Social media use has grown over the years. We have mastered branding messages in 140 or less characters to gain followers on Twitter, built up our likes on Facebook and pins on Pinterest, all in an effort to reach the largest audience possible. However, sales enablement strategy tells us that quality is at times more important than quantity.

Since going live in 2002, LinkedIn has become a powerful tool to help nurture and close leads. Unfortunately, many marketing and sales teams do not know how to use LinkedIn properly.

Here are some tips for using LinkedIn to market your business and generate leads.

Profile:
The first step is to have a proper profile as well as a company LinkedIn page.
All images should be professional and high quality. Highlight expertise, link webpages/portfolios and include key contact information. Optimizing your profile with keywords will help prospects find you and your company.

Post Content and Questions:
Create posts about industry trends, find motivational quotes and ask general business questions. These types of posts help build a persona within your network.

Discussion Groups:
LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 discussion groups. You can easily find a discussion group in the industries you are targeting. This is a great place to start contributing to conversations. Keep your content helpful, relevant and reduce sales-pitch messaging.

Use LinkedIn Answers:
Search for questions that are within your knowledge base and offer solutions. This builds up credibility and trust. After you respond, ask the person to connect. This becomes a potential lead.

Profile Views:
You can easily see who visited your profile and then reach out to these contacts to see if you can help them. For a more meaningful connection, it is recommended to write a personalized invitation rather than using LinkedIn’s default messaging.

Search Features:
Search for connections by company and relationship; advanced functionality allows you to search job function and seniority level. LinkedIn search features show if you have any first or second-degree connections.

LinkedIn Ads:
Consider, for a small cost, running a targeted LinkedIn campaign. Be specific. The more detailed you are when setting your target audience, the more likely you will have higher engagement. This is a great way to direct people to specific content on your company’s website.

Whether you are a marketing professional, a business owner or a salesperson, LinkedIn has many advanced tools show people your expertise and create valuable leads.

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