LinkedIn Company Page For B2B –

I am convinced that if you are involved in a Business to Business (B2B) operation that a credible LinkedIn Company page is a must. With so much talk about “social media signals” being an influence in search engine rankings, I have personally never seen a study proving the significance of a company’s social media presence actually tied to a rise in their SERPs. There is no question that a business to consumer (B2C) model must actively engage in the social media arena and have a sound strategic plan in place to engage their customers and potential target audience. Defining “where their audience hangs out” and “who are the influencers” are key elements in building a company’s Social Media component of its overall online strategic marketing plan for a B2C business. However, I believe that in most B2B situations, the key is to initially develop a sound foundation with a credible and professional LinkedIn Company page.

What I Encounter in the Real World –

Obviously I can only share my own limited experiences regarding what I run across in the “real world” of selling Internet marketing services and web development, but here is what I usually see:
– The B2B client has a personal LinkedIn account, but no company page.
– If they do have a Company LinkedIn page, it is either not credible (usually with outdated and/or wrong information), unprofessional looking and NEVER posted to.
– They almost always have a Facebook and Twitter company page. A small percentage will additionally have a Pinterest, Instagram &/or a Google+ account (in very rare instances).

I quickly want to note that I am a firm believer in a company Facebook page for all businesses. This includes B2B businesses. The reason I believe this is twofold: a company Facebook page can be an important aspect of a company’s culture for present employees and for attracting future employees. For current employees, the company Facebook page is a great way to both engage them and to communicate with them. Who doesn’t like browsing through the pictures of the recent company picnic or Holiday party? As for prospective employees, what better way to share your company’s involvement in your community and to show what a great place your business is to work at?

The reality is that the majority of clients and prospects are overwhelmed by the tasks involved and lack a definitive strategy regarding prioritizing their tasks and resources when it comes to the Social Media component of Internet marketing. Many get “excited” by the prospect of taking action, but inevitably end up with a poor result. The attempt results in a “scattered” Social Media presence that actually makes the business look bad. One expert who is a friend of mine said it very succinctly: “A business is better off taking no action than ending up looking like amateurs with a crappy attempt in regards to Social Media”. The end result is that they basically “give up” and leave what they’ve done stagnant for the world to judge them by.

Have A Social Media Plan –

I’m amazed that the majority of businesses that I deal with do not initially have a Social Media plan. Would anyone actually start a business without a Business Plan? Yet when it comes to Social Media, what I see is a lack of planning and a “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” attitude. In many instances I believe that the “old school” mentality of many businesses view the entire Social Media arena with skepticism and therefor really don’t believe it will be successful to begin with. AND of course it fails.
Add to the mix these two beliefs that I run across constantly:
1. Development of a Social Media Plan should be easy and cheap.
2. Let’s just hire our nephew or son-in-law: “They know all about this stuff”.
Amazing how many business owners would allow a young, inexperienced and “untested” individual to basically represent their business online.

In attempt to help and educate, a business should ask the following questions (at the very least) when discussing a Social Media strategy:
– What is the goal(s) of a Social Media presence?
– What Social Media platform(s) would work best for us?
– What internal resources can we commit?
– What is our budget?
– What are our expectations?
– What is our time frame?
– How will we measure success or ROI?
These are just some basic preliminary questions. I’m sure that most marketers can add on to the list. The point is that to end up with a successful effort, the plan is the key. Of course it changes over time, as social media evolves. BUT -> starting without an initial plan is like driving from Orlando to New York without a map. There are numerous ways to eventually get there, but do you really want to see Dollywood? <J/K>

Case Study –

Here is an example of one of our clients who came to us without a plan. They are a large Pharmacy staffing and consulting company who firmly believes in Internet marketing. SEO was obviously a key to their online success, but their previous marketing agency told them that they needed to be involved in Social Media. Then the agency established Facebook and Pinterest campaigns for them. The results after two years? In a word: NOTHING.

We created a professional LinkedIn Company page and now are in the process of letting our clients customers and connections know that the new company page is published. This was an interesting example to note because they actually had a very old existing company LinkedIn page that was full of mistakes and wrong information. The real problem was that no one knew who the page Admin was and LinkedIn lacks the functionality to remove the old admin (and add a new one without the previous admin’s approval). Now we are attempting to merge and remove the older company page. Take a look at the new page: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/22315086/
For those folks that want to compare to the old company page, here’s the link: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1618424/

As always, I’m open to discussion and feedback. Please feel free to email me at bernie@bpaac.com if you agree, disagree or would like to address any points or topics that I missed or screwed up. PLUS reach out if you need help with your company’s LinkedIn or online marketing.