LinkedIn is the go-to platform for making business connections and finding work, but also an ideal place for B2B companies to establish their presence.
But, what about eCommerce businesses? What if you are selling products to end consumers? Is LinkedIn a good place to be? Because it is business-oriented, isn’t LinkedIn a complete waste of time for B2C efforts?
This article will show you how, with the right approach, LinkedIn can be super useful for B2B or B2C eCommerce businesses. We will give you 5 proven ways to generate high-quality LinkedIn leads for your eCommerce business, showing you that even a more strict business network can be a lead goldmine for your eCommerce store.
Why is LinkedIn a good option for eCommerce lead generation?
Image Source: LinkedIn
As a business network, LinkedIn is a perfect place for B2B companies, eCommerce included. Growing a network of connections working at companies you want to sell to, creating content for them, and eventually reaching out is a tried and tested strategy of many B2B organizations and the main reason they prefer LinkedIn.
But what about B2C eCommerce stores? Does it make any sense to spend time on a B2B network?
Let’s face it, we all have limited resources, and if there are platforms such as Instagram where you can get to consumers more efficiently, why would you spend time promoting your brand in a business network?
People are still people
Even though most of us have fancy taglines and job descriptions on LinkedIn, calling ourselves ninjas and wizards, the truth is, we are all human.
A CEO of a large company still has desires, pain points, and feelings, and they have similar human needs to those working in their company. They probably have families and balance their work life with their relationships.
In other words, even though they are presented in a fancy business suit and have their company logo as their cover photo, it is the person themselves using the profile in their name from their computer or phone.
When you reach out to them, you are talking to a real person, not the company, no matter how high they are in the corporate chain. That is the beauty of LinkedIn and is also a massive opportunity for eCommerce businesses. I also recommend that you use chatbot for ecommerce to boost conversions!
The right mixture of B2B and B2C opportunities
If your online store sells top-of-the-line air purifiers, for example, LinkedIn is a perfect place to be. With your marketing efforts on this platform, you can generate leads interested in buying a purifier for their home and engage company representatives who want to purchase one for each office.
When managers see your post about indoor air pollution, they will likely think about their office first, not their home. They are responsible for their employees’ health, and the company is subject to random government inspection. Because they are already aware of the risks, your post can spark them to take action and consider bulk ordering air purifiers.
On the other hand, if an employee reads the same post, they might consider buying a device for their home. But, your continual posts about air quality’s impact on health might even lead to them recommending their managers to get an air purifier for their office.
As you can see, it can start with a single B2C sale but lead to a bulk B2B order and maybe even a retainer – someone will need to service all those purifiers.
Therefore, even if your focus right now isn’t B2B, posting content on LinkedIn can quickly turn out to be the game changer that pushes your business to the next level.
Build a hand-picked network
As a business network, LinkedIn allows you to create a customized network that will fit your products perfectly, as no other social media platform does. Because it is so easy to search for particular roles and to see all employees at any company just by clicking the “people” tab, you will be able to scout and connect with perfect candidates.
Once you start growing your network by carefully selecting people of interest, the algorithm will begin recommending similar connections and show your posts to contacts of those people whenever they like or leave a comment.
Plus, it is entirely normal, even recommended, to have several thousand connections on LinkedIn. That differs from Facebook friends, where you are supposed to add people you know in real life. But, it is also unlike Instagram followers, most of whom are often entirely passive and idle after they follow a business page.
If you develop a sound LinkedIn strategy, all of your team members will be able to boost each other’s presence and the visibility of your company page, making it even more likely that you all get noticed organically. Those that interact with your content the most are often ideal leads that can easily turn into customers of your eCommerce business.
5 Proven ways to generate high-quality LinkedIn leads for your eCommerce business
Now that we covered why LinkedIn is a great place to be for any online store, let’s get into the nitty gritty and how you how to make your eCommerce business stand out and attract leads:
#1 Optimized profiles across the organization
Image Source: LinkedIn Screenshot
The store page itself is important, and you should do your best to make it look nice and have all the essential information:
- The page profile photo should contain the company logo, which is visible in the search results and feed, so it needs to be prominent. But, you can be more creative with the cover photo and change it more frequently. It can display pictures of your products and important dates such as upcoming sales. You can even put photos of your employees from a team building or happy customers (with their consent).
- The tagline is often neglected but extremely important, especially if you are still building your presence on the market. Make it punchy and effective.
