If you want to look at how other professional services companies are using social media for B2B marketing, there’s a very interesting interview with Alan Schoenberg of CME Group that gives some helpful insights on how to make LinkedIn and other online tools.
CME Group is a derivatives marketplace, with an electronic trading platform and trading facilities in New York and Chicago, and it also operates a central counterparty clearing provider.
Schoenberg says LinkedIn is the best B2B social media platform. Among other insights, he says CME is maintaining different LinkedIn groups for different segments of their market:
We now have more than 10 groups on LinkedIn and all of them are very different but with a common goal – connect our sales team and product experts to our customers. I like these groups because we keep them private in order to keep out competitors and vendors, but also to keep them small and manageable.
That makes a lot of sense – your LinkedIn groups should be client-focused communities, which means you will need different groups if you have many customers with different interests.
Schoenberg offers a couple of other tips on LinkedIn:
First, focus on finding the people internally who want to use LinkedIn and help them build their profiles. This includes sending them news stories to post and actually helping them write their posts. If you do this consistently (every week) they will better understand the resource and will become great advocates for your brand. My other tip is that you should make your company page a priority.
Again, it’s great advice. Developing a coherent continuous effort to engage colleagues inside your firm to use LinkedIn as part of a joined-up business development strategy is essential to avoid wasting time and losing focus. And yes, the company page element of LinkedIn is critical – as we said for UK law firms recently, it’s important to provide frequent updates, make good use of visual images, highlight specific services, and give useful links to your professionals and web pages.