p>LinkedIn is a powerful marketing and sales platform, if you know how to use it. The social network for professionals has attracted 225 million people from more than 200 countries, and its users are increasingly engaged
LinkedIn users viewed 63% more pages on the mobile and desktop versions of the site in the first quarter of 2013 than during the same quarter in 2012. As a hub for professionals to network, LinkedIn presents tremendous potential for business-to-business (B2B) sales and B2B marketing professionals.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we analyse how to use Linkedin to aid in sales efforts and expand your list of leads, and how to develop and strengthen relationships with clients on the platform.
Here’s an overview of how to use Linkedin to boost marketing and increase sales:
- Ignoring the potential of social media for sales is a lost opportunity: 24% of salespeople using social media said they exceeded their sales quotas in 2012, compared to 19% of non-users, according to a survey of 511 sales professionals. Out of the 21.7% of sales people who do not use social media, the largest number (45% of the non-users) said they didn’t because they don’t understand it. And among all the respondents, 75% said they were given no training in the effective use of social media. If there is a single social platform sales people should understand how to use, it’s LinkedIn.
- Linkedin is a great tool for targeting leads: The power of LinkedIn as a sales tool is rooted in the access it provides to information about professionals — where they work, what type of job they have, and who they know. Senior decision-makers are a tough group to get through to, but LinkedIn makes it easier to identify and contact those sales targets. There are a number of ways to generate leads on LinkedIn, including reading company profiles, examining individual profiles, hanging out in Groups, and keeping tabs on your profile’s analytics.
- LinkedIn has helped marketers as well: LinkedIn has helped marketers by shaping its platform into a place where professionals can show off their expertise. Demonstrating thought leadership is a powerful mechanism for driving sales. Recent studies have shown that LinkedIn users are lingering on the site longer because of all the content being shared by experts via the Influencers program — a platform for industry leaders to share personal and professional lessons alike. If your business is not already managing a blog, you should start. LinkedIn users can target which “channels” of content they are interested in.
- Even if you are not one in the Influencers program, you can still market your expertise in other ways: It’s important to maintain a robust company profile on LinkedIn so current and potential clients can stay up to date on your services and offerings. By leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) tactics you can expand the visibility of your individual and company profiles. Groups on LinkedIn are a great way to increase your exposure among other sales and marketing professionals, as well as the industries you are targeting. And, of course, Linkedin offers targeted ad products that are a natural part of the user experience that can be used by marketers as well.
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