How Sound is LinkedIn in Building B2B Social Connections & Generating Qualified Leads?
Food for thought
LinkedIn users are educated and earn high incomes. 49% of U.S. adults using LinkedIn are college graduates, and 45% of them earn over $75,000 a year, which is more per year than Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram users (Pew Research Center).
LinkedIn is undoubtedly a B2B goldmine where a lot of Fortune 500 leaders and decision makers connect and network. The platform has grown dramatically in the past decade and is now rightfully considered the most effective social media platform for the B2B lead generation, especially if you are looking to focus your sales efforts on the C-suite executives.
Now let us try to understand the size and scope of this lead generation medium in numbers. Results from Gleanster research suggest that from all the existing social media channels used by top B2B performers across the world, LinkedIn is the most used at a whopping 88%, followed by shared links at 72%.
And when we talk of LinkedIn as a social network, we know for a fact that its users are not online to share memes or like videos. The network is not familial and its users are active solely to connect, partner and grow professionally.
Let us break this even further to understand what constitutes this 88% audience. LinkedIn has over 500 million users across 200 countries as I write, this figure coming straight from the company’s Marketing Solutions Blog. Of these, as many as 61 million users are senior level influencers, while approximately 40 million occupy key decision-making positions. Now that is HUGE!
What does this mean?
This means LinkedIn is a powerhouse of leads. With such a huge number of professionals, decision-makers and C-level/ VP level executives using the platform, it offers an unparalleled access to an extremely primed audience that’s in the right business mindset and is beautifully prepared for B2B marketing. This significantly increases the effectiveness of your sales efforts and shortens the length of your sales cycle.
Now let us look at a very interesting research on B2B buyer behavior conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC), which finds that 56% of B2B buyers and 63% of C-level or VP level executives use LinkedIn to support their purchase process.
As you can see, the most senior and influential B2B buyers use LinkedIn when making key purchase decisions. So you know how to get on the senior management’s radar for the B2B lead generation!
How to use LinkedIn to bring leads for your business?
1. Join Groups
LinkedIn ranks groups based on their level of activity, so you’d rather want to choose groups that are quite active. This is a great way to foster relationships with like-minded professionals in the B2B industry.
2. Use Advanced search
LinkedIn’s advanced search gives you an excellent way of determining the exact type of people who you are targeting. This great filter helps you narrow down your search by industry, location, past and current company, educational background, profile language, and nonprofit interests among others.
TIPS – An incredible way to find perfect prospects is to incorporate LinkedIn Boolean search operators, especially AND, OR, AND NOT. You can also force a certain order in your searches using brackets eg. ((Executive OR (Operational OR Operations) OR Marketing) OR (CEO OR COO OR CMO)).
After you go through the pain of creating a highly targeted search, you’ll also want to save it. What’s great is that even with a free account, the network lets you save up to 3 searches.
3. Find Decision Makers
“It’s on your fingertips – there’s no waiting for someone to get back to you”
One of the top reasons why LinkedIn is among the best B2B lead generators is it lets you bypass gatekeepers and reach the decision makers directly. And you’d agree that a lack of identifying the right decision makers quite obviously defeats the whole purpose. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to reach out for the CEO of a company to pitch your xxxxxx. Instead, you’d need to connect with the yyyyyyyyy department because they’re more better in charge of those decisions.
4. Publish Articles
Originally available to only a select few thought leaders, LinkedIn’s publishing platform is now open to public and ripe with opportunity. Various researches prove that becoming an authority on LinkedIn Pulse is a fine way to generate leads online without being pushy. You can start by surveying top posts in your industry, and use that information to create your own content.
5. Avoid Hard Selling
LinkedIn is a goldmine, but only when it is used in a soft way. Ramming your services down people’s throats isn’t going to work, mostly. Rather than close the deal the hard way, you must think of LinkedIn as a way to bring prospects into the sales funnel.
Now as we sign off, let us take quick 4 bites into the importance of LinkedIn in B2B Lead Generation:
- Utilized by 1 out of every 3 professionals in the world.
- Ungated access to your target market.
- Access to personal email IDs.
- The #1 channel to distribute content.
LinkedIn is a breeding ground for brand awareness. But you must start thinking beyond this basic tactic and focus on how you can use it to turn leads into customers.
About B2B Sales Arrow
B2B Sales Arrow is a research-based Marketing Technology Company that provides solutions by combining Content Marketing, IT Automation, Analytics, Graphic Designing, research-based Business Development and Digital Marketing.
Based out of New Jersey and Bangalore, the company has an unprecedented focus to solve complex business problems and challenge the status quo in the global market.
Also, with its state-of-the-art technology, easy-to-integrate services, and highest industry conversions, B2B Sales Arrow makes it easy for lenders to acquire more consumers.
If you need our marketing experts to help you deploy, manage, or revise your LinkedIn Lead Generation strategy, contact our specialists and we’ll be happy to help.