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With its focus firmly on the business community, LinkedIn is fast becoming one of the most important tools in the social media marketing mix of many companies, not only for B2B marketing, but also for recruitment purposes. The unique value of LinkedIn comes from its focus on creating business networks, rather than enabling people to arrange their social lives.
Up-to-date profiles of a company and its key employees – especially senior managers – provide gateways to a company website, business blogs and other digital PR assets. They also set out the brand values of a business and establish its credentials as an employer or business partner.
These passive virtues of a presence on LinkedIn are useful in establishing a brand’s presence in social media, but where a brand really comes to life is in the group discussions that take place on LinkedIn. Companies or individuals can start groups to bring people together around a specific business sector, and within that they can start discussions about relevant business issues.
For a company building its brand reputation, the power of these discussions is that they provide the ideal forum in which to demonstrate that a business has its finger on the pulse of the latest trends and issues affecting a given business sector. Furthermore, within those discussions it can showcase the knowledge, skills and experience that it possesses.
In short, these discussions bring brand values to life. They enable a company to show that the image it projects through traditional or social media is, in fact, credible. Getting the right people in a company to become involved in these discussions, share knowledge, answer questions and raise pertinent issues is an extremely powerful way of backing up the promises a brand makes about how it operates and what it can achieve.
LinkedIn has rapidly become one of the most powerful tools for B2B marketing and recruitment. It allows brands to build a reputation on their skills and abilities, not just the slogans that appear in its advertising.
Fully engaging with LinkedIn is one of the best ways for a company to live up to the claims it makes for its brand.