LinkedIn is revolutionising the job market. Following on from the success of popular job seekers websites like Monster and Reed, LinkedIn went one step further, establishing the first professional social network. Between 2003 and 2016, LinkedIn has grown from 500,000 to over 500 million users, and new research conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that online talent platforms could increase global GDP by $2.7 trillion annually by 2025. As the online talent and recruitment sector continues to grow, more and more businesses are reevaluating the ways in which they market themselves to potential employees.
LinkedIn is a human-centred social network – it enables the people who use it to take more control over their career and their professional image. Through peer-to-peer endorsements, LinkedIn Learning courses, and personalised job recommendations, users of LinkedIn develop a better understanding of the job market and benefit from improved job mobility. LinkedIn is a company driven by the professional needs of the people who use it.
We know that LinkedIn is good for professionals, but what about businesses? We believe that everyone should consider LinkedIn when putting together their commercial strategy.
LinkedIn for B2B
When it comes to B2B marketing, it’s impossible to overlook LinkedIn. The numbers speak for themselves; LinkedIn drives 80% of all leads generated through social networks and 89% of B2B marketers are already using LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the second-most popular marketing platform for B2B after email. There are a number of ways in which LinkedIn can be used to build brand equity:
From employee to brand advocate
Engaging with employees via LinkedIn is a win-win. The people who work for you probably already have a personal profile on LinkedIn – and unlike other social platforms, LinkedIn is designed for business professionals so a more corporate message won’t look out of place on their feed. They can engage with your company in a way that is genuine and authentic.
The success of any organisation is dependent, at least in part, on the extent to which they understand their employees. Shared values motivate us, as co-workers, to promote the organisation we work for both online and off. Remember, content shared by employees garners, on average, 8x the engagement achieved by content shared through official channels; your employees can be your biggest advocates.
LinkedIn is transformative too; it provides employers with an opportunity to gauge how the people who work for them really feel about the organisation they work for, based in part on whether or not they’re willing and proud to share content created by the brand.
By maximising LinkedIn’s blogging feature for businesses, brands can promote themselves through social alone, or increase traffic to a separate blog. Your audience is already on LinkedIn, so why not meet them halfway? Not only is it straightforward to build connections through LinkedIn, with over 1.5 million targeted groups already in existence – from established organisations like TED, to more niche, localised groups that consist of only a few dozen members – identifying potential new audiences is easier than ever.
LinkedIn allows professionals to engage with their network while, at the same time, demonstrating thought leadership and a strong sense of organisational direction.
Through specific tools like Showcase pages, LinkedIn allows companies to market certain products and services directly. Users of the platform can stay up to date by following only the pages related to the brand offering they’re interested in. Microsoft, for example, has a page dedicated to their Office software suite. These pages link back to the main brand page, enabling businesses to present audiences interested in a specific product or service with specialised information and updates. It’s a great option for organisations attempting to target multiple audiences at once.
Say it loud
Your website is your showcase, built for a global audience. LinkedIn is like your megaphone, broadcasting your identity to a new and relevant group of potential consumers. Create engaging content that your employees will want to share and LinkedIn will help to amplify your message.
With such a broad range of marketing channels and content platforms available for your brand, it can be easy to disregard networks like LinkedIn. However, it is often these disregarded channels that can create real impact, targeting the right individuals with the right message in an undersaturated environment.
As John Sviokla of the Harvard Business Review explains, promoting yourself on LinkedIn is a bit like attending an industry convention – some people are there just for fun, but most ‘are there for commerce’, on the lookout for new business connections and opportunities. LinkedIn’s business model is based on selling access to their extensive network, and with over 400 million active users, it’s a platform worth every penny.