Why You Should Be Using LinkedIn For Your B2B Marketing [21 Facts]

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This should take you about 3 minutes and 41 seconds to read (According to Forbes, the average adult reads 300 words per minute)

Are you using LinkedIn to connect with your target market?

Did you know LinkedIn has 259,000,000 users?

Did you know that 172,000 people sign up every day for the social networking site?

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It’s no secret that LinkedIn is a great place to generate leads for B2B organizations, but there is a science to it. I was in a coffee shop yesterday and overheard two guys discussing LinkedIn. The one guy was not a fan of the site and even stated, “it has turned into Facebook!”

Now I agree, LinkedIn has become a noisy place with a lot of the users using it as a content distribution channel. That is not how LinkedIn works though. Now, I do share my blog posts on the site, but not as often as I use it to listen to people. All social media sites work when you listen first.

Related: I use LinkedIn to come up with blog topics, see a post here answering 3 common questions in social media.

How To Effectively Use LinekdIn Groups

There are 2,100,000 groups on LinkedIn and they are not all created equal. LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups at a time. I advise searching for groups where your target market hangs out, ask to join and observe the groups. Some are better than others, some are just filled with spam and add zero value.

After you join 5-10 groups I recommend looking for people asking questions. Sometimes this is difficult, but you should be able to find people with problems. If it is something you can help with, jump in and add your thoughts/opinions/advice. I never link back to this site, unless someone specifically asks for a link. If that is the case, I typically send it to them in a private message. Don’t be promotional, be helpful.

Here is what someone responded to in a group after I shared a recent blog post;

linkedin-fail

Would you buy business cards from him?

I wouldn’t. It seems like he is yelling at me, doesn’t it? Look how many times he uses the word “we”, it’s all about him/his company. The sad thing is — he’s a “marketing director”. Or at least that is what his title says. That is not marketing, that is called spam/desperate. Don’t be that guy.

I have found that being helpful and offering advice to be a great way for prospects to come to you. This can be very powerful. It positions you as the expert and the person they most likely want to do business with. For effective social selling, you must build that know, like and trust factor. Yelling at me to buy your business cards does none of those three things.

You can also charge a premium for your products/services as you are being hunted, not being the hunter. A very powerful way of doing business. Dan Kennedy calls it “Magnetic Marketing”

How To Become a Top Contributor On LinkedIn

I am in a few great B2B groups that generate a lot of discussions (people asking questions and people offering their opinions, sometimes with 50+ comments). In one group last week, I was voicing my opinions on cold calling (by the way, I cannot stand cold calling and think it’s such an ineffective way to market a business) and it stirred up quite a debate.

I had one other lady that was “on my side” and about 12-15 other people that did NOT agree with us, and they let it be known.  I will write a post about my thoughts/feelings on cold calling another day.

I am constantly searching the groups to see if I can answer people’s questions regarding marketing. Some days I’ll add up to 10 comments (in total) to the ongoing discussions. I find that when I am first to respond to a post, it often times gains traction as LinkedIn puts the discussions with the most engagement at the top. If it is a valuable contribution, often times people will check out my profile and possibly come visit this site. Being first has its benefits, same goes with blog commenting.

I do promote this blog to some groups, but try to give much more than I ask. I have received quite a few private messages in the last few weeks with people asking for more information about our services. I even had a social media company out of London ask for help with their inbound marketing strategy.

Recently, I noticed that I was a top contributor in a couple groups. Pretty cool I thought, but what is a top contributor?

A top contributor is, according to LinkedIn:

Fostering great discussions in your LinkedIn Group is important to keeping your group active and interesting to the members. Because of this, we’ve introduced contribution levels, a new system that shows members how influential they are in a group.

On the right side of your group page you’ll see the Top Contributors in this group section as well as your own contribution level in this group. Top contributors are group members who post the most interesting discussions and comments.

The top contributors will have a text indicator under their headline any time they post a discussion in the group. Clicking a profile image or name will take you to that member’s activity page. The Top Contributorindicator will also appear on a member’s profile.

Contribution levels are group specific and recalculated every day. The contribution levels are, in order:

  • Getting started
  • Finding an audience
  • Making an impact
  • Building influence
  • Top Contributor

Important: To increase your contribution level, start interesting discussions and comment thoughtfully on other group members’ discussions. As people interact more with you, you’ll see your score go up.

