Best practices for making the most out of your B2B strategy using LinkedIn

By Katelyn Lewis on December 17th, 2015

While using social media in a business-to-business setting differs greatly from business-to-consumer, it’s no longer looked at as simply an innovative way to gain leads, it’s grown to be more of a necessity. A recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute found 92% of B2B marketers use social media as a content marketing tactic to drive sales. In fact, above all social media platforms, LinkedIn should be a company’s number one social media tool for lead generation as it is the most effective platform. Below are some helpful best practices to get you started on taking full advantage of LinkedIn in a B2B setting.

Image is everything. First thing’s first. In order to maximize LinkedIn efforts, companies must include carefully thought-out images throughout the profile that create interest and gain the attention of potential leads. Use actual, high quality photos of your company and people that align with your company culture. Stick to the basics when it comes to your company profile picture. Include the most recent company logo that serves as the main image people use to identify you and be consistent throughout your other social media accounts. The header photo section in LinkedIn is the perfect place to do so. Another way to utilize the company header photo section is to advertise current campaigns and announcements. After all, this is the first thing a user sees when visiting your profile, so make sure you are choosing an image that will make the best impression.

Your way with words. The prospect sees your attention-grabbing header photo and decides they want to learn more. Bingo! The section that falls below the header photo is the company description. You can think of this section as a pitch. The first two words of the description is the most important part because that is all LinkedIn displays at first, so save the awards and stuff about how much you have grown to later on. The rest of the description can be read by clicking “see more.” Therefore, you must grab the prospect within your first two sentences. The best way to do that is to know your audience and speak directly to them. If you do so effectively, they’re more likely read the rest and maybe even check out your website!

Proving your worth through your posts. The types of content you decide post or share, should also be carefully considered. Ask yourself whether or not this would be of interest to your audience or followers. It is also great to mix it up a little! Post a variety of thought leadership pieces to prove your worth and credibility in the industry. These types of content could be your best blog posts, recent webinars (or promoting them), published articles, press releases and industry-related news. It is also important to find that balance of how much and how often to post. A good rule of thumb is anywhere from 2 times a week to once a day, but keep in mind the 4-1-1 rule: post four pieces of relevant, original content and post one relevant piece from someone else for every self-promoting post.

Join the group conversation. LinkedIn allows companies to join up to 40 groups. Joining groups and actively engaging in discussions can help your company with being perceived as knowledgeable in the industry. This is also a great way to gain and nurture leads if you maintain your activity within your groups. Responding to other posts and creating new discussions is important. But first, you must find the right groups to join. Perform a simple group search using relevant keywords. Your search results will rank according to the groups’ activity level. Make sure you are only joining groups that are “very active.” When contributing to groups, always search before posting. Perform a search within the group to ensure your question or comment hasn’t already been discussed by another group member. Also, be sure to read the rules to each group. Some have strict rules about engaging in self-promotion. Utilize your membership for finding other content created by others in your industry. Comment, share the work and build relationships in order to grow your audience reach. Paying attention to conversations of your target audience can allow you to gain insight into what they are looking for. These conversations may even spark a couple ideas for a blog post that you know your audience will be interested in. Posting links to your original content whenever the discussion takes place is great, but spend some time listening and offering help where you can build trust.

As you partake in group discussions, you may discover an opportunity for a group to be formed. As an owner and moderator of a group, you can gain leadership, recognition and credibility within the industry.

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