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Social Media Outreach Series: Connecting With Prospects Via LinkedIn

By Darren Pierce on Apr 3, 2014 6:00:00 AM

We close our social media outreach series by discussing LinkedIn.

I saved the best for last on purpose because I think LinkedIn is by far the most effective way for B2B businesses to connect with prospects.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are still useful in the right situations, but LinkedIn should be your go-to social network for B2B connections.

Here are three things you need to consider the next time you reach out to prospects on LinkedIn.

1) Target Influencers

When you’re using social media to generate B2B leads, you have to find the people that actually make the decisions. You may even need to contact multiple people within a business to close a sale.

It’s not impossible to find and target influencers within an organization using Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, but why waste the time when LinkedIn makes this kind of research easy.

Use LinkedIn to search and segment your connections based on where they are in the decision-making chain.

2) Sneak Past Gatekeepers

Let’s be realistic—you aren’t the only one trying to reach these decision makers. Influencers often get bombarded with email and phone calls, and they have to screen these messages to protect their own time.

When the decision maker is well protected, you can use LinkedIn’s InMail to get a digital foot in the door.

InMail allows you to send an email to any LinkedIn user without an introduction, and LinkedIn claims using InMail is 30 times more likely to get a response than a cold call.

3) Reference Relevant Information

Your prospects’ LinkedIn profiles are chalk-full of valuable information--which offices they work out of, what projects they are working on, and who they are working with.

Use this information to make your InMail message as relevant as possible. The better you can appeal to the specific needs of your prospect, the more likely he/she will respond to your inquiry.

When have you used LinkedIn to reach a B2B prospect?

Tell us about it in the comments.

Darren PierceFounderetailinsights

Image: Flickr

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Written by Darren Pierce

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