If you still think of LinkedIn as a job hunting / recruiting site or you think of it as just another social media network that doesn’t work for software company marketers, I’ve got news for you. Big changes have occurred. Did I say big? I meant HUGE.
Just look at these numbers. This info comes from a variety of sources including Neilson Online, UTM, Gartner, Forrester and LinkedIn itself.
A motherload of the right people
As of January 2013, LinkedIn has 200 million members and it’s estimated that a new person joins LinkedIn every second. Current members include:
- 2 million C-level executives
- 5.5 million technology managers
- 44,402 purchasing agents (as of this morning)
- Executives from all Fortune 500 companies
- 60% are either decision makers in their companies or have direct influence over key decisions related to product or service purchases.
- 88% of IT buyers use LinkedIn for professional use
Where else are you going to find a collection of buyers like this?
Not looking for jobs
Third party research also confirms LinkedIn members are there to connect, but not so much for job hunting especially at the higher levels. According to a survey conducted by market research firm Lab42 , here’s how 500 LinkedIn executives and middle managers used the network:
Image courtesy of the Lab42 study infograph
As you can see, your target buyers are likely on LinkedIn to make new connections, strengthen existing ones and keep up with what’s going on in their industries.
Are you beginning to sense those fresh opportunities?
Producing high quality leads
Relationships that begin on LinkedIn consistently turn into high quality leads. While an often-quoted research report from Optify found that Twitter outranks LinkedIn in amount of website traffic generated, the traffic from LinkedIn is more engaged. This same study found that visitors from LinkedIn on average stick around and view more pages on your website than those from Twitter or Facebook.
In a survey of its users, Hubspot found LinkedIn to be 277% more effective for lead generation than Twitter or Facebook. Website traffic driven from LinkedIn had an average 2.4% visitor-to-lead conversion, greatly outranking Facebook or Twitter.
Earlier this year the Wall Street Journal and Vistage surveyed small business owners about the effectiveness of social media for lead generation. LinkedIn topped the survey with 41% of respondents indicating it showed the most potential benefit for their marketing efforts. In the number two spot, YouTube was far behind with 16%, followed by Facebook with 14%.
From a personal perspective, I can tell you that our software clients are getting more and better leads from LinkedIn.
Without much real competition
At first glance it may look like everyone and their cousins are jumping on the social media bandwagon. And they are. For example, the Content Marketing Institute’s latest study found that 87% of B2B marketers are using social media to distribute marketing content and 83% of those are using LinkedIn. Sounds like a lot of competition, but the key phrase in that sentence is “distributing content”.
There’s more to lead generation than posting blog articles and status updates, and very few companies have figured out how to make it work yet. Ask a typical B2B marketer how many leads they’re generating from LinkedIn and they’ll talk about brand awareness and engaging in the community. Ask me how many leads our clients are generating from LinkedIn and I’ll give you numbers.
Want to know the secret?
If this article has peaked your interest in getting some of those fresh hot LinkedIn leads for your company, there are a couple of ways to learn more without too much commitment on your part. The first thing you can do is join my LinkedIn group, IT Marketing – Social Media & Content Marketing Practices for Tech Companies. Click here to learn more.
The second thing you can do is take a good look at this online report called 12 Critical Mistakes IT Marketers are Making on LinkedIn and How to Take Advantage of it. Click here to access that report.
If you’re really ready to get started and want some help to do it right, go ahead and request a free LinkedIn strategy session. Click here to send me a request.
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