LinkedIn is by far the most important social media network for business, allowing you to reach out to influencers and to connect with fellow professionals, with a reach of more than half the working population of the UK. We are all aware that the LinkedIn network allows you to build relationships and to connect to people that might be of interest, but not everyone is aware of the many other tools in the LinkedIn arsenal.

Here are our top 5 things you can do with LinkedIn in order to support your B2B marketing efforts.

1. Influencer marketing and thought leadership

LinkedIn allows you to position yourself as a thought leader in a particular industry. The way to achieve this is by providing high-quality content, improving your personal profile and participating in LinkedIn communities and answering questions. The main purpose of LinkedIn is networking, so use it not only to influence, but also to identify and engage other influencers.

Create an engaging company page as it will be useful not only for generating leads but also for attracting partners and potential employees.

2. Lead generation

LinkedIn is undoubtedly the best social network to generate leads within the B2B market. Sharing interesting content is great, but you should be providing readers with ways to download relevant information and utilising LinkedIn tools to drive traffic to relevant sources. LinkedIn offers several ways of identifying potential leads, engaging them and turning them into customers, as well as potential advocates. If you are serious about lead generation then invest in LinkedIn Navigator and take advantage of the training provided.

Other key elements to getting the most out of LinkedIn are to analyse your content’s performance and engage with other relevant company or individual’s posts. By doing these things you will gain an insight into what content prospects are interested in, and what sort of questions they are asking, which will in turn give you an insight into how your offering can be tailored to best fit the customers’ requirements.

3. CRM

A lot of people are not aware of the ways LinkedIn can be integrated into other solutions to add customer insights. Simple Social CRM applications can be utilised such as ‘connecters’ for Outlook, as well as other social media or marketing CRM solutions that also offer integration with LinkedIn through various API’s. In addition you can also set up a basic integration of your contacts from Google (Contacts) directly into LinkedIn. A benefit of a social CRM tool is that it allows you to see what your contacts are doing on LinkedIn in real-time, offering valuable additional information on their behaviour and preferences. When targeting a contact, LinkedIn itself allows you to see this information in its own environment.

4. Sharing and driving traffic

LinkedIn has a social sharing button that enables you to share content in your status updates and in LinkedIn Groups (communities) that you are a member of. This works especially well for business-related content and can lead to a ‘viral effect’ if the content resonates with the readers and they then share it again. Business content is generally shared more often via LinkedIn than other social media platforms and is more likely to hit the right target audience.

When thinking about content and what would work, take a look at what people in your network are already liking and sharing, and then adapt your content to fit with the type that your target market are engaging with.

5. Listen and learn

LinkedIn is a perfect tool to listen, ask questions and gain insights into customer behaviour. Take time to report on your LinkedIn activity – learn what works and what doesn’t; what your competitors are doing and how you can adjust your marketing to gain a competitive advantage and better support sales.

Tim Hymans

Author Tim Hymans

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