Using LinkedIn for B2B Social Media

31 Oct

Social media is becoming a standard component of every B2B Internet marketing campaign.


While Facebook and Twitter are better suited for business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, data from multiple research firms suggests the most effective social media choice in the B2B marketing toolbox for acquiring customers is LinkedIn.


Some interesting B2B-related facts about LinkedIn:


• 57 percent of companies on LinkedIn have generated customers directly from their activity on the site.


• 20 percent of all B2B logins to social media sites in January 2011 were done through LinkedIn. Only six months earlier, the site represented just three percent of all B2B logins.


• Members of the high-tech and finance sectors represent 18 percent of the more than 100 million users on LinkedIn.


• Every Fortune 500 company has executives on LinkedIn.


Many business to business advertising firms and their respective clients are already on LinkedIn using site features such as LinkedIn Groups to engage with prospects and connect with other professionals in their industry.


Recently, LinkedIn added three new features to its site and opened public access to another. The following is a breakdown of these new features that are designed to give users the capability to forge stronger connections with other professionals in the LinkedIn community.



Provides a graphical representation of all the connections in a user’s LinkedIn network. User connections are divided into groups by categories such as school or employer. The name of each connection is sized according to the number of contacts they have in that particular InMap group. This allows the user to see which connections in their network are gateways to other contacts.


LinkedIn Skills

The Skills page allows users to search for other LinkedIn professionals according to specific skill. Search results provide users with a list of others sharing that skill within their community as well as in related companies, jobs and certain locations.


LinkedIn Signal

This feature provides a real-time feed of posts from social media sites such as Twitter. The posts are typically organized by a user’s connections. Signal can provide real-time information also on what people are saying about a particular topic by typing in keywords in the application search box.


LinkedIn Today

This application is a news page consisting of stories shared by a user’s connections and other professionals in the LinkedIn community. LinkedIn Today allows users to follow as many as 22 industries and an array of news outlets. The “Today” feature can also be accessed remotely via the new LinkedIn iPhone application.

As previously-mentioned, its emphasis on business already makes LinkedIn the premiere social media site for B2B agencies and their clients. But, by actively using some of the new tools offered by LinkedIn, B2B companies can enhance their level of engagement with colleagues, customers and prospects.




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