By Kristina Jaramillo and Susan Tatum
While social networking sites are dominating both the social and business scenes, it can be difficult to tell exactly which social media is best for IT lead generation purposes. Until now.
Data is rolling in from unbiased resources – such as Hubspot – supporting what top sales people have known for a while – LinkedIn is the most effective social network for IT lead generation. In fact, according to the Hubspot research, LinkedIn’s visitor-to-conversion rate was 4X better than Twitter and 7X better than Facebook.
So, why is LinkedIn so much better for IT lead generation?
Reason #1 – Lead quality
The reason LinkedIn is a better IT lead generation tool than Facebook or Twitter – has nothing to do with the quantity of the leads and everything to do with the quality of leads. Simply put, more buying decision makers are on LinkedIn and they’re interested in making buying decisions.
LinkedIn currently has 200 million professional members consisting of high level executives like CEO’s, President and Vice Presidents. In fact more than 80% of LinkedIn members influence business decisions at their company and there are more than 3.2 million CEOs, Presidents and Vice Presidents who actively use LinkedIn. There are also more than 4.4 million SMB professionals, 3.8 million financial service professionals and 3.4 million technology experts on LinkedIn.
This means that when you are dealing with LinkedIn members you are dealing with strictly high-caliber business professionals.
Reason #2 – Unlike other social media sites LinkedIn is exclusively focused on business activity
While a site like Twitter can help you keep connected and up to date, it takes much more effort to establish a relationship with someone on Twitter and you don’t have the opportunity to build much trust. Visitors driven to a website or landing page from Twitter generally know less about you and tend to be less interested or willing to make a conversion step than are visitors coming from LinkedIn.
Sales people know this. They may occasionally catch a tweet from a prospect or customer that gives them valuable information to use during a call. But for the most part LinkedIn will be their go-to source of info as LinkedIn users are all there for the same professional purposes:
- To build and cultivate profitable relationships
- To get the information they need to develop relationship without getting the distractions and “social” noises that are found on Twitter and Facebook.
Reason #3 – IT buyers find the information on LinkedIn is more credible than Twitter and Facebook.
Compared to other social networks, LinkedIn members have more trust in the in professional information they receive. According to a Forrester / ResearchNow survey, IT decision makers not only visit LinkedIn more often than they visit other social networking sites, they “overwhelmingly agree that LinkedIn delivers on trust, efficiency, relevance, and access”.
Reason #4 – LinkedIn offers marketers the opportunity to engage in conversations with prospects that are in need of solutions they can provide.
The same Forrester research we’ve already mentioned found that IT buyers are looking for information on LinkedIn at every stage of the buying process. By answering questions, offering thought leadership advice and value and starting thought provoking conversations in the numerous LinkedIn groups where prospects are going to for solutions to the problems they are experiencing right now, IT marketers build their brand and stand out as industry leader.
What more can you ask for then having a massive amount of prospects all in one place telling you exactly what they need, and looking for your insights and support?
Reason #5 – LinkedIn gives you the ability to segment your network of connections
By placing your connections into different categories you will be able to better communicate with them. You can be sure you are providing relevant content to the right people.
For example, we make sure to segment all of our new connections. We have tags such as prospect, referral source, media and speaking opportunities. For clients we often add VARS or partners or funding sources. This way, we can be sure to send the appropriate message to only the people that need to read it.
Reason #6 – Facebook is a hit or miss.
You can spend hours on Facebook looking at Facebook profiles, timelines, groups and commercial pages only to find out that people are on Facebook for personal – not business – reasons. This is especially true of IT and business software buyers.
On LinkedIn you can be sure people have created their account for a business reason. They may not need your product or service right now; but if they do, they are much more receptive to your attempts to connect and establish a business relationship.
Reason #7 – LinkedIn’s interconnected networks of both people and organizations make your lead generation efforts more effective
LinkedIn is about creating interconnected networks of both people and organizations. If you search for a particular company you can just as easily find the company’s CEO as well as the company itself. This will give you the chance to learn the company’s hierarchy and structure so you will be sure who you want to want to connect with. Try doing such a detailed search on Facebook and Twitter.
What are your thoughts and experiences on LinkedIn as a lead generation tool? If you haven’t been using LinkedIn to build and maintain relationships with prospects, we suggest you grab our free special report and see the opportunities you are missing at: http://www.theconversioncompany.com/linkedin-report-12-critical-mistakes/
Or, even better, join our teleseminar on Now to Use LinkedIn to Influence IT Buying Decisions. Click here to register.