These days in the business world, relationships matter more than ever. People tune out irrelevant or promotional messages. But they do want to engage with companies that focus on sharing useful and relevant information and content. The companies that inform and engage aren’t just selling — they’re building relationships.
LinkedIn is where, by far, the largest number of professionals gather to stay connected and informed, advance their careers, and work smarter. More than 467 million professionals are on LinkedIn. These are the decision makers, influencers, and leaders of today and tomorrow — the people you want to target, all in one place.
On LinkedIn, we have:
• 61 million senior-level influencers
• 40 million decision makers
• 10.7 million opinion leaders
• 6.8 million C-level execs
• 3 million MBA graduates
Professionals are not just coming to LinkedIn in huge numbers; they’re engaging with a huge purpose. They’re coming specifically to connect to networks, brands and opportunities by engaging with high-quality content across the LinkedIn platform. This is a very different mindset and intent from other social media platforms; we’re driven by our members’ professional aspirations. The world’s professionals come to LinkedIn for: • Industry news • Expert advice • Career training • Peer insights and recommendations • Content published by LinkedIn’s 500+ Influencers
The World’s Professionals Come to LinkedIn for Knowledge
There are 2 million publishers posting fresh content on LinkedIn — along with peer posts in the Feed, long-form content, LinkedIn Groups and 7 million brand-managed company pages. LinkedIn is the definitive professional publishing platform, where our members come to learn, share and get inspired.
LinkedIn is a platform enabling sophisticated marketers to forge relationships with these professionals. In fact, this is the first time in the history of media you can engage with the world’s professionals in one place. It’s no wonder LinkedIn has quickly become the go-to content publishing platform for marketers.
Why are the world’s professionals now gathering in this one place, on LinkedIn? Because the people you’re looking to market to are just like you and me. We’re all searching for the right destinations to find the best information, and there are actually fewer places where we’re gathering in large numbers. With LinkedIn, you’re reaching a quality audience in a professional context. And, you can engage them in a very meaningful way: by sharing valuable content with products tailored to how professionals engage. By doing so, you become part of your audience’s conversations and education on the platform.
All it takes is a sophisticated marketer who seizes the opportunity to engage them. What do we mean by a sophisticated marketer? The idea of being a sophisticated marketer comes from the transition of social media marketing from pure theory to effective use. But marketers can’t just “do” social. Now they need to produce results and actionable insights in order to prove the value of their efforts. Fortunately, we are no longer forced to take a spray-and-pray approach to getting our messages heard in the noisy world of social. The technology is in place that allows us to adopt a much more refined approach — sophisticated if you will — to social media marketing, using the world’s largest professional network.
Sources: “B2B Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America,” Content Marketing Institute/ Marketing Profs. Webbiquity, 2013. “LinkedIn for B2B Lead generation” infographic, Oktopost as shared by business2community.com, 2014.
If Twitter is where you go to meet people you don’t know and Facebook is where you go to talk with people you already know, then LinkedIn is where all of you can meet up to get stuff done together.
How are marketers getting it wrong with LinkedIn?
Basically marketers do these three things wrong:
• Selling too much
• Not making use of the tools
• Not realizing its potential
I always tell people you will never sell your stuff on LinkedIn. The likelihood of someone seeing an update you have posted on how you sell the best gadget and then buying Expand Your Network of Influencers. LinkedIn is about creating relationships with people. Once you have established a connection and are moving from the “know” each other to the “like and trust” each other level of engagement — only then do you have a good chance of sharing your products and services with someone likely to purchase them. But these relationships take effort and nurturing. Establishing that sense of “like and trust” might seem like a lot of work, but the payoff can be monumental. Getting people to buy from you on LinkedIn means a time investment, but to me it is well worth it.
LinkedIn has so many cool little tools. My favorite is their “Sharing Bookmarklet.” To find the Sharing Bookmarklet, you just come down to the “Tools” link and then on the right hand side click on the tab that says “Sharing Bookmarklet.” Drag the Bookmarklet button up to your browser bar. Then no matter what web page you’re on, all you have to do is click on the ‘share on LinkedIn’ link and you can easily share that page. Not all websites are LinkedIn-centric. So if you find a website, blog post, or article that doesn’t have the LinkedIn share button, you can still share it by clicking on the “Share on Ask the Expert” button. You can post the page as an update or as a tweet. You can post it to your Groups by clicking the Group option, then typing in the name of the LinkedIn Groups you wish to share the post with. You can even send it to an individual. This is a very quick and easy way to post helpful, useful, and interesting content with your network. These updates will show up on your connection’s homepage as well as in your profile under “Activity.”
Hopefully some of the things I have mentioned will open a few eyes to the potential of LinkedIn. There is just so much you can do with it. It is a completely underutilized tool from Groups to Company Pages and beyond. But I guess that’s why I have a job! If you have questions about how it can help with prospecting, lead gen, relationship building, and top of mind awareness, please feel free to reach out to me!