Most of us are familiar with the professional networking platform LinkedIn. It’s often touted as the best way to digitally connect with your professional network, meet others in your field, and to hire candidates. The platform can be utilized for B2B leads, but can also be used to gather market research and prospects for B2C as well.
LinkedIn should be approached as another method in your sales arsenal. Using the platform in conjunction with other sales techniques, both digital and offline, will help you to meet and exceed sales goals, whether they are B2B or B2C. The first way to begin using LinkedIn is to build out your company’s profile, as well as your personal profile if you are planning to follow up on targeted leads individually. Check out our article on LinkedIn best practices for tips to creating an effective and professional profile.
Your company’s page
Building out your company’s LinkedIn page should be a part of your marketing strategy. As a social media platform, the content that you’ll publish on the site will need to align with the market base that you hope to use and be reflective of the site’s professional tone and structure. LinkedIn uses a timeline, but it is not strictly chronological. Users’ timelines are customized based off of their connections, pages they follow, and influencers that they follow.
On LinkedIn, company pages are public and posts from that page appear on followers’ timelines as they are published. The content of your posts can be explicitly sales-driven, such as a new featured product or service with a link to your e-commerce platform, or they may highlight updates or align with your branding messages. LinkedIn allows you to use analytics to monitor the engagement on your posts, which will help you to track your content and tailor your strategies to become more effective over time.
Utilize Linkedin’s ads
Advertising on LinkedIn is pay per click, meaning that the pricing model for advertisements is reflective of the number of users who see and interact with your content. This can be a cost-effective way to reach targeted segments that align with your B2C sales visions. LinkedIn lets you set a budget, so you can rest easy knowing that you won’t end up paying more than you expected for your sponsored content. Advertising on LinkedIn is a better B2C strategy than a B2B strategy, though your ads can be targeted to reach the users who maintain their company’s public profiles.
Generating leads on LinkedIn is becoming a more and more visible sales tactic. Perhaps the most visible way salespeople use LinkedIn is through targeted messages over the platform to cold and warm sales leads. One on one messages from recruiters and salespeople are good ways to generate B2B and B2B leads. You can find targeted leads by using the search function and by utilizing LinkedIn’s network webs to identify qualified targets.
Cold sales is always a gamble, and you risk being labeled overeager or non-targeted if you send out copy and paste messages that are impersonal and overtly sales driven to users that you have no connection to. As with all sales, approaching individuals over LinkedIn is best done by trying to make a cold lead warmer through a connection. This is where LinkedIn’s network function comes in handy.
Use advanced search function
Since users build out their profiles by directly connecting their professional and educational experiences to public pages, those connections are publicly laid out. You can see that John Smith went to University ABC in your search of the university, through that university’s public alumni group or profile, through an advanced search of professional skills relevant to their major or degree, or through that individual’s profile.
Using the advanced search function, you can search for professional skills, associations and affiliations, companies and universities, and public users that the individual follows, such as influencers or celebrities. If you know that your target market has a professional degree and resides in the United States, the advanced search function will provide you with thousands of individuals who fit those markers. Using these connections can be a great starting point for shifting cold leads into warmer leads.
Personalize each invitation request
Personalization is encouraged on LinkedIn, as the platform automatically prompts you to personalize your invitation requests to other users. They realize that users are much more likely to accept invitations, or not let them languish in the ignored request section, if they can see directly how they are connected to that individual. This is a helpful B2C tactic that can allow you to build out your network of personal connections and to move into targeted sales.
Prospecting on LinkedIn is relatively easy as long as you know what you are looking for. Going in with a clear picture of who your target sales are will allow you to parse out the characteristics you need to search for, such as company affiliation or job title. Customization is the name of the game on LinkedIn, as the platform’s professional user base is savvy enough to hesitate to accept overt sales marketing when they see it.
LinkedIn is a great way to network with others in your industry, to stay connected with colleagues and other professionals, and to find content from entrepreneurs and business leaders that you admire. Your use of LinkedIn can also help you to build upon sales leads and to expand your marketing tactics to reach more users and to grow your brand as well. Whether you are using it for B2B or B2C, it is worth exploring using the platform as a sales strategy.
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