For those operating in the business to business sector, social media has to be approached a little differently to business to consumer operations but when done correctly it can be extremely rewarding generating new connections, enquiries and ultimately, sales. We have worked with many business to business clients over the years and have adapted a strategy that has produced real results – from initial connections to the order landing in your inbox, we take a look at LinkedIn for business and how it can work for you.
First of all, it is important to understand that this is a manual process that is carried out in stages and requires a commitment of 30 minutes to an hour each week to keep on top of it. Do you have the time/manpower to do this or do you need help with this?
The steps to creating a LinkedIn following
There are several steps involved in the process of creating a LinkedIn for business following, some more detailed than others and some that need to be repeated on a regular basis. Primarily, they involve:
- Creating an optimised personal profile
- Creating an optimised business page
- Sending out connections requests to relevant people
- Inviting those that connect to follow your business page
- Nurturing those connections
- Posting relevant content via your page
- Leveraging your own profile to share your business content
Follow the process
First things first, it’s time to make sure that you create the right impression for your potential clients.
Take care of your own profile first
Before you start sending out connections to people, you need to make sure your own houses is in order. Do you have a profile picture, a cover photo, are all your details up to date, have you tagged your business page into your personal profile. Have you even got a business page set up for your business? A business page and your personal page are two different entities but both are important for successful LinkedIn for business growth. Your personal profile is how you will make the initial connection, the business page is how you will share your company information and tell your audience more about what you do.
Know your audience
Once you have created an optimised profile and business page, you can then move onto the process of building connections. First of all you need to ascertain who your audience is. Who are your customers, what industry are they in and who is buying your products? Who are you reaching out to? Who makes the decisions? Is it the CEO, the COO, the Operations Director or the Purchasing Manager? Who do you usually deal with? This won’t be a one size fits all approach as different people will have different roles and responsibilities depending on the size of the organisation and who is responsible for making the ultimate decision.
The best idea is to target all of the relevant roles in the most appropriate industry and connect with all of the relevant people within an organisation. Make a connection with the right people as your first step.
Top tip – take it an industry at a time until you have exhausted all the prospects. This is much better than a scatter gun approach where you can lose your way.
Building and nurturing connections
Making connections is the next step. Depending on the type of account you have will depend on how many connection requests you can send. You can actually do this without a paid for account but it does limit who you can connect with. You can send 100 connection requests per week on a free account so use them wisely. You can pay a premium starting at £24.98 per month to get a premium LinkedIn account.
Establishing the connection
It may seem a little spammy but trust us, we have seen the results. It’s how you pitch that first message that makes the difference. We often right a section of different messages to see which gets the best response. Creating the right intro message is key and will mean the difference between getting a response or not. This is something we can help and advise on. It’s about giving just the right amount of information and capturing the attention of the recipient of your message.
Once the connection accepts (not all of them will) then invite them to follow your page. We can advise on these steps. You can respond to them if they message back or you can just send a message to thank them for following. You can even initiate the next step of offering to send them more information. Just be careful not to overdo it.
You can only invite so many connections a month to follow your page on a free account so you may want to do this wisely and spread this out among members of your organisation.
What is important is that you give them something interesting and engaging to see when they accept your follow request so be sure to create engaging content for your LinkedIn business page.
What do you post on a business to business page?
- Meet the team – introduce various members of the team with a photo and a bio of each staff member
- Products – post some pictures and info with links to your website – this may be tools, equipment, supplies etc.
- Links to website – information, blogs, product info etc.
- New product info
- Industry news
- Articles written specifically for LinkedIn
- Videos of products in operation, factory operations
- Case studies and testimonials
With LinkedIn for business the key is consistency. This needs to be an ongoing process to build momentum and keep your followers growing. You need to dedicate time to repeat the process of building connections and inviting them to follow your page each week. If this all seems a little overwhelming and you would like some help, we can offer many different levels of support from providing a support document to guide you through the process along with example messages to managing your LinkedIn for you. Just get in touch at email@example.com.