LinkedIn is an important social media platform for reach customers, whether they are retail customers or other businesses.
However, if you are a business that sells to other businesses, you will need to up your game on the site. Other businesses know the same strategies as you to reach customers, so you will have to be a bit more sophisticated in your approach.
The overall tactics are very similar, but you have to be more nuanced in your approach.
Here are the top do’s and don’ts for B2B on LinkedIn to give you some ideas:
DO: Treat Your Profile Like Professional Communication
Your profile shouldn’t just be a list of your company’s offerings and accomplishments, nor should it just be a resume for your CEO.
Your profile should instead tell a story about your brand. In sharing the products and services that you offer, you should be telling your clients about your values and what makes you unique. In sharing the experiences of your CEO or other top executives, you should be telling clients what sets you apart from competitors.
No one wants to read a list of someone else’s accomplishments. Use your profile to create a narrative and reach more of your clients.
Consider your profile more like a brochure or other company promotional material. What story do you want to tell?
DO: Join Relevant Groups
LinkedIn has numerous professional groups that you can use to find your clients and to establish your authority.
For example, if you sell finance software, you might want to look for groups for managers, company leaders, or those who are interested in saving money for their company. You will have a captive audience of potential clients who have already indirectly expressed interest in your product.
When you join groups, you can establish your authority by sharing relevant information or offering solutions for the members. Don’t just promote yourself in the groups or you will risk alienating potential clients. Offer solutions and information that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with you but that provides value to the members. They will be much more likely to listen to you when you are promoting yourself later.
DO: Nurture Relationships
LinkedIn is about networking, not promoting yourself. Make sure that you are actually using the site to network.
Nurture relationships by commenting on the posts that your connections share, as well as the posts that some of their connections share. Make sure your comments actually advance the conversation, rather than offering up something generic like, “Nice post!”
You can also nurture relationships through the conversations that you have in groups and in the comments section on LinkedIn Pulse blogs.
Eventually, you can tap those relationships to promote your products. For now, you should work on building those relationships and making them closer.
DON’T: Constantly Promote Yourself
No one wants to log onto LinkedIn just to hear someone try to sell them something — even if that something would ultimately help them solve a problem.
When you are on the site, think of yourself like a guest at a party. Contribute to the conversation, either by offering up useful information or some tidbit that is funny or interesting. When the moment is right, you can promote what you do as a natural part of the conversation.
You should take the same approach to your interactions on LinkedIn.
DON’T: Let Your Profile become Stagnant
Setting up the right profile is a big part of your success on LinkedIn, but it’s not the only thing.
You need to remain active on your profile by updating the information as necessary and by publishing status updates once or twice a week.
Be sure to change your profile when you make new hires, introduce new products, or have other company news to share. Share interesting articles, blog posts, and relevant products on your status updates a couple of times a week.
DON’T: Use the Default Connection Request
When you request to connect with someone on LinkedIn, the default message says “Join My Network on LinkedIn.”
There’s nothing wrong with that message, but if you want to get more attention, you will create a custom connection message. Choose a message that shows that you have read the business’ profile and that you understand what the company is all about.
The more personal your message, the more likely your request is to get noticed and to be accepted. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to get results from your activities on the site.
LinkedIn is a potentially powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. Make sure that you are getting the most from it by following these do’s and don’ts. You’ll attract more of the business clients you want and start getting leads that can help you meet your sales goals.