Three Steps to Leverage LinkedIn for Your B2B Social Media Marketing

Isn’t it time your B2B business began to use social media to grow its bottom line?  Do you have a B2B social media marketing plan ready to roll out?  If you answered yes to both questions and your business is planning to devote most of its time, money and energy to Facebook and Twitter, you should rethink your plan.

Why LinkedIn?

Simply put, LinkedIn is a social media platform for business professionals.  If you are a B2B business, your target market is going to be found on LinkedIn.  And more importantly, you can implement the following three tips to get actual leads on LinkedIn.  What you do with those leads once you have them, well, we’ll leave that up to you.

Step 1: Complete Your Profile and Build a Network

First you need to create your personal profile.  Make sure all the employees in your company create a personal profile as well.  Even if you have an account on LinkedIn already, make sure your profile is both complete and optimized.

What do I mean by optimized?  There are numerous ways to optimize your LinkedIn personal profile and increase your LinkedIn visibility.   Let’s quickly look at a few important ones.

First, use industry-related keywords in your summary, experience, specialties and other descriptions.  Next, make sure to hyperlink to your business website, Facebook page, blog and other places your company can be found online.  Lastly, make use of third-party applications which add your RSS feed, Twitter feed and other business-related online activity to your profile page.

Once your personal profile is complete, invite all of your online contacts to “connect” with you.  Now, take that one important step further.  Ask your best clients to “endorse” or “recommend” you.

Now it’s time for you to network with all of your new connections.  You should also start connecting with connections of your connections.   Building a network is fast, efficient and inexpensive on LinkedIn.

Step 2: Join Industry-Related Groups and Create One of Your Own

A quick search of LinkedIn Groups will bring back multiple groups related to your B2B business and industry.  Scan them quickly and pick out a few that are full of active participants.  Next, create a group for your company.  Then ask everyone in your company to join the group and invite all their customers and connections to join as well.

LinkedIn Groups are the place to network for leads.  But don’t be pushy.  Use these groups to answer questions, join discussions and help other business professionals.  Establishing yourself as an expert and one who freely doles out helpful advice is the most important thing you can do when using LinkedIn Groups for leads.

Step 3: Create a Company Page

One of the most underutilized tools provided by LinkedIn is the Company Page.  These pages are not as functionally robust as a Facebook page.  However, these pages are a good place to share your content and keep your community up to date on company matters.

LinkedIn Company pages are easy to set up and easy to use.  And now that LinkedIn added a status update feature, you can send out promotions, news, sales announcements, etc. to your company’s followers.  Here’s a nice primer on how to launch and use a LinkedIn Company Page.

Go Get Those B2B Leads

So there you have it: your quick three-step guide to start marketing your B2B business on LinkedIn.

Tell us….

Is your company already using LinkedIn successfully?  We’d love to hear from you.  Please share your tips and advice in the comments below.

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