Most of my work in social comes in the B2B world, which you've probably already figured out. Even after working directly in B2B social for about two years, it's still an area that's trying to find its place in this world. I know of several organizations looking to leverage Facebook as a main B2B driver, which I think is a bad idea. Where do you start though?
In the B2B world, LinkedIn is definitely a sleeping giant in social media for B2B. You aren't really trying to drive impulse decisions but nurturing relationships over the long term. LinkedIn is a great networking tool for that and has been one network I've tapped into to nurture and develop relationships with mentors, friends and even a few freelance gigs.
There are two valuable assets connected to LinkedIn: Company profile pages and the LinkedIn plugins for websites.
Company Profile Page
I've been working for a company whose products/services are really hard to define clearly in a 30-second elevator speech. Anyone who has worked in the incentives business knows this. Some would see this as a barrier, though I see it as a blessing in forced creativity.
One of the great features of company profile pages in LinkedIn is the "Servies" tab. This is huge for us. The page allows us to share some of our business services through a text explanation and even accompany that with a YouTube video giving a more in-depth look at that particular service.
For example, Hinda does a Warehouse Dash. In that, we have a full description of what the Warehouse Dash is in addition a YouTube video dedicated to a Dash. Along with the service description, users are allowed to recommend those products and services to their peers - recommendations that also appear on the profile page.
Taking a page out of Facebook's book (along with other social networks) LinkedIn finally has a plugin option for external websites. Click here to see that page. Users can grab a bit of code out of the page to allow content sharing via LinkedIn.
When the button came out, I had already been incorporating the Twitter button on Hinda's blog for quite some time. I immediately added the LinkedIn share button on their blog posts too. Over time, I noticed that the share count (more often than not) for LinkedIn actually outperformed the number of Twitter shares.
Tells you something about where my audience hangs out doesn't it.
So Why LinkedIn for B2B?
Honestly, it's because that's one social network that most B2B peeps hang out. I know several people in the B2B world that won't have anything to do with Twitter or "the Facebook" but do tap into LinkedIn to make connections. If you know your audience - and know that your audience hangs out in a certain spot - wouldn't you make it easy for them to share things in that space?
How else do you all use LinkedIn for B2B marketing?
- Study: LinkedIn Is More Effective for B2B Companies (hubspot.com)
- LinkedIn Social Sign-in Soars on B2B Sites [INFOGRAPHIC] (socialtimes.com)
- Amazing tool for B2B and Social Media Sharing..."Business Exchange" (dustinlsmith.wordpress.com)