According to a recent survey from OneSource that eMarketer published, the most effective social network for prospecting new clients was LinkedIn, which rated 3.1 out of 5 for effectiveness, compared with the ratings of 2 for blogs, 1.9 for Facebook and 1.8 for Twitter.
As a result of LinkedIn’s effectiveness, more companies are beginning to use this business-oriented site to help research and bring in customers as qualified leads. Specifically, the survey found that “nearly one-half of respondents said they were using the site more for prospecting and research than a year before.” At the same time, the survey cited data from HubSpot, which showed that “45% of North American B2B companies using LinkedIn for marketing had acquired a customer through the site.”
As more BtoB sales representatives and marketers turn to LinkedIn, companies need to do more than simply create a LinkedIn account for it to be an effective prospecting tool. They need to use the growing number of features LinkedIn offers to help reach out to, and monitor, prospective customers.
Chad Horenfeldt’s article provides a simple, yet insightful list of top 10 tips for sales professionals and marketers to get the most out of LinkedIn “so you can stay on top of your customers and prospects and make it easier to be found.” These tips, listed in Horenfeldt’s recent post entitled “Top 10 LinkedIn Tips for Lead Generation,” include:
1) Add the Twitter LinkedIn application
2) Create LinkedIn answer feeds
3) Add the Tripit application
4) Make LinkedIn data easily accessible in your CRM
5) Customize your LinkedIn company page
6) Set up an industry LinkedIn group
7) Share content on LinkedIn
8) Have sales tailor their LinkedIn profiles
9) Follow companies of interest
10) Add the Google Presentation LinkedIn application to your profile
To learn more about the OneSource survey findings from eMarketer, visit http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007636. For more tips on using LinkedIn as a lead generation tool, read Horenfeldt’s post, “Top 10 LinkedIn Tips for Lead Generation.”