The LinkedIn network is beefing up its appeal to business-to-business content marketers. The professional network boasts 150 million users who visit the site to learn about more than what movies their contacts just saw or what they had for dinner. The rollout of the LinkedIn ‘Follow Company’ button, announced two days ago, makes it easier to target and engage with that B2B audience already using LinkedIn.
Following the Leaders
LinkedIn’s Mike Grishaver announced the network’s addition of a Follow Company button in a blog post Monday. He notes that LinkedIn already has over 2 million companies in its network. “Companies will engage with you from their Company Page on LinkedIn and through status updates,” Grishaver writes. He notes the Follow button is already being used by companies such as Starbucks, AT&T andSony.
“LinkedIn seems to have recognized,” says content marketing blogger Jonathan Crossfield (http://jonathancrossfield.com/), “that people are using it for broader professional networking.” Crossfield believes LinkedIn is just catching up with offerings from other social networks, but does have some advantages over its competition.
Leveraging the Business Suit Network
According to Crossfield, Facebook is great for B2C marketing, but LinkedIn works better for B2B. “Imagine LinkedIn as a business suit and Facebook as a Hawaiian shirt,” he says. “People are more likely to share content that demonstrates or develops their professional reputation or thought leadership on LinkedIn,” Crossfield explains, “and save the funny cat memes or party photos for Facebook.”
“Following companies on LinkedIn is a great and easy way to gain insights and stay connected,” writes Grishaver. And Crossfield has personally seen the benefits: “My LinkedIn company page has grown in followers far faster than our Facebook page with far less effort,” he explains.
Reassessing the Benefits
LinkedIn is an already obvious tool for businesses. But unlike Facebook or Twitter, it’s full utility isn’t always clear, as Todd Wheatland explained in his article, LinkedIn and the New Age of Influence. So it may well be time to reassess how you use LinkedIn and whether you’re getting the full benefit of the “Business Suit Network”.