For the last few years, most social media buzz has been all about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those are the big social networks. Businesses in every industry have been told time and time again that they need to be on those platforms in order to be successful.
However, there is another big player that should be on your agency’s radar. With over 530 million users, LinkedIn focuses on the professional side of social networking. This makes it just as valuable for businesses as other social media, and gives distinct advantages in certain areas.
If your agency isn’t on LinkedIn yet, it should be. Here are 12 good reasons in support of our point:
3rd most-used platform for business owners
According to a Salesforce report published in 2015, LinkedIn is in the top 3 most-used social media platforms for business owners. Of those surveyed, 62% of business owners said that they were already using it. In addition, another 22% said they planned on adding it to their social media strategy. This means LinkedIn is a very popular option for business owners and other professionals–and it’s continuing to grow.
Getting your agency on LinkedIn today means it won’t be left behind, leaving the advantage to competitors using the platform.
Better for B2B
If your agency sells any commercial lines of insurance, then LinkedIn is the place to be. It’s the #1 social network for B2B marketers. In fact, 41% of B2B marketers said that LinkedIn was their main social media focus.
In terms of reaching high-value customers and business owners, LinkedIn can give your agency a huge advantage. Consider this: An entrepreneur starting a new business in your area may not have a lot of time to spend on Facebook. But there is a good chance that they’ll be on LinkedIn making connections with people who can help their new company. They will also be looking for a reliable local agent to insure their business. Being where these high-value clients are, at a time when they are most likely to need your services, is an obvious strategy. LinkedIn offers a simple way to achieve that.
One of the top places to recruit new talent
Being a social network for professionals, LinkedIn makes it easy to find the top professionals in your area. Because user profiles on the site are built around showcasing professional achievements, it’s easy to find out everything you know about a potential new employee at a glance.
Typical hiring practices involve your agency posting a job in the paper or on a job site, and waiting for candidates to submit their applications. When you’re on LinkedIn, you can still post the job opening where anyone interested in the position can see it and apply. However, you can also search for local professionals you think would be a good fit for your agency. Taking an approach at hiring from two angles, you’re more likely to hire folks who will bring the most value to your business.
Helps you grow your network and client base
Being on LinkedIn is all about cultivating and expanding your professional network. This can be great for finding commercial insurance customers either locally, or by making connections through existing business clients.
LinkedIn has an extremely handy feature that lets users introduce their connections to one another. The next time you speak with a commercial client, just ask if they use the feature to connect you with anyone they think could benefit from coverage you offer. Alternately, if you visit the profile of a 2nd degree connection who you think is a good prospect, you can use the “ask for an introduction” feature to solicit a referral from the person you’re both connected to.
Clients aren’t the only thing you can gain from LinkedIn. It’s also a great place to create professional partnerships with the potential for generating referrals. By establishing relationships with vendors and suppliers who cater to local businesses, you have a chance to work with them for your mutual benefit. You can introduce them to your clients, and they can introduce you to theirs.
#1 for B2B product launches
We know that people follow brands on social media to get details on promotions, special offers, and new products, and more. LinkedIn isn’t any different. Therefore, LinkedIn is the perfect place to announce your new offerings. (Particularly commercial lines of coverage that can benefit businesses in your network.) Many companies have already found success with this strategy. In fact, more than half of vendors surveyed said they saw more sales after sharing on LinkedIn.
Increases your search visibility
You may not be able to be in multiple places at once in person. But when it comes to social media, you should be in as many places as possible. Having a presence on LinkedIn not only increases your visibility, it can also give your agency a boost in search rankings. When you’re easier to find, more customers will head your way.
Better for generating leads
People who browse LinkedIn are usually doing it with a business-focused mindset. In other words, they are there to advance their own professional interests. They want to make connections that are beneficial to their businesses. And they’re looking for businesses and products that can help them achieve their professional goals. So if your agency is selling commercial lines of coverage, LinkedIn gives you the perfect audience–giving you access to more leads and better conversions.
Did you know that LinkedIn is the best social network out there in terms of lead generation? In fact, it is 277% more effective than Facebook and Twitter. Plus the chances of getting a conversion from a lead are almost three times higher on LinkedIn than on other social networks. If generating new leads is the main thing your agency hopes to achieve by getting on social media, then LinkedIn is an obvious choice.
Lets you keep tabs on your competition
Connecting with other people in your industry is a great use of LinkedIn. Not only does it help you stay on good terms with people who may be helpful to your business, but it also allows you to see what your competition is doing. By regularly checking the business pages of your competitors in the area, you can identify trends and areas of opportunity.And that will allow you to hone your social media strategy.
Helps you stand out from your competitors
If you are just now setting up your agency on LinkedIn, chances are that many of your competitors haven’t thought to do so yet. The sooner you create your profile and start making connections, the more of a head start you’ll have. While they are still getting leads and building client relationships the old-fashioned way, you’ll have a technological advantage.
Nurtures better face-to-face professional relationships
LinkedIn is a great place to build better relationships with your existing clients. Engaging with other users’ content and updates, as well as posting your own, is a wonderful way to build trust and rapport. (Just like you would on any other social media platform.)
However, because LinkedIn isn’t about simply making friends, these relationships will benefit your agency in much more powerful ways. The connections you make on LinkedIn will be practical and, often, mutually beneficial. Most importantly, they don’t exist solely online.
In the insurance industry, in-person meetings with clients and partners are still a huge part of the job. According to this infographic from Wishpond, 44% of users reported that LinkedIn helped them build better face-to-face relationships. That means that, the next time you meet with representatives from one of your commercial clients, it’s likely to be a more successful and more comfortable meeting if you’ve already established connections through LinkedIn.
Better organic reach
We’ve spoken before about social media algorithms and how they can be tricky to plan around. You want to get your content in front of the most people, and that’s hard when news feed algorithms don’t favor content from brands.
However, one of the big advantages of using LinkedIn is that its newsfeed feature doesn’t prioritize or filter content. A user sees content from the pages they follow in the order it was posted, regardless of who has posted it or how frequent their updates are. This means that, on LinkedIn, your content will reach more people without you having to boost or promote posts. This is called “organic reach,” and it is every social media marketer’s favorite thing.
In terms of having more of an impact, LinkedIn may be the most important platform for sharing news and educational content, simply because of its capacity for better organic reach.
Effective for content distribution
Do you have an insurance blog? You should. Packing your blog with quality, educational, insurance-related content is the perfect way to poise yourself as an expert in your industry. And once you have the content, LinkedIn is the perfect place to share it.
We discussed above how great LinkedIn’s organic reach is, letting more people see your content with less effort on your part. According to a 2014 report, LinkedIn was the most effective platform for content distribution, ranking ahead of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. And in addition to organic reach, using LinkedIn advertising expands your content distribution beyond just your 1st-degree connections, and gets it in front of other industry professionals and influencers beyond your network. Whatever content you create–whether it’s blog content, video, infographics, or anything else you can think of–you’re sure to get the most bang for your buck sharing it on LinkedIn.
When people think of social media, LinkedIn isn’t always the first platform that comes to mind. However, it’s certainly one that shouldn’t be ignored. For making professional connections and advancing your commercial business, LinkedIn is an indispensable resource–and it’s right at your fingertips.
–By Mallory DuPuy