LinkedIn is designed for the business community, to help them grow and keep track of their networks and personal, but professional, connections. It is also important for job seeking. Linkedin itself still considers its primary goal to be a personal networking site for professionals, and as such, features for an individual user far outweigh the capability of a company page. Having said that, it is still worthwhile for B2B Marketing;
“LinkedIn drives traffic to B2B websites and blogs, 91% of B2B Marketers list it as their top place to find quality content and 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, compared with 13% from Twitter, the next highest social network.”
This means there are some key things to bear in mind as you start using LinkedIn for your B2B Marketing:
- LinkedIn is less active on a daily basis than Twitter for example with only 40% of users checking LinkedIn daily. The opportunity is still huge though with over 220m users.
- There are two places to post content from. An individual’s profile or a company page.
- Engagement with posts is harder to achieve so pay close attention to what you post and how you phrase it. Users are very conscious about what they put their names to: Does it match their professional opinion, do they want to get into a debate about it, will they be endorsing a competition, what will their boss thing, and so on.
- Recently, there has been a shift to thought leadership and professional content which means that business-focused opinion pieces are more suited to LinkedIn than light-hearted memes for example.
Company Page or Personal Profile?
The best answer to this is usually a mixture of both. Personal profiles are likely to have a greater reach, but are less associated with your brand. People also trust personal recommendations far more than a brand. However, Company pages are indexed by Google and therefore they increase your visibility on the wider web, they are free and straightforward to set up, allow for advertising and it is easier to recruit from a company page, so there are clear advantages to having one.
The ideal is that you share content via your company page, but your employees (particularly the employees with the largest networks) share those updates as well and support activity on the company page. This approach will maximise your brand voice and ensure the widest reach.
Boost your performance
Organic growth for a company business page is slow. A business can only post on their own page so all the brilliant content is only seen by existing followers, unless it is shared on a personal page. However, it is worth it to reach your B2B customers as LinkedIn drives 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites; imagine if you could harness some of that. Here are our top tips to grow your page and increase your visibility:
1.Optimise for social
Add social sharing icons and links to your company page on your website, blog posts, email footers and cross promote on your other social media accounts. Make it easy for users to share your content as their updates to expand your reach.
2. Pimp your page
Before focussing a lot of effort on LinkedIn, take your time to ensure that your company page is as good as it can be by, for example, ensuring all the information is up to date, adding engaging images, ensuring your ‘About us’ section is as compelling as possible with relevant keywords included etc.
3. Commitment from the top
To get your content shared as widely as possible, you will need as many shares, likes and comments from personal profiles as possible. Directors and senior management need to be engaged to do this. Add ten minute diary slots so it is not forgotten.
Company pages cannot join groups at present (although this may change in the future) so individuals would need to post and comment in relevant groups, representing and promoting the business. It is valuable to share content in groups because it not only appears in the group space, but also in summary emails. You can also set up groups of your own if appropriate.
Sharing and producing content is the only way to grow your company page. Created content is the most powerful on LinkedIn, as opposed to sharing third party content so you’ll need to devote some thinking and resource to this – a content strategy is a must.
Advertising will help increase the visibility of your content and potentially grow your page. But that is a whole other blog post…!
Do come and find us on LinkedIn and share your experiences with us