LinkedIn is a powerful marketing tool in today’s highly competitive business market. It effectively sends your message across its millions of members and 49% of its key decision makers. LinkedIn is the third-fastest-growing social network behind only Facebook and Twitter. However for B2B marketers the most used platform are LinkedIn (91%); Twitter (85%); and Facebook (81%). That statistic should not be surprising considering that LinkedIn is the social network for business professionals; consisting of a highly educated, relatively mature, professional audience. Statistics only confirm this further:
- LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 313 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
- 43% of US marketers have found a customer through LinkedIn.
- 6 out of every 10 LinkedIn users are interested in industry insights.
- There are more than 1.5 million unique publishers actively using the LinkedIn Share button on their sites to send content into the LinkedIn platform.
- LinkedIn has the highest rate of social referrals to corporate homepages at 64%, with Facebook at 17% and Twitter at 14%.
- LinkedIn counts executives from all 2013 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate talent solutions are used by 94 of the Fortune 100 companies.
- 53% of business-to-business marketers have acquired a customer through LinkedIn, compared to 22% for business-to-consumer.
Why Your Business Needs LinkedIn
There is a growing misconception that LinkedIn is a tool for recruiters to find jobseekers for their organizations. Yet, the truth is that LinkedIn is a powerful platform for all businesses. It gives the opportunity to find, connect and build a relationship with their target market, regardless of industry or location.
1. Build Brand through Media
The Company Page on LinkedIn connects your employees to your page and highlights what your business has to offer—including its industry expertise and content. Media exposure is critical for raising brand awareness, positioning your brand in the market and spreading your message. Traditional PR agencies can be expensive and campaigns are time consuming but with LinkedIn you can reach a wide network in the media, have your features and news stories published, which can result in increased sales. According to a survey by Arketi media group, over 94.2% of journalists and editors are on LinkedIn and 62%t rate it as their preferred professional networking tool. The buying behaviors of online consumers has changed dramatically over the past 3-5 years. These same consumers now care more about the people they do business with more than the actual brand or product/service. You can have the best product or service in the world but if the consumer doesn’t like you, they won’t do business with you. It’s time to use media to your advantage.
2. Establish Partnerships
The key to continued growth for any business, is a balanced combination of valuable joint ventures and fostering strategic partnerships. With the right partner, you can refer clients to each other, leverage the power of offering complimentary products or services, and help grow each others’ businesses. Businesses are able to set up partnerships with leading brands, be featured in media publications and attract further investments, all through the influence of LinkedIn. Utilizing LinkedIn’s wide prospective reach, you can broadcast your message in front of thousands of targeted contacts that have already built trust with the business you are partnered with.
3. Discover New Clients
LinkedIn is also a great tool for attracting clients and generating strong leads. LinkedIn offers businesses the opportunity to find, connect and build a relationship with thousands of potential clients all under one platform. This makes it much easier for you, to build a sales funnel of targeted leads to directly market to.
4. Increase Your Reach
Get your message out to your target audience with Sponsored Updates and LinkedIn Ads. Sponsored Updates extends the reach of your company’s updates to drive brand awareness and lead generation. LinkedIn Ads allows you to accurately target your ideal audience on the most-visited pages. LinkedIn has the capability of sending highly qualified leads to your website.
5. Grow Your Community
LinkedIn provides a social platform that deepens your relationship with your follower base and target audience by posting engaging content frequently, adding a Follow button to your website, and inviting your network to follow and engage in the conversation. Company Page followers are your brand advocates—which is the key to driving word of mouth, recommendations, and referrals.
The Future for LinkedIn
In his 2014 company presentation, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, shared the company’s 10 year vision.
LinkedIn will be focusing on three crucial strategic objectives:
1. Identity – LinkedIn will be the professional profile of record online, where people create, update and access those records.
2. Networks – With a growing number of students joining the platform, LinkedIn will be an ideal platform to access new talent and develop professional relationships across the globe.
3. Knowledge – LinkedIn is becoming the definitive professional publishing platform and knowledge bank with high quality industry content.
InMail is a powerful tool for social sellers to connect with professional prospects through LinkedIn. In January of 2015, LinkedIn is making changes to its InMail Policy to improve the message quality for its users, and help sales professionals increase response rates that come through the Sales Navigator. This initiative helps sales professionals who use InMail to send engaging content, with either a brief note or a soft sell, receive a reward with credits back into their account; only if they receive a response, within 90 days.
By making use of LinkedIn, you have the control to be noticed by all major companies you want to do business with and generate an unstoppable flow of valuable sales leads and revenue.