 Facebook for Business Ireland Powered By We Teach Social 3806 0
41 Enterprise Ireland 7546 0
42 eMarketing Ireland 1875 1
43 Dublin Business2Business Network 295 0
Total 156419 354
  • The 171 roles on Sales Leadership Ireland are dominated by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, AdRoll where local SME’s seem to have very few jobs.
  • The 150 roles on Irish Executives contain a number of roles duplicated on Sales Leadership Ireland
  • Social Media Ireland had 1 local role.

What do these numbers tell us?

Well, the numbers tell us the average membership size on the 43 LinkedIn groups I belong to related to Ireland is 3,637. Again there is a large overlap with people being members of multiple groups. A quick calculation would suggest out of the 156,419 members on the groups, maybe 130,000 are unique profiles.

The numbers also tell us when roles within multi-national companies are removed there are very few open roles in local Irish companies.

I will leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions and comments. Maybe companies simple do not use LinkedIn to advertise their open positions, maybe there are none. Maybe LinkedIn is not good at getting smaller companies to advertise available jobs, or maybe, just maybe the small number of job roles within local Irish companies is an accurate reflection of the local Irish economy.

Sales Strategy – Marketing Services – Sales Consultant – Social Selling – Inbound Marketing – Lead Generation

I'm always available to have a chat on your business plans and any challenges in lead generation, social selling, marketing or sales.