A couple of statistics that LinkedIn shared in a recent blog post reflects its growing popularity in the B2B community. 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, 46% percent of social media traffic coming to B2B company sites is from the same platform, and an overwhelming 79% of B2B marketers say LinkedIn is an effective source for generating leads! In other words, if you operate in the B2B world, there’s no way you can stay oblivious to the growing prowess of this social media platform.
LinkedIn, along with other popular social media platforms have changed the way the business world looks at selling. Where most B2C marketers prefer platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to help them grow, B2B marketers favor LinkedIn. In this blog, I will discuss the eight reasons why LinkedIn is the new B2B social media superhero, and give you a couple of tips to help you leverage its potential.
1. LinkedIn Provides Access to Multiple Industry Influencers and Decision Makers
By the end of the first quarter of 2017, LinkedIn hit the 500 million-user mark. With a yearly growth average of over 15%, LinkedIn is the location for finding and cultivating B2B relationships. With an endless list of top business officials and decision makers in one place, you cannot afford to miss this opportunity. The days of slowly adding contacts to your Rolodex are gone. LinkedIn has built the world’s largest digital Rolodex. B2B salespeople just need to do what they do best; build relationships.
Third party surveys, as well as LinkedIn’s own polls, shows that users are 50% more likely to buy from a company they have dealt with on LinkedIn. These numbers alone prove that every salesperson needs to pay close attention to LinkedIn.
2. LinkedIn as a Brand Building Tool
Branding is still critical in the digital age. With new companies popping up here and there, it’s important that your brand stands out from the pack that is selling the same goods or services. Standing out is key, so you can grow your prospect base as well as your network. You can build your professional and company’s credibility and also be perceived as knowledgeable and trustworthy by sharing valuable content.
Tip: Establishing and sustaining a professional presence in the online world is as important to acquiring new clients and retaining old ones. You can establish your brand by consistently providing correct and pertinent content that answers common questions your customers have so you can minimize the concerns of your prospects and clients.
3. LinkedIn Lets You Align with the Right Social Prospects
LinkedIn is very good at listening to your prospects’ interests and concerns. If your prospect is attending an event or interacting with a product or service relevant to your business, LinkedIn captures that information. This can help you gather the intel you need to build rapport with your prospects and engage with them in a meaningful way. Leading businesses are adopting LinkedIn’s own strategy of watching and listening to their prospects on LinkedIn and fine-tuning their communications, so they are valuable to their audiences.
4. LinkedIn has Done Away with Antique Sales Techniques
LinkedIn has become a powerful B2B sales mastermind by introducing the digital world of new sales techniques over antiquated tactics such as cold calling. One of the biggest challenges a salesperson or marketer faces is getting through the gatekeeper to get to the decision maker. When you use traditional techniques like cold calling, it becomes especially difficult because the person who answers the phone does not know you; there is no personal connection to you or your company.
Utilizing the tools that LinkedIn provides can save you time throughout the sales process. From identifying your prospect to cultivating the relationship, all the way to asking for the sale. Using LinkedIn’s detailed search to identify useful connections will get you ahead in the game. Be active in discussion groups and deliver useful information to build brand awareness and expand your reach.
You have a network of personal relationship that you can leverage to get connected to the decision maker. By using this approach, LinkedIn has done away with the days of snail mailers, cold calling, and tedious face-to-face sales.
Tip: You can grow your business exponentially by using the LinkedIn discussion groups, sending digital invitations to thousands rather than a handful, and using your network of friends and acquaintances to open “doors” to more contacts.
5. LinkedIn Showcases Your Skill Sets
Another reason why LinkedIn has had so much success in their social media marketing is because they enable B2B professionals to showcase their skill sets and expertise. Skill sets are necessary to increase your knowledge base, connect with prospects, and increase your revenue stream. LinkedIn enables you to set up alerts to stay on top of the latest developments in your field, contributions of thought leaders, and or activities and events connected to your leads.
Tip: You can set an alert to ping when a potential prospect or a thought leader is online and contributing to discussions. You can also create an alert for providing sales updates that are connected to aligned events, work anniversaries, a change in your job role, or new connections within your network.
6. LinkedIn Provides B2B Marketers Vital Knowledge About Prospects
Gathering income and business-to-business sales is probably one of the most critical avenues when it comes to social media marketing. You must know your customer. It is essential to understand who they are, what they are looking for, and what type of business they run. LinkedIn has addressed this issue, and that is why they are a valuable tool for businesses right now. You can also accomplish this by researching your prospects. This includes making connections between your company and your prospects' business. You can also share customers between firms as well as provide recommendations on their profile page. Knowing your potential prospects and the research that you gather on them is what is needed to turn the success of LinkedIn into a funnel for new leads within your business.
7. Social Vending
Social vending, social bartering, or social selling are all concepts that LinkedIn has used well to establish itself as a preferred B2B marketing platform. The social selling arena can be quite complicated, but if you have the right skill set, drive and determination, and a great mind, you can get your business to grow exponentially. It is crucial to use digital engagement to seek out prospects and build relationships. Part of the solution with social selling is to know how to use the tools that have been provided.
Tip: It is not enough to provide a tool to promote social vending. You need to be able to track progress, status, and analyze whether that tool is being implemented correctly. It is essential that you know if the tool is meeting its goals of bringing in new clients or revenue if that was the goal of using it. Make sure you have checks and balances when performing social selling with your B2B relationships.
8. Digital Relationships
Another reason why LinkedIn has been up and coming with their B2B marketing and financial success is because of the digital relationships they have created through their content sharing. Relationships are built when both the seller and the decision maker can understand and come to terms with what each other can provide. Social engagement allows the prospect as well as the seller to build a needed relationship and can continue to cultivate it onward far into the future. Every B2B needs to be reviewing LinkedIn and the success they have attained.
Tip: It is both advantageous and profitable to create a digital relationship with your prospects, perform research on them, align yourself with them, and increase your skill set so you can perform social selling to benefit both yourself as well as their business. Learn how to leverage LinkedIn’s tools and capabilities to help you build beneficial digital relationships.
As you can see, there are multiple reasons why LinkedIn has become a successful tool in the business world. It is better than other more traditional tactics at building connections and nurturing valuable business relationships. Social selling and the way revenue streams are generated and used has become a top tactic in the digital age as old strategies such as cold calling are no longer working with today's consumer base.
If you’re a B2B marketer, we strongly recommend you use the tips we’ve provided to effectively leverage LinkedIn for you and your business!