LinkedIn For Lead Generation: How to Use LinkedIn to Generate and Qualify B2B Leads

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Posted: January 18, 2012 | B2B Marketing, Lead Management

LinkedIn is often considered a jobseeker-only social media platform. As a result, B2B marketers sometimes overlook the professional social media site’s ability to support lead generation and qualification. LinkedIn enables brands to offer bite size chunks of content that support business objectives.

To better understand LinkedIn’s lead generation value, it’s useful to understand its usage patterns.

At first glance, LinkedIn’s main usage appears to be during the workweek across the U.S., with less activity on the weekends. This is in contrast to Twitter and Facebook, which seem to have the most usage and engagement during the weekends.

This makes sense since LinkedIn is intended to be a social network for user’s to stay connected with coworkers and colleagues, past and present.

Though statistics for the time of day LinkedIn users are most active is hard to come by, social media usage in general tends to spike during the workday between noon and 3:00 p.m. Daytime public profile viewing is highest at this time in the U.S. when people take a break, seek information online and connect with people to support their business needs. Its utility as a job search board contributes to its tendency for higher traffic during typical business hours.

Other usage patterns to consider for LinkedIn would be the people logging on to the site. As of July 2011, when the network had 119 million members worldwide:

  • 58.5% were male
  • 41.5% were female
  • 35.2% were between the ages of 23 to 34
  • 35% were aged 35 to 54

LinkedIn users are typically college educated, middle- to upper-class and with no kids. Popular industries represented here are in the tech and medical field, while common job functions of members are entrepreneur, sales and administrative.

Part of the reason many B2B marketers overlook LinkedIn’s potential is that they don’t realize the breadth of information available. To help you use this information about when LinkedIn users engage to maximize your lead generation and qualification activities, examine eight common types of content listed below.

The table below explains how each of the different forms of content can be used from a business perspective and a job seeker perspective.

LinkedIn Content Description How to Use Business Focused Content (During business day) How to Use Job Search Focused Content (During evening)
Personal profile. Present individual’s business credentials Gather insights on prospects. Qualify potential job candidates.
Recommendations. Provides insights about individuals and reflect on organization. Qualify potential business prospects. Gather insights about company. Pursue additional research on job candidate selections.
Status updates. Offer insightful tidbits about an individual or company Give insights into your organization’s capabilities, goals and internal culture. Give insights into prospective opening opportunities and qualification needs.
Links. Share useful content to wider audience. Become source of business information to attract connections. Show interest and knowledge of field.
Q&A. Collect input or give answers to questions related to your area of expertise. Share information to position an individual or organization as a thought leader. Position yourself as expert & display knowledge.
Groups. Be active and/or start groups to extend reach and connections. Increase reach and expand knowledge of participants Expand circle of contacts.
Company pages. Position organization. Provide evidence to help qualify company and/or employees in business interactions. Give background on organization.
Advertising. Extend reach with targeted ads Enables organization to target specific organizations or individuals based on range of segmentation options Provide opportunity to target message to specific types of job candidates with the right skills.

LinkedIn is a treasure trove of B2B content that can be used to support your organization’s lead generation and qualification activities. It requires rethinking how you tap into this content to maximize results for your organization.

How have you used LinkedIn content to support your firm’s lead generation and qualification efforts? Please share your insights in the comment section below.

Jason Miller is Senior Manager of Content Marketing at LinkedIn. Previously, Jason was Senior Manager of Social Media at Marketo and focused on optimizing social for lead generation and driving revenue. He is a regular contributor to leading marketing blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, and Marketing Profs.

Read Jason's Blogs

LinkedIn For Lead Generation: How to Use LinkedIn to Generate and Qualify B2B Leads

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