- The “about” part of your company page should contain the essential information, core values, and a bit of company background. If your company has a physical location or a central store, you can put it here, marking it on the map. Even though LinkedIn won’t display them as links, only plain text, you can place links to other social media pages and websites there.
Of course, you should create content related to your products that would interest your target audience. But, the problem is that optimizing the company page alone will not be enough.
First, you will reach a limited number of followers and only a small number of their connections, especially in the early stages when your store is still not that well known and you don’t have a big following. You must include your team members in the process to grow further.
Optimizing employee profiles
To get the most out of LinkedIn as a business network, all people from your organization should participate in building your brand presence there. Of course, you can’t and shouldn’t force employees to use their private profiles and post content about your company. But, you can incentivize them to do so, always leaving it up to them whether they will enroll or not.
It doesn’t have to be drastic – colleagues will use their profiles as usual. But, you should work together on writing eye-catching profile headings, maybe even have similar profile pictures with some of the store brandings. Their current role descriptions and “about me” sections can also contain information about your company.
That way, all your team members will show off your brand, making it easier to get noticed. If you encourage them to stay active on the network, like/comment/share each other’s posts and recommend connections to follow your company page, all of you will soon start dominating the top of the LinkedIn feeds. The result will be more followers on your company’s LinkedIn page and more potential leads you can get in touch with.
#2 Identifying and connecting with quality leads
Another powerful LinkedIn feature that is perfect for eCommerce businesses is the advanced search. With it, you will be able to connect with leads that are as close to your ideal buyers as possible.
For example, if your ideal buyer persona is Julian, 35, works at a startup, has a tech college degree, and is from Austin, Texas, you will be able to find people just like them easily:
- Locations – Austin, Texas
- Past company – Oracle
- Industry – information technology and service
In seconds, you will get many results that closely match the people you are looking for.
Image Source: LinkedIn screenshot
Moreover, once you start associating with your new connections and conclude that some of them are better leads than others, you can easily find more similar people. You can use the same criteria from above but filter down results even further by searching only through connections of a particular connection via the “connections of” tab.
Also, an excellent way to find quality leads is to use the “followers of” filter. You can search for popular influencers, CEOs, and members of some of your competitors with an active LinkedIn presence. That will help you find people eager to listen to what someone from your industry has to say, making it more likely that they will like your content too.
While this process of finding leads manually is a bit time-consuming, once you start doing it, the LinkedIn algorithm will begin learning. It will become better in recommending connections that are your potential leads. As time passes, you will see more and more of those in your “my network” tab.
#3 Creating helpful LinkedIn native content targeting your ideal buyers
Image Source: LinkedIn screenshot
Like other platforms, LinkedIn prefers native content, as it wants to keep people on its pages. Native content is a term that describes posting directly in the network itself instead of leaving links that take visitors somewhere else.
Whenever you post a link in the post, social media sites will limit the number of people that see it, as they don’t want people leaving their pages. That’s why you often see “link in the first comment,” as creators try to avoid the limitations while leaving a link.
LinkedIn lets you create plain text posts, add images, and embed videos, which is similar to platforms like Facebook, but it also has some very effective forms of native content:
- Share documents – LinkedIn presentations are excellent scroll-stoppers, as they take up much space in the feed and are interactive, requiring people to go through the slides manually. Plus, connections can always download documents you share and use them later. Ensure you leave your branding and information in the document, so they remember where they got it.
- Create polls – LinkedIn polls have an excellent reach and are also a form of interactive content. If you ask the right questions, you will boost your social media presence and get customer insights, helping you improve your store experience. Stimulate people to leave additional comments below the poll – those who vote and engage in the discussions are usually perfect leads to reach out to.
- Write articles – LinkedIn articles are an excellent way to showcase your expertise, and they rank on Google too. Try to be creative, and find business-related topics your target audience will find interesting. For example, suppose you sell fitness gear. You can write an article with stats showing how a healthy lifestyle improves work productivity and how big companies provide fitness benefits to their employees. The idea is to draw eyes to your brand, engage with the audience, and get in touch with potential leads later.
- Share newsletters – LinkedIn newsletters are a convenient way for your connections to subscribe to your content. Whenever you post something new, each of them will get a notification. Also, those who subscribe to and interact with your newsletter content usually are great leads.
