Use LinkedIn to analyze your B2B audience

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

One of the most powerful yet understated abilities of LinkedIn as a social network is the ability to understand your customer base better and see who you’re talking to, especially in the B2B marketing world. Because no one really promotes it all that much, it goes largely unnoticed and unused. Let’s change that today.

First, you’ll need to get your audience onto LinkedIn in one of two formats, either a discussion group or a company page. How do you choose between the two? As of this writing, company pages are largely non-interactive, very similar to personal profiles, while groups are highly interactive, like a discussion forum. Choose depending on how many resources you have.

Get your audience to your LinkedIn group or company page using any variety of techniques, such as sending out a mass email telling people where to go or cross-posting on your other social networks. Take as much time as you need – the more data you have in this particular instance, the better.

Once you’ve gotten your audience into LinkedIn, either in the Group Statistics or Company Statistics, take a look around:

Statistics about Marketing Over Coffee | LinkedIn

Some more group statistics (company statistics are substantially the same):

Statistics about Marketing Over Coffee | LinkedIn

Does this look like the audience you expected to find? Does it reflect the audience you want to have? Or is it totally skewed? For example, you might have thought you were marketing to senior-level people in organizations, but your most avid fans (remember, this data in inherently biased towards those people who like you enough to do something) are more junior. That raises the questions of whether your marketing is effectively reaching the people you want to reach, or whether you should pivot your content focus to serve the people who are already your fans.

Take it up a notch with the advanced search for groups. Look at the people, geographies, and company names that are the most populous in your group:

People Search Results | LinkedIn

Again, is this what you expected to find? Are these the people, the companies, the areas that you’re focused on in your marketing? If not, then either something is going wrong with your marketing, or you’ve uncovered some hidden opportunities to potentially pivot your marketing strategy on.

Try this set of techniques out and see if they lend you any additional insight into your online marketing efforts!

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