LinkedIn as a Prospecting Tool

Robot professor explains the essence of the concept of social media. Robotic artificial intelligence and modern learning system. Cyborg teacher pointer at black chalkboard. blue wall background

The term “social media” is often thought to be interchangeable with Facebook. The association is for good reason. Facebook is arguably the most popular social platform out there and used by businesses across every industry imaginable. But that doesn’t mean it holds the most value. Advisors casting their nets for bigger fish would be wise to invest some marketing resources into LinkedIn.

The social network for professionals offers ideal opportunities for prospecting and lead generation. LinkedIn has been named the most used social media network by Fortune 500 companies. This could be related to the fact that the platform hosts more than half-billion professional users worldwide. Broken down into smaller categories, this equates to:

  • 90 million senior-level influencers
  • 63 million decision-makers
  • 40 million mass affluent professionals
  • 17 million opinion leaders
  • 10 million C-level executives
  • 6 million IT decision-makers
  • 3 million MBA graduates

As you can see, LinkedIn is ripe with high-value and qualified prospects. All you need to do is connect with them.

Targeting LinkedIn Users

LinkedIn offers a robust and detailed targeting system. The platform allows you to build audiences from several metrics no longer available through Facebook. These include metrics like the industry in which they work, details about their company, education, interests, and job information (function, title, seniority, etc.). Use these in tandem with location (the only required targeting field) and demographic data, such as age and gender, for a more focused campaign.

Keep in mind that a narrowly focused campaign will be limited in reach. LinkedIn recommends avoiding using more than three targeting fields when building your audience. The size of your audience depends on the type of post you’re promoting.

  • 50,000 + for sponsored content and text ads
  • 15,000 + for message ads

Experimenting with your targeting criteria can lead to more successful campaigns over time. Try performing A/B tests when getting started with your campaign. Do this by duplicating your campaign and switching out one or two metrics to see which yields better results.

Posting to LinkedIn

The type of content you post will depend on the results you want from the campaign. Like any other content-based marketing effort, relevancy is key. Your content should be tailored to the intended audience. Sharing articles that your audience might find useful or informative is a good engagement tactic. If the shared content isn’t your own, offer a bit of analysis to add a personal touch to the post. Using images, infographics, and videos will increase organic engagement.

Keep these best practices in mind when posting to linked in:

  • Keep ad headlines under 150 characters
  • The descriptive text you use should be under 100 characters to avoid truncation
  • Larger images catch more eyes than thumbnails. LinkedIn recommends images that are 1200 x 627 pixels
  • Include a Call-to-Action that entices the audience to engage with your content

LinkedIn Marketing Stats

Numbers don’t lie. The stats below speak to the value LinkedIn can add to your marketing efforts.

  • LinkedIn is used by:
    • 50% of Americans with a college degree
    • 45% of professionals earning more than $75k a year
    • 33% of adults aged 30 – 49
    • 24% of adults aged 50 – 64
  • 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to publish content
  • LinkedIn users post 2 million articles, videos, and other pieces of content on a daily basis
  • Posts with images get twice as many comments as those without
  • Video posts earn five times as many comments
  • 80% of B2B leads on social media come from LinkedIn
  • InMail (LinkedIn’s messaging system) has a 300% higher response rate than email

Year-end Social Media Primer for Agents & Advisors

Social media marketing is an often-covered topic here on Marketing Corner. And for good reason. The world of social media is fast-paced and always evolving with constant internal changes and shifts in user demographics.

Agents and advisors need to prioritize the social media aspects of their 2019 marketing plans. Below is a brief look at four of the most commonly used platforms and the value each carries.

Facebook

Facebook is still the go-to platform for social media marketing. 2018 saw Facebook remove all “Partner Categories” from its ad targeting options. The move threw a wrench into the gears of many a business owner. Data gleaned from third-party vendors is no longer available when building a custom audience for ads and promoted posts. This includes income, tax bracket, and place of work. That said, Facebook still has a bigger user base than other platforms. And there are still plenty of ways left to reach those users. While you might need to get a little creative when targeting your ads, a strong Facebook presence is a vital part of any good marketing plan.

LinkedIn

The social network for professionals is an absolute must for agents and advisors. According to LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions Blog, the site hosts profiles for more than a half-billion users. Fortune 500 recently named LinkedIn as the most used social platform by companies. LinkedIn’s ad targeting options are more attractive to advisors trying to connect with those professionals. The platform uses detailed user info, such as their education, and job title to build custom audiences. To put it simply, LinkedIn is where the “big fish” swim.

Twitter

Twitter isn’t as valuable as Facebook or LinkedIn for prospecting and conversion. However, the “microblogging” site can be great for brand awareness and consumer engagement. Many use it to share blog posts, articles, or other relevant content. Keep in mind that Twitter moves fast. Tweet strategically and use relevant hashtags to keep them from getting lost in the mix.

Instagram

The jury is still out on the potential Instagram hold for agents and advisors. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform is more focused than ever on becoming a viable promotional tool for businesses. That said, Instagram users come for the visual aesthetic. Posts aren’t made to be text-heavy. And third-party software is needed to include clickable links. Additionally, Instagram has a younger audience than Facebook. Instagram overall probably isn’t the best place to find your target market.

Social Media Usage Stats 

The following infographics reveal important details about social media usage. (Source: Pew Research Center.)

Most used social media platforms
Social Media use by incomeSocial Media use by age

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