Your contribution level will go down if you are not active or your posts are promotional or inappropriate for the group.

Here are the two groups I am a top contributor in;

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I approach LInkedIn, and all business for that matter, with the mindset of — how can I help/add value?

It’s actually a pretty good philosophy to live life by.

Well, if this hasn’t convinced you that LinkedIn is a great place to generate leads for your B2B organization, then this infograph from Neil Patel might help;

By the way, you can check out my interview with Neil Patel here.

How to Increase LinkedIn Engagement by 386%
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

 

Conclusion

It really doesn’t take much to differentiate yourself from your competition with LinkedIn. I would advise checking it out and spending some time in the groups where your target market hang out. Answer questions, ask questions, give feedback, your opinion and reassess everything after a month or so. If that group doesn’t work, join another and try it again. It might take some time to find the right groups, but when you do, it will be worth it.

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4 Comments

  • Adrian Jock

    Reply Reply December 19, 2013

    Hi Adam,

    I liked your article, but I don’t like LinkedIn :)

    It is supposed to be THE professional social media network, but…

    - once you get an account, you keep receiving spam from LinkedIn. Their email notifications settings include a few types of emails, but the truth is that they send many types of emails. You find out only after you receive their spam. You unsubscribe and then you receive another type of email. You’re free to unsubscribe they say. And so on. Shall I mentioned that many times I wasn’t able to unsubscribe unless I was logged it? That’s low level email marketing. Etc…

    - if you dare to accept friends, you’ll keep receiving spam message. You were nice and called this marketing… cold-calling. I’m calling it spam and stupid marketing.

    - groups are a good tool, but while I hate spam, one group owner, I don’t know which one was the idiot, labelled me as spammer. Guess what? Anything submitted by me all over the network is pending and most of the owners don’t bother to check such pending submissions.

    And so on and so forth, I won’t write an article here :-)
    Adrian Jock recently posted…Little Known Facts About Email Open RatesMy Profile

    • Adam Dukes

      Reply Reply December 20, 2013

      Hey Adrian!

      I could not agree more about their emails. I have no idea how they get away with that as I have unsubscribed probably a hundred times. It is constant spam in my inbox everyday.

      Yes, if someone spams me, I immediately un-friend them or whatever it’s called.

      Yes, there are things I do not like, but have spent a lot more time on the site over the last 2 months or so. The benefits are outweighing the negatives, for now at least :)
      Adam Dukes recently posted…Why You Should Be Using LinkedIn For Your B2B Marketing [21 Facts]My Profile

  • Adrienne

    Reply Reply December 20, 2013

    Hey Adam,

    I haven’t had much luck with LinkedIn either but I also guess I just don’t have the time to “search” for the perfect groups.

    My area is blogging and you join those types of groups, and I’m a member of about four, and all they do is spam you with their posts. They are also so out of the blogging niche that I don’t want to associate with them because I can’t contribute to what they share.

    I’ve tried numerous times to connect with people but they never respond to your emails so even though it’s a more business related site to me that’s just rude. I certainly don’t want to do business with someone who doesn’t have the common courtesy to respond to an email and no, I’m not soliciting anything.

    I guess there are some sites that are good for some things and those that are good for others. LinkedIn is just not one I have found to be an enjoyable experience. At least not for me anyway.

    Thanks for sharing your views and Merry Christmas.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…How Facebook Is Slowly Killing Small BusinessesMy Profile

    • Adam Dukes

      Reply Reply December 20, 2013

      Hi Adrienne!

      Yes, I know there is a lot of noise on the site and it does take time to find some good groups. I am in 40 or so groups and am only active in 5-6. Some I try and be active, but realize people are just looking for an avenue to distribute/push their content.

      Since August 1st, it is my #3 referral for traffic behind direct & organic.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family as well! After 25 years of spending Christmas in Michigan with snow, I now spend it in California where it is typically 70 & sunny. The thing is, I miss the snow on that day.

      Never thought I would say that :)
      Adam Dukes recently posted…Why You Should Be Using LinkedIn For Your B2B Marketing [21 Facts]My Profile

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