Since I wrote my blog posts about the use of LinkedIn for lead generation, a lot has changed. That’s not really a surprise. But you can no longer use LinkedIn for sending seemingly personalised messages, en mass.
Back in 2011 I had predicted that this type of lead generation activity would be much less effective by 2014 – and that the window of opportunity would close quickly. It has. That’s because more people are using the platform in a similar way to how email marketing became popular – but LinkedIn should not be used in a mass way, certainly not anymore. The ‘personalised’ message is being ignored.
So what can you do? Is LinkedIn still a viable channel for lead generation?
I think it is – although not as much as it was. But you have to be highly targeted, delivering an even more personalised message than ever before. Your message has to be both relevant and timely to the recipient.
The key change is that you need to find out much more about the business and individual that you’re targeting before reaching out to them through LinkedIn. If you can be proactive in the groups that they listen to, or are active in themselves, then this will help get your name above the parapet. Once you’re noticed, the recipient may have a cognitive reaction to your message and is more likely to respond.
Of course, you could use it more effectively by using introductions, or contacting people following the comments they share.
LinkedIn remains a powerful and highly effective lead generation tool for B2B marketing. But you need to apply true marketing best practice to make it work: the right message, sent at the right time, to the right person, with a personalised twist.