I’m a big fan of Tina Fey, and was a devoted follower of her hit show “30 Rock” throughout its run. The show introduced us to one of the most entertaining characters in recent television history, the charismatic and cunning career capitalist, Jack Donaghy. Played with gravelly-voiced gravitas by Alec Baldwin, Jack was a constant source of hilarious one-liners, such as this one about his rival Devon Banks:
“I tracked him down to an address in Brooklyn. He's on LinkedIn, Lemon. He might as well be dead.” – Episode “Plan B”; Season 5, Episode 18
I admit, that was a long set-up for a silly line about LinkedIn, but it’s a good one. And while LinkedIn activity is a bad sign for CEOs like Jack Donaghy, it’s just another part of the routine for most business professionals. LinkedIn currently has more than 380 million members around the world, including 118 million in the United States alone. So no, it’s not true that you “might as well be dead” if you’re on LinkedIn. It just means you’re probably not a Fortune 500 CEO.
And if you’re a B2B marketer, LinkedIn is the kind of platform you can’t afford to ignore. If you’re not utilizing LinkedIn as part of your greater social media marketing efforts, then you’re making a big mistake. Here are three reasons why LinkedIn is important for B2B marketing:
There are loads of potential leads there
In the B2B arena, we always talk about reaching “decision makers.” These are the individuals that have been given authority to make purchases and sign deals with vendors, which means they’re exactly the type of people you need to reach. Normally, these folks will have titles that indicate seniority such as “vice-president of sales” or “director of marketing,” and they’re all over LinkedIn. There’s no faster way to reach more decision makers than via LinkedIn.
It provides additional information about your company
Every business should have a company page on LinkedIn, because it’s a valuable tool that’s completely free. On this page, you can include a logo, company background, contact information and more. Additionally, you can have your employees link their LinkedIn profiles to your business page, allowing you potential access to their connections as well. Remember, it doesn’t matter how a lead finds your company – all that matters is if they’re intrigued once they do.
(And if you’d like to see an example of a thorough LinkedIn company page, check out Rhino’s page here)
You can pay for additional access
Choosing to pay for social media marketing services is a tough choice. Although you can accomplish quite a bit without spending a dime, your reach will always expand if you pay a little money. LinkedIn’s paid options are rather robust. For instance, you can pay to use its InMail service, which allows you to contact virtually any user on the site, regardless of connections. Or you can purchase ads, which can be targeted to specific types of users based on factors such as gender, age, position, industry and location. And best of all, LinkedIn will never charge you beyond what you’re willing to pay – you pay for a certain amount of impressions, clicks or views, and LinkedIn won’t go above that level.