LinkedIn as a Prospecting Tool

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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