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Eight ways you should be using LinkedIn to generate business to business sales leads

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Are you using LinkedIn to drive B2B leads in 2013? The let’s get straight into it! Here are eight tactics you should have fully strapped in your holster.

1. Build an effective LinkedIn company page

LinkedIn allows you to showcase who you are and what your business is about with a company page. Use your page to build a brand narrative to be proud of.

You also need to post status updates and share content that is valuable to your prospects. One of the coolest features you must not ignore is the “services” or “products” tabs which showcase your solutions.

2. Use recommendations to create layers of social proof

One cool feature on LinkedIn is the ability to ask for recommendations. Testimonials are some of the most powerful forms of social proof. You can get recommendations not just for yourself but also for all of your products.

So, if you have good relationships with influential figures in your industry, ask them to share a few insights on your company and products.

3. Triangulate your prospects using the “Who Viewed Your Profile” functionality

Have you noticed that LinkedIn shares notifications with you when someone “has viewed your profile”?

If you are trying to reach out to prospects, perhaps outside of LinkedIn, it’s a good idea to go and view their profile. Not only will it let them know that you are keen to get in touch but, it will also show you have done research and alert them to your actions. Sleek huh?

4. Contribute to groups

Being active in groups is a no-brainer! Some have between hundreds of thousands of members contributing to debate and publish updates.

Tap into groups of highly targeted prospects by posting thought leading updates. But don’t post a generic sales pitch. That’s a sure fire way to lose all credibility very quickly. These are groups to share knowledge, insights and build trust. Once you have become a known member of the group who makes valuable contributions, potential clients are more likely to seek you out for advice.

You need to think of LinkedIn groups as a social network within a social network. Choose your target groups based on the level of activity, the size of the community or the theme.

5. Create your own LinkedIn group

If you have the time, you can set up your own group. The benefits of this are twofold.

Firstly, you can control the flow and direction of the discussion on your group.

Secondly, you get the chance to send a weekly announcement to all the members in your group.

Should your group become popular and highly active, that is effectively an email list you can target with your desired messages and special offers!

6. Tap into Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising

LinkedIn allows you to target specific groups of business people via their PPC platform. It is obviously highly targeted and you can drill down based on industry, company size, location, job title and more.

You can even target particular groups and choose the time of day for your ads to be shown. Whilst the cost per click is typically higher than other platforms, the leads are generally better qualified.

7. Invite, invite, invite

Growing your presence and your connections on LinkedIn is a great way to get you and your brand noticed. Get into the habit of connecting with a new contact after an interaction.

The more people you are connected with, the wider your messages will spread. A great way to grow your connections naturally is to promote your LinkedIn profile on a range of marketing materials. Make colleagues aware you are on LinkedIn and open to connections using your email signature, newsletters, brochures, and website.

8. Send InMails

Is there someone really important you’d like to get in touch with but they are out of your network? Then InMails are a great way to make contact.

Once you sign up to a LinkedIn premium account, you can send InMails each month. What’s more, LinkedIn have backed up the service with a response guarantee. If you don’t get a response within 7 days, you’ll get an InMail credit for free. Whilst they aren’t cheap, they can be highly effective to target high value leads.

David Siddall communicates the benefits of cloud technology and spam filtering for SMBs each day at Australia’s largest independent IT security provider.
PS: This post has appeared previously here on our blog.

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