LinkedIn is B2C’s best friend too

December 8, 2014

Traditionally, LinkedIn has been viewed as a B2B platform, but this year I’ve been reading about some inspiring examples of B2C brands reaching out to some of the most influential and professional consumers (‘prosumers’) on the platform. And why not? If it works, do it! 

I don’t personally follow B2C brands on LinkedIn; I see it very much as a business tool. However, I do follow B2B brands; perhaps not enough, because I’ve not seen any recent campaigns that have caught my eye from them. So, is it time to take note of B2C successes on LinkedIn? My gut feeling is that we don’t want to turn this into Facebook with constant advertising, but perhaps if it’s done right, in a subtler and more fun way, it could work.

According to a Marketing Solutions blog post on the platform itself, prosumers are 152% more likely to be active in online conversations than non-LinkedIn members. They’re also brand conscious, with eight in ten willing to pay more from a brand they trust, and they’re over twice as likely to trust information given to them on LinkedIn than other social channels (and we know that trust drives purchases). With that in mind, I think both B2Cs and B2Bs can learn from these examples of inspiring consumer brands:

Delta Airlines

Their ‘Innovation Class’ campaign gave current and potential customers the opportunity to sit next to a “leader in their field” on a Delta flight to an industry event. They were able to put themselves forward for a chance to start a conversation with a specifically-selected mentor. They made use of the many LinkedIn tools to promote the campaign, including Sponsored Updates.

Fruit of the Loom

They decided to give LinkedIn members who were due to start a new job free underwear. Why? Because, it says, great-fitting underwear is the best way to start a “fresh gig”. It provided around 25,000 newbies with new underwear in their quest to help America “Start Happy”.

Mercedes-Benz

This summer, the luxury brand’s ‘Driven to Perform’ campaign awarded a LinkedIn member with a two-year lease of a Mercedes C-300. In order to win, however, members had to be nominated by someone in their LinkedIn network, with a rundown of their professional accomplishments. According to Mercedes-Benz, “great performance deserves great performance”.

Global investment company BlackRock, for example, is said to receive around $18m of its annual revenue thanks to the platform. One of the reasons the company is so successful on LinkedIn is because of the quality of its content: they skip the basics and base content on sophisticated and complex pieces of investment advice.

Which B2C brands have stood out to you on LinkedIn this year? Or maybe you haven’t seen any at all… do you think of LinkedIn as a business tool that you’re reluctant to “clutter” with B2C brands? I think there needs to be a drive for B2Bs and prosumers to follow B2C and B2B brands on LinkedIn – this is the only way that we’ll be able to take inspiration from B2Cs that are rocking their LinkedIn pages. Do you agree?