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October 2011
Getting LinkedIn to More Business Leads
By Kip Cozart

     Within the last year, the number of LinkedIn users has doubled to over 94 million users globally and more than 40 million users in the United States alone. With over 114 million visits in the U.S. each month, LinkedIn has clearly emerged as one of the most active online tools that can generate immediate, qualified sales leads for your company.

     And, while other social media outlets like Facebook may be better suited to market directly to individual consumers, LinkedIn is specifically positioned to help you establish greater business-to-business relationships. Isn’t time to fully leverage this free and powerful application for your business? Think “LinkedIn.”

 

Pursue a Combined Direct and Indirect Strategy… LinkedIn offers two ways to market your services. You can deliver information directly within your LinkedIn pages, by listing detailed service descriptions and pricing information, displaying photos of your product in use, posting downloadable sales and specification sheets, including recommendations from colleagues and customer testimonials, presenting press releases, and providing links to a location map.

     You can also sell indirectly by first attracting the attention of new customers on LinkedIn and then leading them to visit your own website or landing page for more information. Consider offering free product advice or a white paper addressing common industry questions or techniques. Announce webinars and self-help online surveys. Encourage eNewsletter subscriptions and invite prospects to submit free estimate quotation requests. The key is to establish your expertise through your presence and activity within LinkedIn and leverage your online reputation to drive leads.

 

Take Full Advantage of the LinkedIn Toolkit… Most users simply provide basic company and contact information through their default “Profile” page, but LinkedIn offers a much broader array of marketing tools if you only take the time to use them. Participate in LinkedIn “Answers,” where you respond to visitor questions related to your product area. Your answers begin ongoing dialogs that reinforce your expertise and often lead to new customer sales opportunities.

     Leverage LinkedIn “People” to request valuable online introductions with key decision-makers who work within companies where you would most like to secure new business. Requesting online referrals from both your direct and secondary LinkedIn network of connections can produce immediate and affective results.

     Join LinkedIn “Groups” to expand your circle of sales prospects. Participating in group discussions and online networking activities will broaden your reach and allow you to become an insider within targeted industries where your services are needed the most.

     Invest in LinkedIn “Direct Ads,” a cost-efficient pay-per-click advertising opportunity that operates much like Google AdWords and is particularly well suited for B2B marketers. Also, explore the “Applications” section, where you can additional lead generation tools, such as a blog or an interactive poll to your LinkedIn presence.

 

Create a LinkedIn “Company” Page... Once your employees have each created their individual “Profile” pages, you can add greater cohesion and boost overall online search engine optimization for your business by also creating a LinkedIn “Company” page to convey essential and consistent information about your brand, your products and services, your corporate history and achievements and more. Moreover, every associated link leading from an employee “Profile” page to your unifying Company page improves your visibility within LinkedIn searches and adds even more weight to your company’s overall SEO ranking within Google as well.

     Content contributed by CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company providing a full array of services to businesses and organizations to enhance and produce effective Web, email, multimedia marketing initiatives and business process improvements. For more information, contact Kip Cozart at 704-543-1171 or visit www.cccommunications.com/resources_articles.cfm.

 

 

Kip Cozart is CEO of CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company.
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