In a recent study of 5,000 B2B and B2C businesses, HubSpot found
LinkedIn was 277 percent more effective at bringing in leads than Facebook and Twitter, with a whopping conversion rate of 2.74 percent.
Yet, many businesses ignore LinkedIn.
This under-used tool offers businesses the opportunity to create real results, but many organizations don't use the network to its full potential.
Follow these tips to squeeze more marketing juice out of this major social network.
1. Products and services tab
LinkedIn's products and services tab is a feature of its company pages. This tool allows a business to naturally feature its products and services. Within the tab are multiple opportunities to link directly to internal pages on your website, such as product pages or demo landing pages. You can encourage viewers to recommend your products and leave testimonials.
Get started: Activate your products and services tab and add five products. You will see further customization opportunities once you add five products, including the opportunity to feature a specific product. Drive traffic to that page from other social networks by posting about it—with a link, of course. Why not encourage your customers to recommend one of the products in your post?
2. Audience variations
Another component of the products and services tab—and not available on any other social network—is the ability to create variations of your page to target specific personas.
For example, you can define a persona based on LinkedIn profile information, and create a variation of your products and services page to resonate well with that specific persona. This tool allows you to display the information and products most relevant to your viewers, and thereby increase the likelihood they will click through to your website.
Get started: Create two personas based on your main target audiences, and create custom products and services pages that are relevant to those personas. Monitor your results with custom tracking tokens.
3. Status updates
Status updates are a familiar social tool for marketers, since they post them all the time on Facebook and Twitter. An update is a post that typically includes a link and a photo, and is a great way to drive traffic to your website. Unfortunately, many marketers don't invest time in LinkedIn status updates, even though the opportunity to do so largely contributes to the strength this channel can provide to your marketing.
Get started: Post status updates regularly, and measure how well they drive traffic and leads to your website. Not sure what to post? Consider using the questions your customers regularly ask as fodder for your updates.
4. Company page statistics
Data, data, everywhere! Do you look at your LinkedIn data? As you use your company page more, you should measure engagement and track who visits your page. This data will help you determine whether you're attracting the best audience for your business.
Get started: Visit your company page statistics and look at how many people visit your page each month, the job roles and industries of your visitors, and the tabs they view within your company page. Decide which metrics are most important to your business, and track monthly growth.
Bonus: LinkedIn offers great data for LinkedIn groups as well. The data is public to everyone, not just the group's owner.
5. LinkedIn ads
There's nothing wrong with using some paid ads to support your organic efforts. Just make sure paid efforts aren't your sole focus! LinkedIn has a self-service ad product you can use to target specific personas and drive visitors to a landing page on your website. HubSpot has seen a significantly lower cost-per-lead for LinkedIn ads compared to other paid channels, so it's worth a controlled experiment for your company.
Get started: Go to https://www.linkedin.com/ads and set up a limited campaign that drives visitors to a specific landing page on your website. Dedicate a small budget to a campaign test. Use tracking tokens to track the visits and leads the campaign creates, and then decide whether to continue based on performance.
When you start using these tools, make sure to measure the change in your traffic, leads and conversion rates over time. Do you see a similar conversion rate as the one in this graph?
LinkedIn's variety of useful tools makes it a fantastic channel for B2B marketing and an effective way to drive better business results. Experiment and see how much value you get for your company.
Which LinkedIn tools do you use?
Rebecca Corliss is leader of the social media lead generation team at HubSpot. Follow her on Twitter @repcor. A version of this article originally appeared on Social Fresh.