How to Use LinkedIn to Generate B2B Leads

LinkedIn is unique among big social networks as it is the only one to have single-handedly dominated its market. After acquiring services like news aggregator Pulse, presentation platform SlideShare, and online learning company Lynda, it has become the number one social media and content platform for business in the world.

Although you wouldn’t have expected it from its humble roots as a professionals networking site in 2003, this has been its plan all along. As Claire Austin, content marketing strategist for LinkedIn Australia, puts it, LinkedIn’s aim is to be the one place businesses go to “stay informed, stay connected, and learn.”

Today, 94 percent of B2B companies consider LinkedIn as their number one platform for content marketing. But as its metamorphosis to all-around-business-tool has swept somewhat under the radar, even out of these 94 percent, only a staggering low proportion know how to use the platform to its full potential.

Much of LinkedIn’s untapped potential lies in B2B lead generation. With currently more than 500 million users and 13 million company pages, the site is a goldmine for finding new prospects and building long-term relationships.

Here are three tips for turning your LinkedIn presence into a lead generation machine.

Much more than a company description

LinkedIn company pages are typically nothing more than holding pages that contain stale facts and descriptions of what a business does. With a little work, though, they can be turned into efficient pipelines for funnelling prospects to your site.

As they aren’t places people hang out at for long, you want a bold header image that instantly grabs their attention and gets them reading. The description should then continue leading the reader into making an action, in this case, clicking through to find out more about your services.

LinkedIn only displays the first few lines and truncates the rest, so use the description to get straight to the point. Explain who your target audience is, what’s your USP or value proposition, and the solution/service you provide. Once the prospect knows they’re in the right place, use the rest of the space to drive the message home. HubSpot does this better than anyone, using their page as a central business hub for everything from recruitment to marketing advice, and often offering a specially made opt-in piece for LinkedIn traffic.

Showcase your company’s assets

Showcase pages are like branches of your company page that were created to promote individual brands. If you have areas of your business that are directly connected with a specific audience, they’re a great way to segment your LinkedIn traffic and leads.

The showcase page was designed for B2B marketing, and, as a result, has several advantages over the company page. For instance, a larger header, more recent updates, and more places for links. With eleven different product and service pages, the largest following, and the most frequent updates, Cisco are masters of the showcase page. Each page has a clear purpose, specific updates, and ties back to the main company page with consistent branding.

Be an active group member then leader

There are nearly 2 million different groups on LinkedIn, from digital marketing to circus professionals. If a business has something to share or say on a particular subject, a LinkedIn group is the place to do it.

As LinkedIn ranks groups according to their level of activity, you want to join and participate in groups with the most going on. Not only will this mean more exposure for your posts and brand, but you’ll learn what it takes to build a successful group of your own — the ultimate way to attain thought leadership.

The other major advantage of groups is that you can message members without being connected or knowing their details. Use this feature wisely as LinkedIn is notorious for spammy messages, but if you’ve already established yourself as an expert in your space, then it’s sure to work a charm.

Joseph Pennington is a freelance writer and long-term traveller from the North of England. Find him on Medium exploring remote working, technology, meditation, and everything in between.