How To Target Your LinkedIn Connections With Facebook Advertising

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Mike Moynahan

LinkedIn has come a very long way since Microsoft acquired them in 2016.

If you want to promote your product or service to B2B decision makers in a business mindset while consuming information, LinkedIn Ads (combined with messaging) should be your go-to channel.

We all know how valuable our LinkedIn connections are.

Today I’m going to show you how to use Facebook Ads for LinkedIn retargeting purposes. In other words, how to advertise to your LinkedIn connections using the Facebook ad platform.

Why you would want to do this:

1. Integrated Approach.

Being in front of your prospects on multiple platforms goes a long way toward getting your prospects to convert into leads. This integrated LinkedIn retargeting approach will combine your LinkedIn activity, LinkedIn groups, direct messaging, and status updates with the powerful Facebook Ad platform. This familiarity with your company will increase your ads CTR (click through rate) and therefore drastically decrease your CPA (cost per action). Essentially, getting more leads for LESS money.

2. Precise Audience.

Your LinkedIn network is comprised of your most valuable and important prospects. LinkedIn allows you to reach out and connect with laser focused accuracy. You could find CEO’s of E-Learning companies in San Fransisco, who are interested in connecting for new business opportunities. That’s some pretty serious targeting. You know your prospects are on LinkedIn…Well, they are on Facebook too, but they are just take a little more work to get to them. Having this precise list of potential clients and customers is too powerful to let it go to waste. Use this strategy to put another call-to-action in front of your prospects and nurture them further down the lead generation pipeline.

3. Establish Credibility.

While anyone can reach out to their connections on LinkedIn and run a Facebook ad campaign as two different strategies, there is a certain sense of credibility that you get when you are seen on both platforms, without being obtrusive. This strategy involves building a relationship and then reaching out directly on LinkedIn, then at the same time placing page post ads on the prospect’s Facebook newsfeed in a more subtle effort. The two strategies compliment each other very well, with LinkedIn being a more personal lead generation strategy and Facebook being where you use more professional advertising strategies.

Ok, I’ve bought into LinkedIn Retargeting. How do I do this?

While LinkedIn retargeting via Facebook is very complex in theory, it is actually easy to do. First, download a csv file of all your LinkedIn connections. To do this you need to go to the “Export LinkedIn Connections” page. Then export your connections into a CSV file.

Exporting

[IMPORTANT] Once you get your CSV file, you’ll need to delete everything but the email address column. This is the only information that Facebook will recognize, and for this particular use case, is the only information that matters. This is an opportunity to remove any connections that you DO NOT want to be a part of your audience on Facebook. All of your email addresses should be in column A. Your spreadsheet should look something like this.

We have officially gathered all the information that we need from LinkedIn. It’s time to take our CSV file and create a custom audience in Facebook’s Ads Manager and/or Power Editor (depending on which you use to create your Facebook ads). Once in the Ads Manager you want to create a “Custom Audience” from a data file.

Be sure to be specific when you name your custom audience so you know what it is when you are setting up your ad.

Almost there. All you have to do now is select the correct audience in the “Custom Audiences” section when setting up the targeting for your campaign.

It is important to note that not all of your connections will be available to target on Facebook. We’ve seen anywhere from 40%-60% use the same email for Facebook.

This is for one of two reasons:

1. They’re not on Facebook

2. Or they use a different email address than they used to sign up with LinkedIn

Even though Facebook will only recognize some of your connections, and they can be reached at a fraction of the cost of other advertising options.

Also, it’s important to realize that your ad should not try to directly sell these people. This is all part of the relationship building that you do on LinkedIn. Offer some free content, a video series, a strategy session etc.

The important thing is to opt in to something free. From there you can score your leads, get more data, track who out of your connections may be interested, and then connect with them.

For example, instead of immediately trying to sell something, try offering up a free guide that is related to what you do and that is of interest to your prospects. Look at every prospect who opted in for the guide, look for commonalities among them, and then try to get them on the phone and CLOSE. :). Give it a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised on the quality of leads that come from this strategy.