When you think of LinkedIn, the image that you may conjure up is that of the largest professional network in the world, cyber or real. Despite being a social networking site, it has gained the distinction of being used as a place to augment one’s professional standing. Some even use it to obtain better job opportunities and to increase their professional network.
However, there are profound reasons to use the platform to get more tangible benefits for your business in the form of lead generation. Now you may argue that other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Quora, and Reddit are also being used for this. Sure, they can be leveraged.
But do they boast of a user base of 500 million people from more than 200 countries who only have business on their mind while using it? Just making a quick point! Here are five reasons why lead generation on LinkedIn is much more effective than any other social platform.
1. Here’s where you will find your target audience
And the audience would not be distracted by cats, babies, food, duck faces, and this list continues. When on LinkedIn or LI, they are contemplating serious business decisions. Moreover, 61 million of the 500 million users of the platform are influential, senior-level executive, while 40 million are decision makers.
According to the Fifth Annual State of Digital Marketing Survey that was released recently, 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn. This made it the most used social network by the demographic. In fact, 59% respondents of the survey (who also consisted of B2B marketers) said that LI generates the most leads for them out of all social networking platforms. The second on this list was Twitter with 28% marketers, which is far below LI, saying it’s the most effective platform.
Not surprisingly then, most of the industry leaders who put forth their views on the trends in the same report named LinkedIn as a space to watch out for when it comes to generating B2B leads. If that’s not enough, here are some statistics provided by LinkedIn through surveys conducted on their users.
- 50% of our members report they are more likely to buy from a company they engage with on LinkedIn.
- 80 percent of LinkedIn members want to connect with companies because those connections provide them opportunities to enhance their professional decision-making.
- It helps give your business personality
We all have grown up reading about creating and maintaining a brand image. This is the age of brand personality. Your consumers, even those who are businesses themselves, like to know where you stand, what issues you support, and what your beliefs are. And LinkedIn is one platform which allows you to do this well. First off, your company page can be customized.
Then you can post articles on various topics within your industry, the trends, what you foresee happening in the near future, etc. Go on take a stand, or even a side, and don’t be afraid of expressing your opinion. That’s what the LinkedIn blogs are for. While you are at it, join a few groups that discuss topics related to your industry.
Several studies have shown that a brand with personality is more likely to be favored by consumers. One such study pertaining to the hotel industry in the US concluded that consumers are more likely to choose a brand that they believe reflects their personality or the one they would like to project. Coming back to LinkedIn and B2B marketing, another study, 74% of B2B buyers choose a company that has provided them with useful content.
3. Nobody minds any amount of self-promotion here
Self-promotion or even advertisements are seen as pesky activities on most social networking platforms. After all, people there are busy catching up with old friends, looking at pictures, or engaging in other leisurely activities.
However, on LinkedIn, people are constantly seeking experts who have the answers to their questions or who hopefully do! Whether it is via the many groups or through blog posts, you can push your business here in a not-so-subtle manner since the other person is almost expecting it. Remember to make it relevant to the communication or the main theme for all types of sensible reasons.
You can also ask some impressed consumers to post a review about you. Such recommendations work wonders with your brand image in the eyes of new visitors to your page as well. In fact, 76% B2B buyers prefer to using recommendations from their professional networks. Also, LinkedIn pages divert 64% of all traffic to their corporate website, as opposed to 17% from Facebook and 14% from Twitter.
4. Using that Bacon number
Are you familiar with the concept of the Bacon number, more popularly the idea of Six Degrees of Separation? On LinkedIn, you are very close to some massive consumers.
The advanced search option of the site helps zero in on potential customers. And, of course, you can see the shared connections with them and get introduced in a professional, albeit virtual, environment. Most of the time, with the right kind of communication strategy, these cold emails turn out to be much more successful than any cold calls.
5. Ads for specific target groups
LI allows sponsored content as well as text ads. The former gets merged with the feed of your target user and appears like just another post while the latter appears in a separate sidebar. They are highly effective as their target audience can be customized based on their jobs and interests. HubSpot recently shared their experience of using sponsored content that led to 400% more lead generation than any other platform. In fact, you can use the latest offering of the company, the lead generation forms, for more effective use of these types of adverts.
The platform itself understands its potential in this regard which is why they keep introducing more helpful tools for marketers. Ignoring LinkedIn as a potentially huge source of B2B lead generation is not a sagacious strategy. It may take new users some practice and some trial-and-error – some research and reading about how to use LI will have to be conducted as well.
The effort of investing time in learning the right use of this “built for selling” platform will be worth so many more leads that could turn into B2B sales. Your opportunities will grow in numerical value.