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Although LinkedIn was originally established for individual-to-individual communications, it has grown to be a viable business-to-business (B2B) marketing platform. LinkedIn isn’t just a networking resource; it’s a hub that many professionals go to for news and for general information related to their industry. As a result, LinkedIn has grown to become a must for B2B marketing organizations.
LinkedIn for B2B marketing is no longer optional. LinkedIn has become essential to modern content marketing and lead generation techniques. Social media statistics show that LinkedIn is now the dominant social media platform for professionals, allowing individuals and businesses alike to build, consolidate and maintain their business connections. Here are six facts that demonstrate the importance of LinkedIn.
1. LinkedIn is responsible for 64% of all social referrals to corporate homepages1
Sound impressive? It’s even better when you consider the competition: Facebook and Twitter only account for 17% and 14%, respectively. That has LinkedIn’s impact estimated four times more effective than the other social media for referrals. Though other social media platforms may get more traffic, LinkedIn has the advantage of a higher signal-to-noise ratio: the information found on LinkedIn is far more likely to be professionally useful.
My experience is that LinkedIn users tend to prefer valuable content over highly promotional messages. As a result, marketers interested in funneling traffic toward their corporate homepages need to consider how value-added content can be used as an effective lead generation technique. To learn more about content that plays well in social media, check out this article.
2. 1 out of 3 professionals in the world are currently on LinkedIn2
There are 1.5 million business-focused LinkedIn groups, 1 billion LinkedIn skill endorsements and a total of 300 million LinkedIn users worldwide. LinkedIn has been growing dramatically in the past few years and is presently the largest social network for accomplished professionals. In fact, nearly 80% of LinkedIn users are 35 or older,3 according to Adweek. LinkedIn thus offers unprecedented access to a very specific core audience – an audience that is primed for B2B marketing and seeking answers and professional development. The implication to marketers is that LinkedIn is the perfect social media outlet to catch people when they are in the business mindset. Business-to-business marketing can often be challenged with leveraging social outlets that are mindset-appropriate. LinkedIn fills this void and has broad accessibility to a variety of otherwise hard to reach niche or targeted B2B audiences.
3. According to Adweek, 88% of all LinkedIn users log in at least once a week4
Though that may seem low compared to other platforms, this isn’t idle time. Those who sign into LinkedIn are not doing it for social purposes but with the express purpose of using LinkedIn for an activity business related; namely, seeking information related to their business or gathering industry-specific news. According to Forbes, 48% of users spend at least two hours a week on the site,5 which is up 10% from the prior year. Another 18% of LinkedIn users spend seven or more hours a week on LinkedIn. But this also has an interesting side effect: marketers need consistent posting on the platform. Frequency is necessary to ensure you’re reaching your audience.
4. According to Forbes, 75% of users use LinkedIn to research people and companies6
When polled by Forbes, about 75% of users reported that LinkedIn helped them in researching both people and companies. Maintaining visibility on LinkedIn is an excellent way to reach out to these individuals, who are already looking for companies to follow and research. About 43% of users stated that the ability to search for companies was a helpful LinkedIn feature and about the same number of of users polled said that following companies was a helpful LinkedIn feature. Our experience is that a company needs to be posting regularly and consistently on LinkedIn to be rewarded with followers. Followers won’t just follow a brand or individual with the hopes of receiving insightful posts – they want proof. Marketers that adopt a disciplined approach to LinkedIn are most likely to reap the benefits.
5. The top 10 most liked brands on LinkedIn are all B2B7
The evidence for LinkedIn as a B2B marketing powerhouse doesn’t get any clearer than this: Of the top 10 brands on LinkedIn, a full 100% are using LinkedIn for B2B marketing. It makes sense: LinkedIn is, after all, all about business. Top companies on LinkedIn include IBM, Research in Motion, Deloitte and Oracle, and all of these companies maintain a presence on LinkedIn for networking and recruiting.
6. 61% of activities on LinkedIn are industry networking activities8
Top-level executives spend 22% of their time doing industry networking and 20% of their time promoting their own business, while middle managers spend 24% of their time keeping in touch with others via LinkedIn. And 61% of all activity by users involves using LinkedIn for B2B marketing. Compared to other social platforms, where the majority of interaction is purely social, this is an incredible volume of B2B-focused activity. The key again, though, is to promote insightful content that B2B decision makers will want to engage with for learning and professional purposes. Too much company self-promotion won’t get the same traction on LinkedIn that valuable content will.
In short, LinkedIn is simply the most effective social media tool for B2B marketers available today – and those who aren’t using LinkedIn for B2B marketing are likely being left behind. An effective LinkedIn strategy employs value-added content as a hook to engage users.
7. Business Journal
Topics: Digital Marketing