When you think “social media”, what sites come to mind? Facebook? Twitter? While these social media sites are important when it comes to B2B selling, perhaps the cornerstone of all social media is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is all about connecting businesses with other businesses (B2B) rather than connecting businesses to consumers (B2C). What we’ll talk about here is exactly how you can use your LinkedIn account to help draw people to your manufacturing business and how your LinkedIn account can help bolster your sales.
How to Get Started
How well your LinkedIn account will perform depends on how well you set up your account, as we talk about in our free Ebook “Social Media Tune Up”. Here are just a few things that we’ve put onto an easy to follow checklist to ensure that your LinkedIn account is set up and ready to sell:
Complete your Personal Profile
- Include a Profile Picture: This is particularly important, given how anonymous the internet can be. Even if you are doing B2B selling, businesses still want to do business with people – not faceless companies.
- Include your Employment History: This is an important one, since your employment history will immediately reveal your expertise in your field.
- Include your Website: Whenever possible, advertise that website of yours. Make sure you change the name to your actual company name.
- Include Recommendations: This is particularly true for any small B2B manufacturing companies. If you have a customer who wants to give you a glowing testimonial, then by all means ask if you can include it on your LinkedIn account.
Complete your Company Profile
- Upload your Logo: Your logo not only helps with brand recognition, but it helps a customer trust you, too. It only takes two minutes, and it’s well worth your time.
- Add your Mission Statement: Throw your mission statement into your profile to let people know what you do and what the purpose of your manufacturing business is.
- Add any Employees: If you have employees who have LinkedIn accounts, by all means add them under your list of “employees”.
- Network with Others: When you’re a small B2B manufacturing business, it’s important to network, network, network! Joining groups on LinkedIn will help you build connections with people in the same or similar industries. This may help you strike up some good business deals and relationships that can benefit both companies in the future.
- Encourage Employees to Join: Again, if you have employees on LinkedIn, by all means encourage them to join in the same groups to help foster relationships.
How to Sell on LinkedIn
Selling on LinkedIn is easier than you may think. A lot of manufacturing clients that came to us in the past had yet to fully harness the power of selling on LinkedIn, but after we gave them some tips on the information below, they often doubled if not tripled their business.
Just as with Facebook, the status updates that you post on LinkedIn are powerful. You can share important news articles and industry news that you feel is beneficial to anyone who is involved in your industry. You can easily share this with your groups that you join too by clicking on the “share” button. Your status updates will then post to all of the groups you’re a member of, and it can even sent that update out as an email to people who aren’t on LinkedIn.
Sharing your status updates accomplishes two major things:
Watch who comments. Listen to what’s being said. Check out the profiles of some of the other group members and see how they think and feel about various topics.
Develop a Rapport
If you’re checking out the profiles of people on LinkedIn and participating regularly in groups, then you’ll be able to find out a ton of information on them. For example, you may find out that someone’s interests include F1 racing, dogs, and the Mets. And what a coincidence – you also are a Mets fan and have a German shepherd you love at home. Just having those common interests can help foster a good business relationship in the future. A recent client of ours said that she made a great business connection on LinkedIn because they both loved oil painting and even having that one thing in common allowed her to trust this other business contact more than others online.
If you’re a manufacturer who really wants to benefit from LinkedIn, then you have to do two things:
- Fill out your profile completely
- Learn how to sell by building personal relationships with other companies online
If you’re a manufacturer interested in maximizing your LinkedIn presence, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.