As a small business or B2B owner when you look at a typical social media rah-rah article you probably come away wondering what all the hype is about. Most of it doesn’t seem to apply to you. This happens because the early drivers of social media marketing were B2C companies that cater to young buyers. This doesn’t mean a typical small B2B business should write off social media, however. It does mean they have to work harder to wade through the hype and focus on only the strategies that work for them. Many businesses build robust social media marketing strategies by concentrating on just one social platform: LinkedIn™.
LinkedIn is a professional social networking platform. Members share industry knowledge and colleague recommendations. Connections are made through work affiliations and professional associations more than friends and family. LinkedIn also happens to be B2B centric, with 91% of senior B2B marketers using LinkedIn and half of LinkedIn members saying they are “likely to buy from a company they engage with on the platform.”
- Create a LinkedIn Company Page to promote your business. Not only does this offer potential customers a place to view the basic profile, it creates a space for you to post exciting company news and show off your industry experience. Be sure to fill out the page completely for best search results.
- Post engaging content to build followers and establish industry leadership.
- Content might include:
- Links to blog posts or landing pages on your main corporate website.
- Press Releases
- Curated industry news that is interesting to your clients
- Repurposed advertising, video or graphic content produced for your other marketing channels
- Create Showcase Pages which let you build on this to promote specific products or events your business is sponsoring.
- Use LinkedIn Publisher to share full articles directly on the platform in addition to linking to your website. Not only does this content reach more of your followers, it gives you access to statistics about who read, liked and shared the articles.
- Participate in LinkedIn Groups with both peers and customers. Groups give you the opportunity to have real conversations about real problems and solutions in your areas of expertise.
- Offer LinkedIn recommendations. This allows your customers and peers to write reviews directly on your products and services tab. Drive followers, customers and partners to write reviews, which are then also promoted through their 
What to Measure:
- Think of LinkedIn as an online, never-ending industry convention: sometimes it’s just important to be there. This means you want to measure followers and engagement. LinkedIn also lets you offer targeted posts to specific demographics once you reach certain numbers of followers.
- Set goals for how many conversations you join in a Group and then track how many respond to them.
- Monitor analytics on your main website to tell you how many of your followers find it through LinkedIn.
- While LinkedIn can connect you to decision makers at executive levels, its demographics are fairly narrow. Its primary benefit is exposure and brand recognition. You will be able to make connections and establish credibility, but you also need to keep your other marketing channels open to drive leads and sales.
LinkedIn isn’t a complete marketing solution, but if you are primarily a B2B or service-oriented business, it can be a highly successful social media component of your overall marketing strategy.