How LinkedIn B2B Marketing Builds Communities

What makes a good community? Participation, for one thing. Engagement. Shared purpose. Passion. When all of these elements come together authentically, we experience the joy of learning from and working with people we respect and admire.

With a user base of over 875 million professionals looking to connect and collaborate, LinkedIn provides remarkable opportunities for B2B marketers to build these kinds of communities. When your online community is really humming, networking, collaborating, and developing leads all start to feel like second nature.

That’s why we’ve got some suggestions for how to develop your LinkedIn B2B marketing strategy around active and engaged communities.

Illustration of a digital hand icon with plants growing from the icon

Why LinkedIn B2B Marketing Works

According to LinkedIn’s own internal data, B2B Marketing on the platform is not only effective, it’s also a preferred channel. They report that 96% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute their content, and 80% opt for paid content on the platform. LinkedIn Conversation ads also boast 4x the open and engagement rates compared to email marketing.

6 Tips for LinkedIn B2B Marketing and Community Building

LinkedIn has turned out to be something of a dark horse candidate in the world of social media marketing. Facebook snatched up all the attention early on. Instagram’s flashy. Twitter makes news. But it isn’t too hard to see why a social media site specially tailored to professional networking has become a must for B2B marketing. Let’s dive into our top tips for a successful LinkedIn B2B Marketing campaign.

Post early and often

Posting and sharing relevant content on a consistent, regular basis will grow your brand’s organic reach.

Organic reach — remember that? It’s harder and harder to come by on social media these days. But it’s still alive and well on LinkedIn — 40% of users organically engage with at least one page every week.

That’s why consistent new content is the name of the game. Company pages that post weekly have 5.6 times more followers than those that post monthly — and their followings grow 7 times faster. If you haven’t laid the groundwork for an inbound marketing strategy, now’s the time to start.

What is the 60-30-10 rule for LinkedIn?

There’s a rule of thumb for social media posting called The 60-30-10 Rule.

  • 60% of what you share should be content from third-party sources — that includes sharing other people’s LinkedIn posts, which is a must. Regular sharing and commenting shows you’re human and engaged.
  • 30% of what you share should be content you’ve created: that could be just a post, it could be blog content that lives on LinkedIn, or it can be inbound content on your company site.
  • Just 10% of what you share should be direct calls-to-action that link to landing page offers.

Know your niche and know your audience

For all marketing, always, step 1 is always, always: know your audience. Well-developed buyer personas are critical to your marketing efforts. I know, I know — you don’t want to limit yourself. But trust me, if you’re trying to talk to everyone, you’re talking to no one.

Fortunately, B2B marketers have a little bit of a leg up because their products and services are more niche than your average direct-to-consumer company. Anyone might buy a toaster — even a really great one — but B2B marketers know they’re talking to a smaller audience. Your Aunt Gertrude isn’t in the market for semiconductors or cloud storage solutions. (At least, not that we know of… 🤔)

Understanding your customers will go a long way toward generating ideas for what will engage them. When you’re attuned to their needs and concerns, you’ll recognize shareable content that solves their problems.

Now if only there were a website that aggregates user-entered data about the businesses you’ve worked with… Hang on a sec. We’re talking about it right now! LinkedIn offers a wealth of info and a wide variety of targeting parameters that will help you hone in on the businesses and the decision-makers you want to reach.

Create a Group on LinkedIn

One way to give an online community a more concrete reality is to create a group. (Here are the steps.) Groups on LinkedIn help you gather like-minded people with common professional interests.

Create a group for your industry, not just one for your company. You already have a company page — the purpose of the group is to expand your focus and invite others to collaborate, share ideas, and make connections.

Invite coworkers, colleagues, and customers. Make sure there’s logic to the people you invite — high-profile members will further bolster your professional credibility and a tight focus on your professional niche will keep posts relevant, focused, and valuable.

Be the first to contribute. Don’t wait for others to start posting. Lead by example. Your willingness to invest time and energy in the group will demonstrate your passion and rub off on others.

Interact with your community

Growing your brand is serious business, and as professionals, our minds leap ahead to all the sophisticated marketing strategies and high-value assets we want to put in place right at the start.

Now don’t get us wrong — that’s our jam. But don’t neglect the fundamentals. You can start building a community around your brand right now by consistently and sincerely reaching out and engaging other users.

That means taking time each day to:

  • Make new connections.
  • Reply to comments.
  • Ask questions.
  • Like and share other people’s posts.

The key here is a soft touch–don’t try to pitch new connections right away or immediately direct them back to your company page. Remember the difference between demand gen and lead gen. For now, the goal is exposure. When you reach out and comment with heartfelt praise and honest opinions, people will notice. They’ll look you up. They’ll start to come to you.

Cultivate your company’s employee network

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth time and effort. Actively encourage your colleagues to connect their personal LinkedIn accounts with your company page.

This expands your page’s reach, improves your engagement metrics, and shows other businesses and potential clients that your organization is active and engaged.

Once your employees are connected and posting, encourage and cultivate them the way you would other professionals you’re seeking to attract. Like and comment on their posts and share useful info and interesting stories.

Remember: you and your employees are more effective ambassadors for your brand than your company account can be. People want to interact with other people, not just with companies. Employee social sharing can produce up to eight times as much interaction as content shared by your company page, and other people are 25 times more likely to reshare it.

Put a human face on your brand

“B2B” can be a little misleading for one reason: people do business with people. Professionals use LinkedIn not to connect with businesses, but to connect with the people at those businesses who wield influence and make decisions. Ask yourself, who would you rather find out liked your post: the Coca-Cola company or their CFO?

The same goes for your organization. People want to interact with the influencers at your company, not just with your business page. That’s why employees and executives alike need to be ambassadors for their companies, and company pages should share posts from their members. When people associate trustworthy professionals with well-managed brands, both the brands and the people benefit.

Nick Ferry's LinkedIn profile puts a human face on Big Sea business
Nick Ferry on LinkedIn

It’s all about connections

Whether you’re just getting started on the platform or you’ve been building your LinkedIn strategy for years and you’re ready to crank it up to the next level, Big Sea has the expertise to expand your reach, develop leads, fine-tune your messaging, and catapult your ROI.

Connect with us to find out how our marketing experts will help you grow your business.