The 7 Benefits of LinkedIn for B2B Businesses
LinkedIn has become one of the most powerful modern tools for businesses, especially when it comes to recruiting. But the site doesn’t stop there—LinkedIn can also be used to seek and build B2B relationships.
Here are 7 benefits to this approach:
1. Stay Top of Mind
By maintaining an up-to-date profile showcasing all relevant information about your company, you keep the network of connections you’ve built up to speed on all of your new career and business developments. Your presence on LinkedIn, supported by creative methods of branching out – such as URLs to company blogs or newsletters — ensures you’ll remain top of mind for future business needs and networking opportunities. Also, LinkedIn just announced that it will be handing out rewards for those who update their profiles regularly —another incentive to keep on posting!
2. Create and Manage Your Reputation
Establishing a presence on LinkedIn allows you to manage the professional information that is publicly available about you. After all, creating and maintaining your company’s reputation is crucial in this age of social networking. By creating a profile, you are distributing the best and most accurate information, which can then be discovered by search engines (by effectively using SEO) and serve as a primary reference for learning more about you and your professional history.
3. Find and Recruit Talent
LinkedIn can also help your business to find and recruit talent. The ability to build connections, join relevant, focused groups and utilize the Job Posting functions are all great options when seeking talent. Unlike other recruiting sites, LinkedIn can connect you with passive job seekers, or those who aren’t actively looking for a new opportunity, but would consider a move for the right position.
- Once you have a completed – and thorough – job description, post it on your profile to see if anyone in your network is interested in the opportunity or knows of someone who is. This is a great way to get recommendations from your peers, and leveraging referrals is one of the 8 tips for hiring at startups.
- If you’re clear on the background you’re looking for, you can then search for individuals with that job title or work experience. Review their profiles to see if they could be a possible fit. Then send a private message detailing the opportunity, start a dialogue, and gauge interest level.
- LinkedIn has a Job Posting function that costs under $200 for a 30 day post. There’s also a 5-job pack for $775 and a 10-job pack for $1,250. This tool will post your job description to relevant users’ homepages, along with details on how to best contact you.
4. Generate Feedback
LinkedIn can also be used to generate feedback on ideas or products. By starting conversations in groups or by regularly updating your status, you’re opening the opportunity for others to respond and interact with you on any given subject. Here’s your chance to connect with opinion leaders and key influencers in your space.
5. Thought Leadership
By posting your musings and commentary to groups, you are also constructing your thought leadership. Thought leadership is defined as an individual who possesses a deep understanding of a business category and the marketplace in which he/she operates. One can establish this reputation by discussing topics with groups or by answering questions on LinkedIn’s Answers Board. With intelligence and persistence, you can quickly become an expert, and then position your organization as an industry leader. Thought leadership is competitive positioning at its finest; be sure that you’re on board.
6. Find Vendors
LinkedIn can be used to find vendors to provide services for your expansion stage company. Comb through the opinions of your groups and collect the recommendations and references of others for vendors who have historically proven to do exceptional work. Save yourself time and money, and skip the headache of engaging with a disappointing vendor.
7. Lead Generation
Though LinkedIn’s purpose is to keep you connected with existing contacts, it can also be used for Lead Generation — especially if you’ve established yourself as a thought leader. When answering questions or responding to threads, direct contributions to your applicable blog and website posts increase site traffic. When hosting a Webinar or forum, invite your connections to participate – this is a great way to engage potential leads.
As you can see, LinkedIn isn’t just another social networking site – it’s a robust and powerful tool that can assist many aspects of your expansion stage company, connect you with the rest of the market, and leverage your skills to gain respect and popularity.
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