02 Paź The Growing Potential of LinkedIn Networking for Brands
As the competition for social media marketing for brands increasingly heighten, much of the buzz surrounds Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the trend that is influencer marketing. And while the popularity of those three channels, and the potential value they can bring brands cannot be disputed, when it comes to making actual business connections that matter, a LinkedIn presence is what your business should be building.
While having 433 million users makes a substantial enough case for you to build your LinkedIn network, it is the fact that 49 percent of key decision makers use the social network for business purposes that should get brands excited about its potential.
Other significant numbers to consider
- 50 percent of B2B buyers use LinkedIn as a purchasing decision resource — making it not just a great place to create awareness among business leaders, but a good channel to boost sales.
- 76 percent of B2B buyers are more inclined to do business with recommendations from their professional network — something LinkedIn is predominantly known for.
- Four years ago, LinkedIn was already an established network in the professional world, with executives from all Fortune 500 companies maintaining a profile on the network.
- 94 percent of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn’s corporate talent solutions.
Benefits of a strong LinkedIn network
Reaching key decision makers
Getting your branding message across can be achieved in other social networks, but if you want to get in front of key decision makers, LinkedIn is the place to do so. Linkfluencer founder Alex Pirouz told seasoned digital marketer Anfernee Chansamouth as much.
“The old traditional methods of marketing a business are not as effective as they used to be — even if you have a huge marketing spend,” said Pirouz. “With millions of members and 49 percent of them being key decision makers, LinkedIn has leveled the playing field allowing business owners all over the world the opportunity to find, connect and build a relationship with their target market regardless of industry or location.”
Raising brand awareness and implementing strategic market positioning can often be a costly endeavor. And there are cases that even when you shell out substantial amounts to established PR agencies, the return may not be in the form of increased sales.
With LinkedIn having over 94.2 percent of journalists and editors, according to a survey by Arketi media group, you can build a solid network of media professionals with virtually zero spend.
This is what Pirouz was able to accomplish, building a network of 250 media contacts in a span of nine months. This resulted in features in over 50 publications (which includes Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur) — all without ever having to send out a single press release.
Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn has groups that you can join. And much like Facebook where members of a group share similar interests, on LinkedIn, the interest shared is predominantly business-centric. This means that you can be in direct contact with industry experts, whilst also being able to engage in group discussions, and further your knowledge with the latest news on these industry leaders.
There’s even an “Answers” section where you can get invaluable insights from seasoned professionals — building your own expertise along the way just by being part of LinkedIn groups.
Creating network of advisors
Similar to being able to build your expertise knowledge base on LinkedIn, you can also build a network of trusted advisors through the connections you make. Whether it’s in the form of financial, marketing, legal, or business advice — with LinkedIn’s ocean of seasoned professionals, you’re bound to build a solid network of trusted advisors if you just keep on building connections.
Success stories of LinkedIn Networking
Entrepreneur Card founder Martin Martinez, a Linkfluencer community member, used LinkedIn to set up partnerships with over 30 leading brands. He was also able to utilize LinkedIn’s power to connect with media practitioners and get featured in more than 10 publications. And at Entrepreneur Card’s launch party, over 150 entrepreneurs were present.
These impressive accomplishments would’ve made a good PR agency proud. He managed all of these through LinkedIn.
Toshiba of Canada
With most of its campaigns centered on consumer products, Toshiba of Canada took a different approach for its business notebook, targeting IT professionals (who could influence larger sales within their companies) through LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail, Display Ads, and Sponsored Updates.
Basically, they attracted the attention of the fore mentioned IT people (often unsung heroes in their companies), by glorifying them as the “World’s #1 IT” people (via a free coffee mug), and directing them to landing pages with more information about Toshiba of Canada’s business notebook.
The campaign resulted in driving seven percent of overall qualified leads, which was 25 percent less than some of Toshiba’s other marketing channels — keeping their sales team busy with a steady stream of new leads, while also being a cost-efficient strategy.
The most obvious advantage of building a strong LinkedIn network is that it is a professional social network versus being just a social network. And as LinkedIn works towards its goal of being the professional profile of record online, the connections waiting to be made will only become more valuable for brands — and the potential of using the social network, that much greater.
How have you used LinkedIn to build your brand? Take a look at your company’s LinkedIn presence today, and learn how you can use it to network your way to success!