How to Transform Connections into Business on LinkedIn

Posted on January 11, 2017

When you think of social media marketing, the first name that comes to mind is Facebook, followed by Twitter and then the rest. But you also know that Facebook is relevant as a social tool to generate business when you are reaching out to your potential B2C customer base.

So what should you do when you have to reach out to your B2B audience and generate business leads, some of which may turn into revenue for you? According to new research by Forrester on Mastering Omni-Channel B2B Customer Engagement, 63% of B2B buyers are spending more time online in digital channels to search for services and solutions. The same report also shows that 65 percent of them are spending more on services that they’ve found through digital channels. The Forrester report further illustrates that for B2B sellers, 70 percent of their B2B revenues are being generated from digital and social media channels.

That’s where LinkedIn comes in. In a recent Regalix Research Report, State of B2B Social Media Marketing 2016, we find that 89% of B2B marketers have rated LinkedIn to be the most effective social media channel for reaching out to prospective clients. LinkedIn is not just a place where you set up your professional profile for networking; you can use your LinkedIn page for greater good: lead generation for business.

In a recent study of over 5,000 B2B businesses done by HubSpot, it was seen that LinkedIn is 277% more effective than Facebook and Twitter in converting business visitors to your site or page into effective business leads. Today we find that LinkedIn is a place where you can easily set up shop to reach out to potential clients and do business.

So how do you do that?

Follow a strategic connection plan: Once you have set up your company and services page, use the advanced search option in LinkedIn to pull out the demographic you want to target with your business pitch. LinkedIn today has an amazing database of business professionals across the world in any specific industry segment. Once the advanced search pulls out the business professionals you would like to focus on, start connecting with them. If you are serious about reaching out to professionals who might be interested in your service, you might consider upgrading to a LinkedIn Premium account. This gives you better access, and you’ll be better able to plan your campaigns. With a premium account, you can even message your target audience directly.

Get in the group: If you want to both be heard and to hear what like-minded professionals and the business community are talking about, then join the LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your business. Once you join a group you’ll be able to send out more targeted messages to people who would benefit from your service, who aren’t already in your connections list. The trick is to join groups where your current prospects are; the kind of audience who would be interested in knowing or using the services that you are offering.

Be relatable and use personalized messages: Once a connection is made with business professionals or companies to whom you want to offer your services, reach out to them with personalized messages. One of the biggest mistakes that many professionals or service providers make when offering their services is to send out a generic mail to everyone on their list. LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to understand what your target audience is actually doing. Study their profiles, follow the content they consume, and see which discussion forums and groups they are a part of. Develop appropriate messaging based on that understanding,. This personalized touch shows that you are truly offering a solution, and not just promoting your products or services. Make sure that your messages link the audience back to your company’s LinkedIn Profile Page. That way you can actually get people to come and spend some time on your page.

Make your page interesting and upfront: Once your target audience responds to your message and comes to your profile page, ensure that they see something that’s worth their while. While you still need to showcase the solutions or products that you are offering in your LinkedIn page, ensure that it’s not a replica of your corporate website. Instead, develop the page toward offering solutions to business problems that your target audience often faces, and what you or your company can do for them. Link those pages to your corporate site, where details are explained. Your LinkedIn page should also encourage customers to leave a message or talk about the problems they face, which might very well be the business lead that you’re looking for.