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How to use LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation

Posted by Casey Lewis on Friday, February 26, 2016

Topics: Online Lead Generation, Social Media

linkedin-b2b-lead-generationWe’ve all done it. You go about your regular inbound marketing tasks or following up on existing leads, until that random notification lands in your inbox. Once again, you’ve completely ignored one of the easiest, least expensive B2B lead generation channels: LinkedIn.

Unless actively recruiting or looking for new opportunities, many forget LinkedIn offers a wealth of b2b leads with just a little effort and organization. Here are a few tips to liven up your LinkedIn prospects:

Warm Up Those Cold Contacts

Schedule a reoccurring task to review your existing connections. You’ll most likely find yourself amazed at how many connections you’ve collected since joining LinkedIn. A simple, systematic review of contacts on a regular basis often jogs your memory on a case study or project profile an aging connection might find interesting. You might also find a connection received a promotion or accepted a position in a new company with a perfect fit. This is social networking at its most basic … and also most valuable.

Cultivate New Group Relationships

Many hold a love-hate relationship with LinkedIn groups. In a fit of motivation, you might join a dozen or so groups with b2b lead potential. The next thing you know, you’re looking at an inbox full of worthless information without even revisiting the forum. Our advice is to be selective and engage fully with a small number of groups. Then, slowly expand to other groups once you’ve developed relationships or standing in your primary groups.

Another tip when selecting groups is not to select only on quantity of potential leads. Sure, you might believe you’re casting a wide net, but large groups can often be a forum for only a few active members as well. Don’t shy away from small, specialized groups. While numbers may not be as robust, their content, detailed knowledge and lead potential often proves extremely valuable. 

Give AND Receive

Have you ever produced b2b marketing content on a social network only to feel like it’s a bunch of similar people shouting the same things and missing your message? That’s one of the greatest failures of b2b networking, and easy pitfall to avoid. Make sure you’re concentrating as much on receiving information as delivering it. Look for industry pain points and others’ frustrations that you might solve. Comment or like other posts. 

Basic networking rules apply on social networks. Imagine LinkedIn as a huge 24-hour, 365-day conference. You wouldn’t run around the conference floor telling everyone your name and passing out white papers without learning the names and experiences of your fellow attendees. Balance your time on LinkedIn between talking and listening and you’ll find an instant increase in value.

Keep It Personal

Keep your online b2b lead generation from floating into the annoying – or worse, ignorable – sales zone but putting in a little more effort. While it’s easy to simply schedule posts or blanket groups with your business account, make certain that you are posting unique and interesting posts as an individual as well. Don’t neglect updating your individual profile or adding a little personality. While we wouldn’t turn this into an Instagram annex filled with photos of your children, it doesn’t hurt to post an amusing epiphany that occurred to you during your second delayed flight home from your meeting. A little softening of the profile goes a long way when you reach out to a distant connection.

Spend a little time during the next few weeks nurturing the LinkedIn beast. You might find it’s been it’s most underrated b2b lead generation tools you can’t live without.

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