How Can LinkedIn Help Your Business
LinkedIn is one of the most popular social networks in the world. Whatever the person does in business – sales, business audit, statistical analysis, organization of various events, writing, or any other professional activity, LinkedIn has a great variety of tools to promote it. Since LinkedIn is a professional network, it is easier to discuss professional issues and to find B2B opportunities and offers here. Therefore, this essay analyzes and evaluates LinkedIn as a B2B social platform and overviews possible social media marketing strategies to promote personal business through it.
LinkedIn today is the largest professional social network in the world which connects together more than 467 million users from over 200 countries which encompass 128 million users from the U.S. (Smith, 2016). Moreover, LinkedIn includes the most famous Fortune 500 CEO's and chairmen of the worldwide companies (for example, Jeffrey Immelt (General Electric CEO), John Donahoe (eBay CEO and PayPal Chairman), Meg Whitman (Hewlett- Packard CEO), Muhtar Kent (Coca-Cola CEO), and many others) (Nanji, 2016).
LinkedIn as a B2B Social Platform
According to the "Social Media Examiner" data, LinkedIn is the most popular network among the B2B marketers (94% of them prefer to use LinkedIn to share the content) (Rynne, 2017).Moreover, according to the BI Intelligence report, LinkedIn is a leader in the utilization of behavior factors compared to other social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+) (see Figure 1) (Smith, 2013). Business-to-business marketers who use LinkedIn to find new clients and connections have a real chance to draw their attention due to its innovative marketing approach. Nowadays LinkedIn has a number of effective marketing features and advantages to promote your business from the B2B perspective.
Mutual Interests of Sellers and Customers to Start Conversations
One of the main actions of the LinkedIn target visitors of is to establish contacts and to build business relationships with other people. Secondly, it is important to receive expert assessment of relevant issues. Thus these targeted actions make it easier to convert a user's query into a useful contact and to offer personal advice, product or service from the position of expert and not the seller. The better a person will use marketing tools to communicate with potential clients from the expert positions, the fewer people will understand that they are influenced by the marketing strategy. Therefore, one of the most effective methods to promote personal business is to be active and useful for potential customers in the personal connections and groups.
LinkedIn Groups and Answers Feature
LinkedIn helps marketing specialists to popularize the company and to implement social marketing strategies. There is a wide array of LinkedIn groups, and some of them are narrow-industry oriented, and this appears to be very convenient for people to search for the most suitable groups related to their enterprise. The best social marketing occurs in the framework of comments and status involvement. Therefore, LinkedIn is a place to post industry important and relevant content that helps to increase the business credibility in the "eyes" of the possible clients. LinkedIn has recently opened up a brilliant opportunity for companies to promote an enterprise via company’s page features. This is a good place to represent a company or brand, highlight the peculiarities of business, disseminate information, and boost traffic back to the official website.
The LinkedIn Answer feature is an effective method to increase online authority and create personal credibility within the specified industry. Providing a useful and helpful answer for a possible customer will help to increase awareness of the person’s business and to gain more leads and sales for it. At the same time, brand awareness is one of the most important features of the B2B business, which will definitely spur companies to initiate the first contact more often.
The LinkedIn specialists have developed a very smart and innovative approach to the professional advertising. They created unique LinkedIn Ads that does not limit users’ activity to the standard segmentation and that is based on age, gender, location, and interests. LinkedIn allows the B2B marketing specialists to create and run advertising that can be targeted at different professional characteristics: industry, company size, location, job title (for example, to reach the CEO, owners, and directors of the companies), education, professional experience and skills, and many others demographical factors. LinkedIn is the only social network that provides such an individual approach for the professional advertising and creates high-level targeting marketing campaigns. In addition, LinkedIn allows utilizing the users' behavior advertising which is based on the cookie-technology. It helps to optimize the marketing campaign in the most effective way and to spend every dollar wisely. Furthermore, LinkedIn's B2B targeting features allow to make advertisement campaigns easier than ever before and to find the companies which are the most interested in the offered goods and services.
Moreover, LinkedIn provides a unique approach to business promotion using LinkedIn’s sponsored InMail. It will help to reach possible or current customers in their LinkedIn message inbox. This method can be very effective in case of a well-planned design of the sponsored message and an appropriate message for the customer. The mail can be sent either from the company or from the employee at the company.
To conclude, it is necessary to state that LinkedIn has proven to be one of the best B2B social platforms to popularize personal business. As the leading social platform for business, LinkedIn provides exclusive features to generate new leads and to promote own business. Moreover, while people use social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, mainly for fun and playing, LinkedIn can also be used to increase and develop own businesses through the effective marketing advantages and opportunities provided by this social network.
Nanji, A. (2016). The most active Fortune 500 CEOs on social media. Retrieved from http://www.webimagineers.co.zw/index.php/14-e-concepts-media/105-the-most-active-fortune-500-ceos-on-social-media.html.
Rynne, A. (2017). 10 surprising stats you didn’t know about marketing on LinkedIn. Retrieved from https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/blog/linkedin-b2b-marketing/2017/10-surprising-stats-you-didnt-know-about-marketing-on-linkedin
Smith, C. (2016). 133 amazing LinkedIn statistics & facts. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-a-few-important-linkedin-stats/.
Smith, C. (2013). LinkedIn's users are sticking around, here's what business-to-business companies need to know about them. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/b2b-marketing-on-linkedin-2013-10