Social media marketing has revolutionized the way we interact with our customers. If you are currently unaware of the power of this booming marketing tool, here are some things you should know:
- Over 80% of Americans use social networks1
- 27% of the time Americans spend online is dedicated to social networking2
- Marketers recognize social media to be the 2nd best way to generate leads after SEO3
- Over 64% of marketers saw lead generation improve as a direct result of social media use4
You cannot afford to ignore social media marketing. Today, with over 550 social networking sites, which one should you use for your organization and how? This is what we will discuss in this series of blog posts.
LinkedIn is the giant of social media in terms of lead generation. Over 75% of B2B marketers have been successful at acquiring customers through LinkedIn3. Contrary to other social networking sites, LinkedIn benefits from having a professional environment. It allows the user to reach out to decision makers and include them in their network.
While LinkedIn has been recognized to be nearly 3 times as powerful as any other social media site at generating leads, only 47% of marketers include it in their marketing efforts3. What half are you in?
Here are 3 ways to build your network and generate leads on LinkedIn:
Explore Your Network and Get Introduced
LinkedIn gives you the ability to get introduced to people that are not in your existing network. Identify the key decision makers you are trying to reach and find out if you are somehow connected. Soon, you will drastically expand your professional network and reach strategic prospects that you can now nurture and convert later.
Be Present and Active In Groups
Once you have identified your target audience and discovered their interests, engage in the various group discussions they might be involved in on LinkedIn. This is an easy way to initiate contact with your prospects and develop credibility for your brand.
Reach Out to Your Targets Using InMails
LinkedIn lets you send out direct messages to people who you are not connected with and guarantees a response within 7 days (if they cannot get a response, you will not be charged). Contrary to a traditional email, InMails are more likely to reach your audience, as the recipient has access to your LinkedIn profile and can judge your credibility for himself. The service is exclusive to premium members, and depending on your subscription, you are only allowed to send from 3 to 10 InMails per month.
In our next post, we will teach how to optimize Google+ for social lead generation.
How do you use LinkedIn for lead generation? Share your comments and replies on Twitter (@InvenioMS).
Photo by Dave Fayram