#4 Reaching out to target prospects and building relationships
Image Source: LinkedIn
Producing content is important, but our goal is to find quality leads. The idea is to find connections who align with your target audience, make content that sparks their interest, and eventually build relationships by providing value that can lead to them becoming customers.
People who interact with your content are perfect candidates. If someone likes your posts regularly, answers polls, and asks questions in the comments, they are interested in what you have to say and aware of your brand. Reaching out to them won’t feel awkward.
It can be something as simple as, “Hey John! I see you like our workplace productivity and fitness posts. We have an article on our blog that explains how you can optimize your office space and make it healthier and more pleasant to work in. Plus, we are running a discount on our standing desks, so feel free to check it out and ask any questions you might have. Cheers.“
Pre-selecting leads, sharing quality content, and building a relationship takes time, but the eventual pitch will be much more natural and yield better results. Even if the person doesn’t become a customer immediately, they will keep enjoying your content and be more likely to convert at a later stage.
#5 Staying active on the platform
To achieve consistent results, you need to remain active on LinkedIn regularly. That is the only way to stay on top of the feed and get eyes to your brand and products.
That being said, creating a schedule and assigning each team member a specific role in content promotion is a good idea.
For example, your content writers should be encouraged to promote their articles. That will give them exposure, as their connections will see their writing skills, but it will benefit your company too. Use alternative tools from Trainual like Sweet Process to train your team into creating amazing content that is SEO friendly and generates quality leads.
Likewise, if you redesign a page in your store, your developers and designers can share it and ask connections for feedback. It will serve multiple purposes – your LinkedIn gains traction, you get more eyes on your new store page, and you might get honest feedback and uncover bugs you weren’t aware of. If that happens, notify the person that discovered the bug about the fix. If it was a significant issue, you could even send them a thank you card to show them you care about valuable feedback.
The idea is to have your brand name “out there” from multiple angles and with various participants. Company owners, executives, employees, and the company page should all produce brand-related content, directly and indirectly.
If your whole organization remains active on LinkedIn, people will notice it. Even if you don’t promote your products directly, the interest will grow, and connections will start engaging with your brand, automatically marking themselves as potential great leads and candidates to reach out to.
LinkedIn Lead Generation mistakes to avoid
We have covered what you should do to attract quality leads to your store. Now, we will mention a few big nonos that can ruin any chance of making a good impression instantaneously and forever:
Connection request pitch
One of the best ways to ruin your chances with potential customers is to pitch them straight in the connection request. We have all seen those “Hello sir, we offer guest post and link building services, 5000 websites…” messages, immediately followed by the ignore button.
Similarly, pitching a lead immediately after connecting isn’t recommended. You can make an exception if that lead interacted with your public content and previously followed your company page. But, in general, it is a much better way to go through the process described in this article and establish a value-based relationship before making any direct moves.
Low-quality content spam
Image Source: LinkedIn Screenshot
We have discussed the importance of posting regularly, as well as the benefits of LinkedIn native content such as polls and presentations. But, the focus is on quality + frequency, not just frequency.
Therefore, don’t spam low-quality content only because it can draw likes. We have all seen those “should internship be paid” posts, those “Do you agree” polls with “Agree” and “Disagree” as the offered answers.
This content type gets likes and replies from random people all across the globe who have nothing to do with your target audience. Those likes are meaningless, as they will be impossible to analyze, and reaching out to random individuals to offer them your products will be a complete waste of time.
It is much better to put targeted content. Even if it gets fewer views and interactions, those that engage with it are more likely to be the leads you are looking for.
Treating LinkedIn as Twitter/Facebook/IG
Your focus should always remain on getting more leads to your eCommerce store with your LinkedIn efforts. But, to do that, you need to follow unwritten LinkedIn rules, as it is a business network.
That means you should avoid promoting non-business-related content as you would share on your personal Facebook page. Non-business-related memes, funny cat videos, harsh jokes, political opinions, inappropriate language, and pictures – leave those for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok.
That doesn’t mean you should only post “dry” content either. You can and should mix in some humor, but try to make the context business-related, as it is a business network.
Time to take action
LinkedIn, if used right, can be a lead generation goldmine for your eCommerce store. Our approach in this post takes time to show results, but if you follow it, it has massive potential to keep bringing in quality leads as long as you follow the necessary steps. But, your new LinkedIn presence won’t build itself on its own. It’s time to roll up the sleeves and put in the work!