How to Build a B2B Community
A skill that is becoming increasingly important is knowing how to build a B2B community.
Did you know that it was around 10,000 years ago, it’s believed that humans went from nomadic wanderers to villages and togetherness? So what has this got to do with LinkedIn and LinkedIn Company Pages, you ask?
We like to do “stuff” together. We want to belong. Communities of all types exist as we know that we are better together. Brands that focus on creating communities will have a competitive advantage. It’s no longer good enough to broadcast information to people hoping that it will stick.
A community of evangelists for your brand is powerful and takes social proof to the next level.
What is a B2B Community?
There are a lot of different definitions, but this is the one that resonates with us at Good Trading Co:
“A community, or audience, in B2B, is a space where your customers come together to learn, share and interact with your brand. The more value you provide to your community in terms of educational content, experiences and personal interaction, the more likely your community will grow organically.” (Source)
Why You Should Build Your B2B Community on LinkedIn
Go fishing where the fish are! LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with 830M members and almost 58M Company Pages (Source).
A community is not just limited to your ideal client profile. Think of your employees, industry leaders, people and brands that offer complementary services. All of these will provide value to your community. They can all be found easily by using the search bar on your free version of LinkedIn.
Good for Business Show Podcast Episode
Company Pages as a B2B Community Hub
Your LinkedIn Company Page helps build your B2B community and can serve as –
- A meeting place to gather past clients, current clients and potential clients;
- The place to provide valuable industry thought leadership content;
- Establish your business as the go-to authority;
- A place to empower employees and make them a part of the community.
Pablo is passionate about building B2B communities, and he had so many great insights that he shared. One of our favourite quotes from this episode as it highlights that to build a B2B community, we first need to start with a small core group and grow from there.
The quick thing that you need is how do you get that 15 to 25 core group, right? How do you go from being the Superman or Superwoman or the Wonder Woman of the community, to building out the Avengers of the community? The people that are going to be core engaged and are going to be bringing people in and you can scale.
This quote is so powerful as often business owners don’t get started as the goal to build a B2B Community seems so big when we talk about aiming for 1000, 5000, or 10,000 members. If you focus on finding your first 1, 5 and 25, the mission becomes more feasible.
If this core group are mission aligned with your core business beliefs, you will be surprised at how quickly things grow from there. What needs to be crystal clear is this vision, brand purpose, and voice to stand out and become the “bat signal for what it is you care about” (Pablo Gonzalez).
Your LinkedIn Company Page Content is Your Bat-Signal
When you have clarity around your company brand strategy, use this as the blueprint for your LinkedIn Company Page strategy. It’s essential to do the work upfront to make sure that –
- You aren’t wasting time creating content that doesn’t resonate with your B2B Community. Content is part of your product or service.
- Your content style aligns with your B2B community. For example, the content style could include the language you choose or the type of your videos. Even the colour choices you make for your brand can be powerful (learn about this more here).
Your content focus for building a B2B Community will always be around delivering what it is that your community is seeking for their transformation. So share stories, have fun and show as a business you care.
LinkedIn Lessons with MJR Podcast Episode
LinkedIn Company Page Tools To Build Your B2B Community
B2B Communities are built around niches. Using different forms of content such as LinkedIn Pages Newsletters and LinkedIn Live events will allow you to stand out for your targeted B2B Community and really drive home your brand thought leadership. Both add other dimensions to the traditional text posts, videos, polls and image+text posts.
Building a community goes beyond content alone. A powerful Company Page invite strategy can speed up the process and speed up the process of building the B2B community.
Recently we have seen LinkedIn introduce new ways to utilise this feature further with an increase to Page Admins invite credits from 100 to 250 (still in the roll-out phase at the time of writing but expected to be completely rolled out in the coming weeks). In addition, we also see employees having the opportunity to invite 30 people per month to follow the Page even if they aren’t Page admins. So an additional 30 invite credits are very much welcomed.
Are LinkedIn Company Pages For Small Businesses Too?
It’s no secret that building a Company Page following takes time. However, company Pages taking time is different to the common myth that “Company Pages don’t work”.
Listen to what Michelle Berg – LinkedIn Pages Product Marketing team, has to say about what LinkedIn is doing to help small businesses grow organically from a cold start. They hear us, and the whole team is specifically working to improve this area.
Listen to the Good for Business Show Podcast here or watch the replay below.
If you have read this far and are still unsure how to use LinkedIn to grow your business, it’s time to reach out, especially if you have been trying and not getting new business opportunities. Your time is now!
I want to work with Ambitious, Innovative and Purpose Driven businesses and their teams to be ⭐Top of Mind, ⭐First Choice, ⭐Only Choice.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to book a time to discuss your tailored business Growth & Engagement plan.
Michelle J Raymond is the Chief LinkedIn Strategist at Good Trading Co and a founding member of the LinkedIn Small Business Advisory Council for LinkedIn Pages. Michelle specialises in helping small to medium business owners make a real impact in business. As a leading global authority on LinkedIn Pages, her passion is to change the world by doing good business with good people.