Social media is one of those things… businesses know they should do it, but they are hesitant to invest resources to “do it right.”
I completely understand this perspective and agree. Like a website that never gets updated, a social media channel with zero engagement or activity reflects poorly on your company. People may wonder if you’re even still in business.
But, doing social media “right” is a time commitment. For this reason, businesses should choose wisely when considering which social media channels to use. You don’t need to be on all of them! Producing quality and engaging content takes time.
In this blog, I’m going to share some of the reasons B2B businesses should use LinkedIn as opposed to other social channels. LinkedIn is considered a network for business and career development. So, if your business offers products and services for a B2B audience or if you’re often looking to recruit professionals, LinkedIn is the place to be.
1. Sales opportunity
Sales professionals love LinkedIn. Why? Because it’s an easy way to see who knows who, who can make a warm introduction, and who may be the person to contact a prospective organization. A sales professional approaches LinkedIn as a pool of opportunities ready to be explored.
Like the company, the sales team should be highly active on LinkedIn. They can use this channel to promote thought leadership and the value of their organization’s products and services. Remember, a sales team member’s network can be exponentially larger than the organization's. This can be a valuable lever to pull for your content to be delivered to more people.
2. Strengthen the brand
If you meet a company at a trade show and they never follow up, will you remember its name a month later?
In the busy hustle-and-bustle world, chances are you won’t. Why? Because meeting someone one time without a later conversation doesn’t typically result in a long-lasting relationship.
Now a different scenario – if you read an interesting article on LinkedIn, started to follow the company, and were continually intrigued by their perspectives, how long until you consider yourself a fan?
In this instance, as long as the company continually provides value to you and professionally presents itself, you will most likely remember them…and even name-drop them to others.
This is how LinkedIn helps to strengthen a brand.
The information you post, whether thought leadership, engaging and sharable content or other valuable tools and resources, can carry a brand for miles. Consistent communication through social media helps a customer get to know you enough to form an opinion. If that opinion is positive, then it gets shared with others.
3. Industry recognition
If you choose to participate in LinkedIn, make the most of it. This means joining topical groups, sharing insights, conversing, and reacting to others.
Also, by sharing thought leadership and tools with your LinkedIn audience, you can make a name for your business as a knowledge and expert resource.
Valuable types of content include:
· Case Studies
These content types are highly shareable and can help grow an audience of followers.
4. Humanize the company
Marketing experts have defined B2B and B2C audiences differently for many years. They would advise that emotional marketing tactics did not work for a business audience and that business marketing should focus solely on the business. Where this advice misses the mark is that the customer is still human, whether you’re selling a business or a consumer product. The customer is looking for a solution to a problem that needs solving.
When you participate in social channels, it is an opportunity to humanize your business. To connect with human buyers differently.
For instance, using humor, sharing stories, and highlighting the human benefits of your products and services. Out of today’s content marketers, 88% prioritize the customer’s needs over selling when they write and distribute content. The goal is to become a trusted and credible resource.
5. Employee recruitment
Employee recruitment is another major reason to choose LinkedIn as your company’s social channel of focus. If you have high levels of turnover and find yourself constantly searching for new talent, LinkedIn is the place to be. Yes, you can post positions. But, you can also inject culture into your business profile and posts. By doing this, you can help potential employees see what your business has to offer them.
Do you celebrate employee successes, such as anniversaries and promotions? Do you promote volunteerism or sustainability? Do employees engage in learning events?
Recruitment is as much about selling your company to potential employees as it is about them selling their qualifications to you. The job marketplace is very competitive, so use your LinkedIn profile to your advantage.
Like other marketing channels, using LinkedIn effectively requires a strategy. If your goal is to grow followers, great! What kind of followers are you looking for, and how many do you want? How will you attract them? Set SMART goals and measure progress.
The truth is, and I’ve experienced this myself, without established goals, strategy, or even a process to follow, the chances of successfully maintaining a social media presence will be more difficult. To gain the most benefit from a LinkedIn presence takes consistency, planning, and commitment.
If you want help outlining a LinkedIn strategy for your business, reach out! I can help develop a professionalized and SEO-driven profile and guide a posting strategy.
If you found this article helpful, connect with me on LinkedIn for more marketing-related thoughts.