Is LinkedIn effective when it comes to B2B social media marketing, or compared to other social media channels? Success on this platform is measured through engagement. And engagement requires a proactive, strategic approach.
“For some brands, there are alternatives for niche B2B marketing through Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, especially as the lines between social media for work and leisure blur,” observes Nigel Cliffe of Value Exchange.
“However, LinkedIn still has the greatest potential for B2B engagement because it is a dedicated social media platform for business,” Nigel enthuses.
“For some users, LinkedIn appears to be a conundrum, because it’s both about business and about being social,” explains Nigel. “It becomes difficult for them to reconcile these two sides to it.”
As Nigel points out, if users view the business and social sides as polarities, they are more likely to err on one side or the other in how they use it.
“The key with LinkedIn is that it is both business and social, and that to use it effectively you must engage as on other social media, but within a business context.
In other words, using LinkedIn requires users to be social-media savvy, but not to stray too far off-message.
“It’s about context,” says Nigel. “Posting videos of amusing pets isn’t appropriate, but, on the other hand, humanising and personalising your business is.”
Nigel stresses that to get the most out of it, users must be proactive in how they engage with others, and build a persona for themselves.
Exploring the Potential
When it comes to using content as a means of engaging with a target audience, this platform has certain built-in advantages.
“You can build a network, and use it to spread your influence further. LinkedIn is a platform that’s designed to encourage and enable engagement”
What Nigel emphasises is that making the most of these advantages requires users to actively use the platform.
“It’s not a directory. It offers levels of activity, from initially setting up your profile to posting, sharing, liking and commenting. However, if you go no further than the initial stages, then you can’t expect to see a return from it,” he advises.
As with most social activities, physical as well as digital, what you put in determines what you get out.
“For example, don’t just ‘like‘. Comment and share, but do it with your own added words that explain the context, that say something about you,” says Nigel.
“Treat LinkedIn engagement as part of your business’ content strategy, because engagement really can be that important”
“Successful business comes from people talking to one another and building dialogues,” concludes Nigel. “As a digital tool and platform, LinkedIn is no different.”
If you are ready to improve your LinkedIn success:
- Call Value Exchange on 0333 323 8275
- Visit linkedintraining.co.uk
- Download Value Exchange’s free guide, Are You Sales Ready on LinkedIn?
Alternatively please read Nigel Cliffe’s interview, Lifting the Lid Off LinkedIn.