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Tuesday, 27 January 2015 01:33

Using LinkedIn for B2B Marketing

A lot of our clients are B2B and we often get asked by our clients: What social media platform should we be using and why?, or even Why should we be using social media at all?

It’s true that not every business warrants a ton of social marketing. It’s really dependent upon your business goals. Some businesses can benefit more from Facebook, some more from Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest. An evaluation of your business and target market is necessary before dumping all of your social strategy into one platform, or spreading yourself thin by trying to exhaust every social outlet.

The one social media platform that we can confidently say is ideal for B2B marketing is LinkedIn. There is often a misconception that LinkedIn is specifically for posting jobs, finding jobs, or basic networking in the job realm, and although that’s somewhat true, LinkedIn has become much more than that in recent years. LinkedIn has many tools for businesses to showcase themselves, network to other business, and help drive traffic and interest to a company’s page and website. Towards the end of 2013, LinkedIn released showcase pages — dedicated pages that allow companies to highlight different aspects of their business and build relationships. Since then they’ve improved this feature, and have continued to create other tools that help companies network themselves.

Before we get into some tips and suggestions on how businesses can take advantage of the B2B marketing aspects of LinkedIn, lets take a minute to overview some basic LinkedIn user statistics:

LinkedIn has 107 million users in the US alone.

Over 40% of LinkedIn members check their profile daily.

The average time a user spends on LinkedIn monthly is 20 minutes.

LinkedIn receives 187 million unique visitors per month.

LinkedIn users are 56% male / 44% female.

Those are the basic need-to-knows. If you’re interested in learning more about LinkedIn’s demographic, visit this article: 100+ Amazing LinkedIn Statistics. Now, let’s talk about some ways to boast your business networking power using LinkedIn. Listed below are 20 basic tips and tricks you can use to maximize your LinkedIn presence, grow your network, and build your prospect list.

20 Basic LinkedIn Tips and Tricks

1.) Use the header image of your brand page to attract user interest. It’s the first thing users see when they land on your page, so it’s an easy way of prospecting for those who are interested in learning more about your services.

2.) Always make your ‘recent updates’ section clickable and conversion-focused. In the event that prospects don’t click through your company information section, you want to try to get them in the updates section.

3.) Have a clear and compelling pitch in your company description. you want to speak directly to your target audience, and invite them to convert.

4.) Keyword your content. Because LinkedIn profiles have great SEO they often deliver first page results. Since three quarters of B2B purchasers are now using social media as part of their buying process, you should expect that they will look at your profile as part of their decision-making process.

5.) Take advantage of LinkedIn’s advanced search tool. The advanced search gives you a great way of identifying the exact type of people or businesses you can target. Even without an upgraded LinkedIn membership, you have a great filter for narrowing searches. You can filter searches by location, current company, industry, past company, school, language, nonprofit interests, and more. The results are focused, and can give you a chance to connect with the right people.

6.) Save your searches. When you go through the work of creating a highly specific and targeted search, you should save it. Saved searches create an easy way to stay active in your prospecting.

7.) Make use of LinkedIn ‘Groups’. A great way to find blocks of leads is to search for groups, join these groups, maintain some level of activity in these groups, and nurture leads from these groups.

8.) Start new groups. One of the ways to get even more from the power of groups is to create your own and invite others to join.

9.) Always be publishing content. Post updates regularly and create articles occasionally. And with this, always be linking back to your website…

10.) Always be linking back to your website. Every other update/post/article is a chance to get people to your website, where they will hopefully become a conversion. And vise versa:

11.) Make sure you are using the power of LinkedIn on your own website. Include options throughout your site to visit your LinkedIn profile and use links on pages and blogs to link to relevant pages and articles published on your LinkedIn.

12.) Be sure to add value with everything you’re doing. Avoid cheap promotional tricks, spammy comments, and over self promotion. There is no bigger turn off than constant shameless plugging, and you will quickly lose any social media traction you have managed to amass.

13.) Don’t be afraid to use the LinkedIn Ad Network. If you’ve already established that many of your potential customers are on LinkedIn, why not extend your reach? If you’ve ever used Google AdWords or the Facebook Ad Network, then LinkedIn advertising should be a cinch.

14.) Focus on building relationships. LinkedIn immediately identifies people with common agendas. Make sure that everyone at your company has a LinkedIn profile, has connected to your business page, and has optimized their profiles to tell your company story, or share your value proposition with their network.

15.) Build connections using the ‘People you may know’ feature. It’s a quick way to connect with tier 2 connections. If there is someone who you think would be useful to know, ask a tier 1 connection to introduce you, or simpler still see if they are a member of any of the same groups as you.

16.) Use LinkedIn ‘Answers’. Search for questions that people are asking in your field of expertise and take some time to answer those questions helpfully. Then ask that person to connect. If they say yes there is a good chance you have a lead.

17.) Try using LinkedIn Premium. Your competitors are likely using LinkedIn Premium in order to power up their ability to source contact information and search for potential leads. You might as well pursue this feature instead using the free LinkedIn option with limited social marketing advantages.

18.) Always be conversing. Engage in conversation with your customers through messaging and comments. This helps build the customer engagement to your business as well as an opportunity to get to know your customers’ profile and understand their needs.

19.) Rearrange your profile sections according to significance. You can arrange certain sections in your profile which is rarely done by LinkedIn users. For example: if there are important events listed like receiving honors and awards for your business that can give a strong impression to your audience, you should place the honors and awards section to appear first in your profile. This can attract more leads to your business as people will get more curious about your business, products, and services.

20.) Connect your LinkedIn profile to your other social media accounts. If you have a Twitter account (for example) you can easily connect your LinkedIn profile to it in order to tweet the latest news about your business. You can also do so in other social media accounts that allow LinkedIn integration. If LinkedIn is your main social staple, it is easy to just pass your updates across other social media channels without having to do it manually.

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