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In the realm of social media, LinkedIn has been around long enough to classify as an elder statesman. The service began in 2003, a year before Facebook, two years before YouTube or Reddit, three years before Twitter, and it was already celebrating its seventh birthday when Instagram came on the scene.

Now well into its twentieth year, LinkedIn has proven to be the most successful professional networking platform in the world. Today, the platform hosts more than 740 million members across more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. LinkedIn estimates that four of every five members on their site are responsible for making decisions at some level of their corporate hierarchy, so the appeal of connecting with this audience should be apparent to anyone operating a business-to-business (B2B) company.

A robust and active LinkedIn profile can be an effective, inexpensive way to build connections with other professionals who can serve as resources, provide valuable contacts, or – even better – become paying customers themselves!

Below, we’ll look at five reasons your B2B operation can profit from leveraging the massive network of business professionals who connect through LinkedIn.

1. Share Your Company’s Offerings

Establishing a company profile on LinkedIn is a simple process that allows you to create a highly visible presence that shares your company’s offerings, updates, and more with an audience composed almost entirely of professionals.

Your LinkedIn company profile allows you to:

  • Share your company’s updates and news
  • Post jobs and connect with potential hires
  • Build a community around your company
  • Grow and maintain a consistent social media brand
  • Improve your company’s SEO performance

In essence, your company profile posts can be an extension of your website. While your site’s content tends to be concise and focused on top-level value propositions to attract the widest audience, your LinkedIn profile’s audience has already self-selected to follow you and gain more insight. They’re the people who are interested, at least nominally, in your content. Using long-form content posts on LinkedIn, you can dive deeper into your customer’s pain points and how your products or services help ease them.

2. Build Reputation Among Your Customer Base

Your customers don’t just come to you because you sell a particular product or service. In a B2B setting, there’s little patience for trying out new things just because they’re new, and purchasing decisions have far more oversight than in a B2C setting.

To that end, your company’s reputation isn’t important; it’s foundational. If your potential customers don’t see you as an expert in your field, they’ll move to someone they see as more effective in that market.

You can build your reputation for expertise by combining your standard promotional content with regular, non-marketing-focused informational content. If your company sells automation software for manufacturing facilities, consider making regular posts around subjects such as:

  • Trends in automation systems
  • Commonly misunderstood concepts in the realm of automation
  • Emergent technologies that customers should expect to see in 3-5 years
  • Explainer articles providing deep dives into the workings of automation technologies
  • Case studies of existing customers who use one or more of your solutions.

These pieces should be focused much more strongly on educating the reader, with a significantly reduced focus on marketing or promotional-type language.

As you post more of this content, your high-quality posts will get picked up and shared, building your expert reputation and growing your network of connections!

3. Improve Your Targeting

Your marketing efforts will always be more effective the more effectively they’re targeted. By limiting your audience to only those users who can benefit from your products or services and only marketing to those people, your marketing budget will go further, your ads will have more effect per dollar, and you will spend less time culling out leads that are DOA.

Using LinkedIn for targeted ad marketing lets you get incredibly granular with your advertising parameters. Because the users themselves submit their own job titles and professional associations, it’s far easier for LinkedIn to identify correctly, for instance, “mid-level managers and procurement specialists for manufacturing concerns in the Southeastern US” than it would be for a more traditional social marketing or search engine marketing campaign.

LinkedIn also provides for effective market research, allowing you to easily perform split tests and other analyses to determine which market segments are highest performing and which might need a shot in the arm (or might need to be cut loose, depending on your results).

4. Effective Lead Generation

Your company’s website is like an open storefront where interested customers come together to view your products and services, only creating a personal connection after committing to at least a marginally deeper exploration of your products.

Your LinkedIn profile is more like a Chamber of Commerce meeting or a trade conference. You’re in a space with hundreds (or, in LinkedIn’s case, literally thousands) of people who may not need your services now but might later. Here, the personal connections come first, and the sales come later.

This is another place where an informational content strategy can pay off. If you’ve done a good job building a reputation as someone with expertise in your area, your name will come up in conversations between your connections and their connections. When the production manager at WidgetCo International needs an automation package and mentions it to his former boss at Widgets Plus, that former boss might remember – “Hey, I know someone on LinkedIn who posts about that all the time. Let me send you their name.”  Instant lead for a total cost of $0.

Want to send your B2B business to the next level with LinkedIn Ads?

Give us a call today and let our team of digital strategists show you the power of professional social advertising: 478-621-4491

Want to learn more about Social Media Marketing? Check out our Definitive Guide to Social Media Marketing!

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