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LinkedIn or Facebook for B2B Companies?

Increasing website traffic by wasting less time on social networks that aren’t right for your business model

LinkedIn Groups are essential to any B2B social audience development strategy. While the B2C companies are yelling “Facebook!” from the rooftops, B2B companies would be more wise to head in their own business-oriented direction.

This isn’t to say the B2B companies can’t garner a following on Facebook. However, here are the common problems with the results that B2B companies see from Facebook:

1. The “fans” they’re getting aren’t their target audience, they’re a consumer audience, the ones that don’t buy.

2. Their target audience doesn’t like to mix personal with business, and therefore don’t want business articles and ideas showing up in their everyday feed, which is what happens when they “like” the B2B company.

Now, this isn’t to say that a B2B company shouldn’t value their fans and followers on every network. The more people that share your content, the more eyes it’s in front of. The faith you have in social media is that eventually it will get in front of the person you want. So no matter what, sharing is good, no matter the network.

However, for a more tactical approach with more worth-while results, it only makes sense to work within a social network that is completely business-oriented. This social network is LinkedIn.

What LinkedIn lacks over Facebook is that—in terms of numbers—it doesn’t have the every day attention the way that Facebook does. However, the largest percentage of active Facebook users (29%) are between the ages of 18 and 25. However, with LinkedIn, its largest percentage of active users are aged 35 to 44 and then 45-54.

The most social area of LinkedIn is LinkedIn Groups. This is where people can join niche discussion forums and communicate with each other even when they aren’t first-hand “contacts”. There are several benefits to being active in LinkedIn Groups:

1. Creating a group will allow you to message members of your group, pretty much whenever you want. Remember that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Be tactful.

2. Being a member of a group will also allow you to message members of the group, so long as the moderator allows you to message them. You probably shouldn’t make a habit of spamming people though.

3. Members are emailed updates of conversations they’re a part of, and also of discussions that are hot in the group. If you’re contributing a lot, people will start to familiarize themselves with your name and your expertise.

4. Being an active member of a group will grow your network, as they begin to see you as an expert in your niche.

5. When posting in discussions, you can try answering questions by including a link to articles you’ve written or white papers you’ve releases, so long as they answer the question.

By being an active member in any LinkedIn group and acting favorably, you’ll attract people to yourself and to your website so that they can learn more about you and the content you produce.

The great thing about LinkedIn is that there are so many people just like you on the network. The bad thing about LinkedIn is that… there are so many people just like you on the network. So your usual marketing techniques aren’t going to work on other marketers, for example.

In terms of getting a return on your time investment, LinkedIn is much more likely to create a new contact, get a new lead, or get a valuable email subscriber on your list than Facebook or another B2C network. Try actively participating on LinkedIn for a month and let me know your results!

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One thought on “LinkedIn or Facebook for B2B Companies?

  1. Nice article. Really interesting point – “for a more tactical approach with more worth-while results, it only makes sense to work within a social network that is completely business-oriented. This social network is LinkedIn.”

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