Social media, and specifically Twitter and Facebook, are perfect mediums for most businesses to communicate with their clients and customers. Twitter is a sprawling, open network that grants businesses the opportunity to communicate with anyone on it, and not just their followers. On the other hand, Facebook is a far more enclosed ecosystem that limits communication with only those that are strictly liking a business page.
Both of these social media alternatives are excellent ways for businesses to reach out to customers and clients.
But unfortunately, both Twitter and Facebook don’t really differentiate between things like business, personal and professional accounts. And although that may not be a big deal for businesses that target consumers through social media, it can be frustrating for B2B businesses that are strictly trying to target other businesses and business professionals. Being unable to differentiate between the two and thus specifically target them (although, to a degree, you certainly can) can be annoying and off-putting, and one of the reasons why such B2B business owners infrequently ever maintain their own social media presences on Facebook and Twitter.
And then there’s LinkedIn. LinkedIn, the oft neglected (if you can call 100+ million users neglected) social media website that rarely receives as much press and attention as Twitter and Facebook, is a great alternative for businesses looking to directly communicate and connect with online professionals and individuals. Unfortunately, aside from possibly creating a business page, most B2B businesses rarely ever utilize LinkedIn to its fullest potential.
But for B2B businesses (and any business, really), having an up-to-date and fully engaged LinkedIn presence is extremely important in not only maximizing the reach of your business and creating a larger professional network, but it can also be a fantastic tool for acquiring new business. Here are a few reasons why, for all B2B businesses, LinkedIn is a necessity.
LinkedIn Groups, Answers Allow You To Be a Resource
Like blogs and white papers are a great way to reveal to other businesses individual expertise and competence in particular industries, LinkedIn, too, provides ample opportunity for B2B businesses to reveal to others their own competencies in their areas of expertise.
For one, LinkedIn groups allows B2B businesses to exhibit their resourcefulness and expertise in their particular fields. LinkedIn groups grants B2B businesses opportunities to stimulate conversation and engaging discussions surrounding particular issues in their respective fields, while simultaneously providing their own input and professional advice. The more involved and engaging the discussions are, the more that people and outsiders will see your business as a useful, competent B2B business in your industry.
LinkedIn answers, on the other hand, grants B2B businesses an opportunity to seek out particular questions and topics that interest them and help others. As some of us might know, helping others for free is a great way to convince people to see you as a resource, and not just another business, which may eventually lead to business.
Finding topics that are relevant to your business and expertise and being a confident and honest resource in those areas is a great way to not only position yourself as a leader in your field, but also connect with potential clients through social media.
LinkedIn Ads Allow You to Target Business Owners Directly
And while being a resource in your respective field is a great way to drum up business, LinkedIn also grants you opportunities to go even further beyond simply communicating with business owners and individuals on LinkedIn by exemplifying your expertise.
LinkedIn ads are the perfect way to target business owners directly. For B2B businesses, targeting business owners, including employees and other professionals, is important because those are the individuals who ultimately influence and determine whether or not a business pursues involvement with another B2B business.
Using LinkedIn ads, B2B businesses can advertise their business page, events or outside links that are related to their business or their internal goals. By effectively leveraging LinkedIn advertising, businesses can see increased interaction with their pages, events and discussions, while simultaneously driving engagement and interest in their B2B services.
More Than Just a Fad
With over 100 million users, LinkedIn has gotten far beyond the point of being simply a fad. It is a great networking service for any business to leverage, and particularly those that are in the B2B market.
Yet businesses don’t always see it as a necessity. An option, and certainly a resource, but never a necessity. But for any B2B businesses looking to expand and develop their network, LinkedIn is much more than just ‘another social network’. It’s the ideal resource for B2B businesses to communicate and network with other businesses and professionals, while simultaneously granting them opportunities to position themselves as leaders in their industries.
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester NY Social Media company specializing in advertising, web and graphic design, and SEO.