CRM and LinkedIn : How to get the best of both worlds.

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Your customers spend  AT MOST 15 minutes/day on LinkedIn

On Linked In your colleagues and customers can read your blogs and updates on your company page. They will see some of your comments and shares in the timeline, and your discussions and contributions to groups. However it is a fact that is that most users spend less than 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn. So how can you be sure your followers will see any of your interactions on LinkedIn just because of the large amount of data to review and the small amount of time even the most committed LinkedIn users actually have to spend on the site.

Email marketing is still the most effective digital marketing tool.

Eventually you will want to talk to your linkedin followers by email. Email marketing remains one of the most effective lead generation tools, with a strong title and good content generating up to 40% open rates and upwards of 15% click throughs and sign-ups. So if you have a great offer or white paper, on a database of 30,000, an effective email can see this offer or white paper land in the hands of upwards of 300 customers in 24 hours.

Combine Email marketing and Linkedin  data for great leads.

So here’s the thing it is EASY to download the contact details of your LinkedIn contacts. You can then upload these new contacts into your CRM database, and merge them into an Email Marketing Campaign.

A word of caution – I am going to recommend you triage your LinkedIn contacts, and by triage I mean only add those contacts to your CRM who will benefit from your email message.  You have great products services and content for the right people you know that but incorrectly targeted and your service, product or content just becomes so much more SPAM!

Social CRM: How to Download your contacts from LinkedIn.

  1. Open LinkedIn and in the horizontal navigation choose Connections
  2. Then click the Settings “cog” on the top right
  3. In the right hand panel “Advanced Settings” click “Export LinkedIn Connections”
  4. Select the file type required and click Export.
  5. Optional: When you save the downloaded file add today’s date. For instance add xxxx_28042014.csv as you Save into a new folder called LinkedIn contacts.

How to upload LinkedIn contacts into Really Simple Systems CRM.

  1. Log-in to Really Simple Systems CRM
  2. Optional: To add Keywords or other tags, open the file you have downloaded from LinkedIn, add column Contact.Source, populate column with descriptions such as: ‘LinkedIn contacts, Sally Dickson, 0414′
  3. Optional:  Triage – more about this below.
  4. Click on the Tools icon, top right
  5. Click on Import Data, top right
  6. Choose file and Select ‘Custom’
  7. Select ‘Continue’

Now your CRM is truly a Social CRM, since it includes the details of your most important Linkedin contacts.

 Triage: Targeting the right people in your LinkedIn network

Earlier on I spoke about the importance of not contributing to the great mass of SPAM content that we all receive everyday. Let’s be clear about this, if your content is not actionable  and enlightening to the person who receives it – it is SPAM.

So before you upload all your LinkedIn contacts into your company CRM, I would urge you to spend some time looking at the data you have just downloaded.  The .csv file you receive from LinkedIn has 58 columns on information. On my personal download, 5 columns are populated with content they are:

Name, Surname, Email, Company, Job Title

If you are looking at this content in Excel the Data Sort button is very useful.

  • If you sort in A-Z order by company name, this will help you identify companies you know which have no interest in the products or services you plan to offer.
  • If you sort in A-Z order by job title, you have a second chance at finding people who will be interested professionally in your content.
  • Finally, just look down the names, afterall most of your LinkedIn contacts will be friends and colleagues, just picture them at their desk  then ask yourself: Does this person want to receive my promotion/newsletter/whitepaper today?

Combine CRM and LinkedIn: a formula for successful leads

Being active on LinkedIn posting updates, joining discussions, maintaining your company page, will result in you making good contacts within your industry and a good impression on new customers. The ability to bring these contacts into your CRM system and part of your Email marketing campaign is a great next step with a strong probability of converting contacts into customers.

Really Simple Systems CRM is a cloud based CRM system with integrated Email Marketing. Importing LinkedIn contacts together with careful triage so you only connect with potential customers can be a very effective lead generation tool. This may be painstaking but it is the best approach to CRM and LinkedIn

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About the Author

Sally Dickson

Sally Dickson

CRM, Brands, Digital, Ecommerce