How can I use LinkedIn to boost my B2B business?
Are you on LinkedIn? If you’re in the B2B space, here’s why it should be one of your New Year’s resolutions.
Johannesburg – South Africa has 6,1 million people using LinkedIn, with 72% of brands relying on it as a marketing tool. This is very relevant in the B2B space, because you could be missing out if you’re not already using LinkedIn for business.
A quote by Forbes.com sums it up perfectly: “LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for individuals and companies looking to make new connections, generate leads, and build their brand. While it’s an important platform for all businesses, LinkedIn can be a true game changer for B2B (business to business) companies.”
Why should you make time for LinkedIn?
Increases visibility for the company:
Every time you like or share something, you make it visible to your contacts. On average, individuals have 300 contacts on LinkedIn. If 10 people share a post, it reaches 3 000 individuals (excluding their secondary contacts).
Consistent brand ambassadors:
Having a professional LinkedIn profile speaks to your personal brand and the company’s brand. LinkedIn gives you the edge over your competitors, who might not be active in this space.
It makes the business more human:
People do business with people, not brands. In the B2B space this is even more relevant and by having a professional profile and being active on LinkedIn, you make it easier for individuals to connect with you and the business.
Makes an emotional connection:
B2B is seen as a purely rational market – which is not true. Decision-makers are often filled with emotions when it comes to selecting a provider. The result of these selections could affect their jobs, their careers and their overall stability.
Social media gives us the ability to have a closer connection with the buyer, not the entity. For example, videos of client testimonials that feel real and not scripted make an emotional connection and help to start the conversation.
Helps you avoid being invasive:
B2B sales takes longer. During a sales cycle you don’t want to bother your prospect with too many emails or calls to make sure they remember you. Social media allows you to be present without constantly knocking on doors.
Promotes you as a thought leader:
Thought leadership in B2B builds trust, raises awareness among potential customers and will likely have an impact on their purchase decision. But great content is of no use if nobody reads it. Social media channels are the best and most efficient way to distribute content to targeted audiences in all markets.
Helps you gain clients’ trust:
There’s one thing we all do when we’re interested in a company – we Google them. A website is not enough to gain trust, people want to see reviews of your business solutions, as well as comments from your clients and interactions.
Social media offers a window into a community where users can engage with your content, participate in your Q&A efforts and talk about their experiences. Having this presence will give you more credibility.
Can be used as a research tool:
Before meetings, look up who you’re meeting with. See if you have shared connections. Look up the companies and see what they post, such as current celebrations, issues, pain points and news, all of which you can use as conversation starters.
About the author: Sylvia Schutte is the Managing Director at Stratitude.