How to Use LinkedIn for B2B Lead and Buzz Generation.
I've had a series of conversations in the past couple of days which made me ponder. It would seem to me that the Art of LinkedIn for B2B is in danger of getting lost or forgotten.
Consider posts in LinkedIn groups or in the newsfeed. Those which simply consist of a link and a short bit of text. How many of these do we actually click the link on in a day? On average? Unless you are an avid reader, the answer is likely to be between zero and one.
How many Groups do we visit regularly which consist mainly or only of such posts? I have some inkling to the answers to this one because I have measured it. In the large Social Media Marketing Groups my posts made me Top Contributor for a sustained period of months. The total membership of those Groups is well over 1 million people. How many click thru's on the average post do you think this translates to? 1000 or just 0.1% of members? Nope. 100? No, closer to 10.
The shocking truth of the matter is that relentless mechanical posts to LinkedIn are unlikely to generate leads or buzz for B2B services. My suggestion is that we do need to post creative, thought provoking, edgy, new, emotive, passionate, rocking-the-boat, challenging-the-status-quo articles, because unless we are prepared to stand out from the crowd, we will likely be lost in it.
Unless we are prepared to post in the newsfeed, in the groups and in Publications, articles which exist entirely there on LinkedIn, without links, without the Calls to Action to "now look at my stuff elsewhere", then my experience shows me it will be a long, long road.
So let's now refocus on why we are on LinkedIn as B2B service providers. We are there to generate contracts, right? Nothing more, nothing less. We are not professional bloggers, we have no physical products to sell on our websites, no "buy now" buttons. We do not, typically, need thousands of customers. Many of us just need a handful. So we are not going to LinkedIn to try to drive views elsewhere. We do not care about vanity numbers like views, like and shares at all, in the final analysis.
LinkedIn has changed, but the goal posts have not. The answer to "How to Use LinkedIn for B2B Lead and Buzz Generation" is that which Jeff Molander calls generation of interest and curiosity. Right here on LinkedIn.
I think this very recent email exchange with Denise Hayman-Loa , CEO of Carii, analyzing why some independent posts I had written about the new platform generated a lot of buzz and attention for it, sums it up:
"...the reason things worked so well, is, I believe, because what I was writing and posting about was free form, genuine and independent, done with integrity, but also improvised and opportunity driven. It was as much about me and part of my narrative as just talking about Carii. I think it is very hard to fake any of that and that's why it stood out."
"Totally agree and that is powerful".