Lead generation is one of the holy grails of professional social media and you've probably encountered some of the rather dubious automated schemes on offer. However, online lead generation is real and it does work - and you can use LinkedIn and other social media networks to cultivate new business opportunities. But it's a little harder than some people would have you believe.
If you follow our guidelines, your LinkedIn company page could become a valuable tool as a passive and continuous lead generation channel:
1) Always include calls-to-action
You must, of course, remember to include a link to your website in the description of your company page. But you should also ensure that visitors to your company page don't get stuck with nowhere to go. Always provide a link in your updates, either to your homepage or somewhere else. You can include bit.ly links for easy tracking of clicks even if they link to resources beyond the realm of your website.
2) Make your stuff shareable
To get more eyeballs on your corporate LinkedIn updates, you should make them stand out. This means including an eye-catching image that relates to the update - and it's a very good idea to embed a a couple of relevant words in the image itself. This way, the message comes across even if the update is shared without the accompanying text.
3) Tailor your description for optimum visibility
This may seem insignificant, but do remember to take a look at your company page from a normal visitor's standpoint. Only the first couple of lines of your company description is shown by default. Visitors have to click the "Show more" link to expand and read the full description - and many don't bother.
You should author your company description accordingly and include the most important bits in the first sentence or two.
4) Employee advocacy and interaction
We've mentioned this before but it's so important that it's worth reiterating: Your employees play a super important role in leveraging the power of your company page. Remember to nudge them to like and share your updates - this can potentially give your updates a tremendous viral boost. Your staff probably know a lot of people within your line of business which means that your message will be seen by all the right people.
5) Pay up
Finally, LinkedIn also has a tool to help you generate leads. At a price, of course. LinkedIn Sales Navigator gives you deeper insights into possible leads, sales-oriented searching and even CRM-like functions.