Doing business in the B2B world is tough – probably tougher than in the B2C sector. There are two key factors influencing this situation: a significantly smaller pool of customers, and higher level expectations. Finding leads for a B2B company is like digging for gold, therefore: you may spend months hitting bare rock, and then you find just one nugget which compensates for all the effort.
Thankfully, B2B lead generation efforts are greatly aided by one specific social media platform, developed specially for business networking: LinkedIn. Since its inception, LinkedIn was perceived as a white collar social media platform, with specific rigors concerning profile building, online behaviour and connecting to other people. It has continued to maintain its standards in terms of netiquette and, for this reason (although it is not among the top three social media platforms with the largest number of users), it is the most adequate online forum to find qualified business leads.
Today we will show you five ways in which you can generate more B2B leads using your LinkedIn profile and company page. Let us get started:
1. Optimise Your Profile for Networking
LinkedIn users are very circumspect before accepting a new connection. They want to make sure that the new addition to their network will not reflect negatively on their personal and professional reputation, and that the person asking to become a connection isn’t only interested in taking advantage from it. In order to determine these critical points, they will look at your profile.
Here are the key elements they will inspect:
- Your profile photo – did you use a professional headshot, or have you cropped one of your casual photos with friends?
- Your areas of expertise – do you have anything in common with their business and professional interests?
- Your summary – how well can you pitch yourself? Would you convince anyone at least to accept you as a connection, let alone to do business with you?
- Your background – did you include the top relevant positions and projects which recommend you as a professional, or did you simply copy/paste your entire CV starting with your college summer jobs?
2. Create a Group
LinkedIn groups are extremely useful both for building your reputation as an expert and for growing your network. Remember that qualified B2B leads originate from the connections you are able to make, so be extremely proactive in this respect. When you offer business people a specific group where they can find answers, educational materials, and a secure environment for professional discussions, they will begin to trust your claims in your profile page.
As you continue to monitor the group, share interesting and useful content, and give pertinent and helpful answers, both the levels of trust and reputation will increase.
3. Be Active in the Q&A Sections
You will find many questions on your LinkedIn newsfeed, from people among your connections or in your groups. Take the time to browse them and offer accurate answers. Q&A sections are usually public – which means that people who are not in your network can see them. This is a great chance for you to build your reputation and goodwill when you start sending out invitations to connect.
4. Optimise Your Company Description
Just like your personal summary, the company description text box is one of the most valuable pieces of LinkedIn property. This is your chance to impress people from the first moment they access your page and to give them a clear answer to their question: “how can this company help me?”
5. Connect with Potential Customers
What sets LinkedIn Search apart from other social media platforms is that you can search people by position, industry, and the type of company they work for (small, medium or large corporation). In this way, you can find people in your area of interest (both geographically and by industry and managerial position) and send them invites to connect with you.
It is critical to make a great introduction – one in which you tell them not why you want to connect with them, but why they should accept your invitation and connect with you.
With its 400 million users, LinkedIn is, as you can see, a very large online place for B2B business owners and marketers. Make sure that you play by the rules, and you will be successful in building qualified leads for your business.