I talk about social media quite a bit in my blog posts, articles and conference presentations. Social media is a key component of a viable pull marketing mix, and should be part of most companies’ go-to-market strategy.
But like everything else in life, there is always a first among equals. And the first and most important social media tool for B2B marketers is LinkedIn marketing. Our team at Fusion Marketing Partners has used LinkedIn to drive business and partnerships for ourselves and our clients. I use LinkedIn myself at least 3-4 days per week and have seen amazing results. In fact, LinkedIn has so many productive uses that I found it tough to narrow the list.
- Drive Revenue – We owe several of our client relationships (in full or a large part) to their relationship with us on LinkedIn. Jill Konrath (author of SNAP Selling) has done extensive research in this area and reports that top-earning sales reps use LinkedIn far more than their peers.
- Become Better Known – Assuming you post interesting thoughts/content, some of your musings will be shared or commented upon by your contacts. You might even go viral. This enhanced exposure can only help you when it comes to boosting the levels of marketplace exposure.
- Establish Brand Authority – The best way to use LinkedIn to establish a brand authority is to consistently post updates that reinforce your area of expertise and differentiation. For example, you can share your blog posts, articles, white papers, etc., plus comment and share others’ updates that are related to your key messages.
- Keep in Touch – LinkedIn is a great platform to let your business contacts know what you are up to without one-to-one communication. Not that you shouldn’t reach out personally as often as possible, but this is difficult if you have a large number of connections. It is not unusual to hear someone I haven’t talked to in many years tell me that they are following the my progress (and my company’s) on LinkedIn.
- Stay Top of Mind – I wrote a recent blog post titled Market Awareness Trumps Sales Skills. The premise (reality) is that being known is often more important than sales acumen when it comes to driving revenue. Top of mind awareness (TOMA) is so important that Wikipedia actually has a definition: “The first brand that comes to mind when a customer is asked an unprompted question about a category.” When the user of your product or service is researching or evaluating purchase options, you want to be the company name that pops into his/her mind. This market awareness factor is a big advantage for large companies, and as a smaller firm, you need to keep your name in front of prospects to overcome this challenge. LinkedIn marketing is a great way to accomplish this.