Social media 3For B2B companies, Linkedin typically generates more leads than any other social media network. If you are still slogging it out with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and have not yet tried Linkedin, maybe it’s time to switch.

Linkedin actually works in a very similar way to Facebook. You can set up a company page and post your content there, and you can also set up group pages and invite followers that share a similar interest in a particular niche.

Make the most of your company page

Anybody can see your company page. This is your opportunity to stake your claim in the virtual world and raise awareness of your brand. Passersby that view your profile will study the content on this page and determine whether or not they want to connect.

It is therefore important that you make the most of the space on your company page. Explain what your brand and company is about in the description page and make it interesting and engaging.

You do not have to write a sales pitch on your homepage, but share your vision for your company with readers so they get excited about what you have to say. They will be more likely to want to know more.

You should also encourage your employees to create Linkedin profiles. This widens the net for your brand and helps drive more traffic to your company page and your business website.

You should also be using your company page to host content on your blog, or landing pages offering attractive deals. Your content should be engaging and provoke a reaction.

In some circumstances, it is best practice to also post a leading comment ahead of your content to generate interest and get a discussion going. Getting your connections involved in discussion enables you to stake a claim as a specialist in your field.

Set up a LinkedIn Groups page

A Group Page is essentially a micro-environment where you can bring together connections who share the same interests. You might want to set up a group for other professional in your niche to share knowledge and ideas for example.

Groups are essentially hangouts and typically generate plenty of discussion providing the subject matter is strong enough to provoke comments. They are a great way to bring together a targeted audience whereas your company page sweeps the entire Linkedin network and beyond.

Ideally, the discussion you start should be focused around your content, but other users can also post content in your group and start a discussion around that. Make sure to engage with posts from other users and not just your own.

Groups however take more managing. You need to stay active, moderate comments and add value to other users. If other followers feel as though you are only promoting your self-interests, or you are not updating the group with content on a regular basis they will lose faith and move on.

Interaction with other users is more likely in your group page than your company page and it is important to stay in control of discussions. Sometimes there will be different views and if not managed well conversations can steer out of control.

Never respond to an aggravated comment immediately after reading it. Acting on impulse can lead to you saying the wrong thing and if you bite you could damage your credibility and lose potential customers.

Before creating your own group page, it is a good idea to join other groups to gauge how they are managed, what type of issues are being raised and what type of comments are being posted.

Linkedin provide a great platform for businesses to promote themselves in their industry and establish a solid reputation as a brand that can be trusted. However, you must remember that you are in the public domain and giving other users a bad impression can result in a lot of hard work for nothing.