Should I bother with LinkedIn if I run a consumer business?
"Should I be using LinkedIn if I’m trying to reach consumers and I’m not selling to other businesses?". This question crops up frequently when we talk to startups.
We’re all stretched, and if you’re selling baseballs, beer, or bundt cakes, LinkedIn – the professional networking site – is hardly going to be your first choice social media platform when Instagram and Facebook are a better fit.
But there are five good reasons B2C companies should, regularly, dedicate some time to LinkedIn...
1. To build an ‘employer’ brand If you struggle to hire good people, LinkedIn is where they’re lurking. Not only can you use its jobs board to reach a huge pool of talented candidates (every eight seconds someone gets hired on there), many businesses use LinkedIn company pages to promote what it’s like to work for them. They post about their perks, culture, events and people. It heightens the appeal of working for that company, and builds trust in their brand.
LinkedIn data suggests companies with strong employer brands have a 28% reduction in staff turnover, spend 50% less on each hire, get 50% more qualified applicants and hire one to two times faster than average.
Three quarters of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a vacancy, and 52% seek out the company’s website and social media to learn more about the employer.
Note that candidates trust a company’s employees three times more than the company to provide credible information about what it’s like to work there, so the most successful LinkedIn company pages will include content created by employees and staff case studies.
2. For virtual business networking Find and join LinkedIn groups to meet like-minded people – be it young female entrepreneurs, LGBTQ professionals and allies in tech, or folk in the English wine industry – ‘connect’ with people you’d like to meet, and ‘follow’ mentors and leaders who post interesting content (depending on the size of their following, you may be able to get on their radar by commenting on their posts).
If you’re willing to pay for a premium membership, you can also ‘InMail’ people you’re not connected with, including potential investors and partners.
3. For greater visibility Business folk are also your customers. They might be on LinkedIn to promote themselves and their businesses, but they also buy baseballs, beer and bundt cakes.
And don’t underestimate its reach: LinkedIn has 645+ million users globally. (Bonus: because they are there in a professional capacity, they tend to be better behaved and more supportive than tetchy tweeters).
4. To stay on top of the news New tools and functions on LinkedIn make it easier to stay up to date with industry news. As well as following trade publications you like, you can also follow LinkedIn’s news editors and sign up to the LinkedIn Daily Rundown.
Trending stories and breaking news appears in the top right hand corner of your feed and you can curate what you see in your feed by following hashtags that interest you e.g. #climatestrike #startuplife. Find this in the lower left hand column on your feed.
5. Because you might be missing a trick In the past few years, I’ve worked with a few startups who’ve overlooked the B2B market for their products or services. Yoga instructors, personal trainers and sports equipment specialists, for example, could be tapping into the massive demand for wellness activities in the workplace, while luxury food brands and businesses curating subscription boxes could be targeting the lucrative corporate and employee gifts market. Make sure you're not missing a trick.
Tartle Media works with startups and small businesses looking for press exposure and LinkedIn content campaigns. Email us to talk shop.