LinkedIn is the perfect social media when it comes to business, that goes without saying, but it provides the most value for B2B companies who are aiming to present themselves as experts in their industry and have a challenge of finding new leads and customers.
With over 500 million users as of April 2017, LinkedIn offers detailed insight into hundreds of millions CVs of business professionals all around the world.
Naturally that kind of data can be used in many ways and after a long wait in June 2016 LinkedIn finally enabled an option called Premium Insights that gives you an overview of each company’s employment and growth trends.
Unfortunately this function is not available for all. Premium Insights can be accessed only by those with Business Plus, Sales Navigator and select Talent Solution subscriptions.
Now, you wonder, how is Linkedin Insights going to help me sell my product or service?
Easily. All you have to do is follow the companies that might be interested in what you have to offer and take advantage of Total Employee Count, Employee Distribution By Function, New Hires and Notable Alumni analytics.
Let’s see how to make the most out of each and every one of them.
Total Employee Count – What is the size of the company you’re targeting?
Total Employee Count provides insights into company’s growth trends as well as stagnation or decline for the period of previous two years. This can help you identify investment targets or potential business partners.
For example, if you’re trying to target a certain startup and offer them your expertise, a sudden growth in hiring can mean that their business is expanding and they might need recruitment services, new office space or IT solutions.
A sudden decline in the number of employees, however, probably means you should postpone your efforts and wait for sunnier days or focus on other similar companies.
Employee Distribution By Function – What are the biggest sectors in the company you’re analyzing?
This option gives you an overview into how the company is structured based on department, how their business works and what is their biggest focus which can, consequently, become your biggest focus when addressing the contacts with your proposal.
Here you can also notice what are the functions with fastest and biggest growth.
For example, if the majority of employees in a startup are engineers and IT experts, it probably means that they are still developing a product and don’t need any outside help. If, however, you see a rapid growth in the sales and marketing department it indicates that their product is ready to be launched and that there can be an opportunity for you to offer your product or services. If there are layoffs in the retail department it can signal that they are going through a rough patch.
New Hires – Who are the new employees in that company?
New Hires can give you valuable information into how the business is expanding and whether they are hiring more senior management or people at the bottom of the hierarchy.
By following this analysis you will find out whether there’s going to be a breakout company in the near future, whether there are any new business areas developing within the company, or what the seasonal demands and future predictions for company as a whole are.
You can see exactly who these new hires are and whether you can help them prove their worth at the very beginning by offering your help.
For example, if you see an increased number of people being employed at customer service it means that the company saw the need to implement or improve its customer support.
Notable Alumni – Who are the most successful employees of the company?
Following the “stars“ of the companies that you’re interested in can give you information about new businesses that these alumni might be starting or joining which can also become your future customers.
For example, say that the Sales Director of your favorite company started working in a new budding startup. There’s an opportunity for you to introduce yourself and offer your services and product to help them jump start their new company.
Total Job Openings – Who is being hired, in what sector and why?
This is basically just a summary of all the previous ones but equally valuable nevertheless. Here you will find out how the company is growing by function and seniority.
After you’ve selected your desired companies and their employees, try using some of these Lead Generation tools that help you find emails via LinkedIn.
Vice Versa – Research Your Own LinkedIn Audience
Don’t forget to take a look at least once a week at your own audience analysis and who are the business professionals clicking and engaging with your posts. Here you can see where does your audience come from, what is its industry, company size and seniority level.
This highly granulated data can help you next time you are sponsoring your posts to better target your potential customers (by all above mentioned parameters) and get the best possible value for your money. Then you can use your experience to adjust your message, your images, your content and Call To Action.
Maximize Your Sales With LinkedIn
These LinkedIn insights are as precise as you can get with quick business analysis. Other social media may or may not have correct information about the people that you’re targeting (just remember all the Facebook people that “studied at Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft and Wizardry“…sigh), but the LinkedIn users are always open and more or less truthful about their careers and aspirations.
After all, that is why they have a LinkedIn profile – to find like minded (likecareered?) people and learn as much as possible about their industry and how they can improve themselves and thrive.
In April 2017 LinkedIn also introduced its own Lead Generation forms which operate through sponsored content. Members only need to click on your ad and their information populates the in-app form which they can later submit. However, by collecting leads through LinkedIn advertisements you can never really be sure how many of them are fit for your product or service and how many will be a sheer waste of money and time.