Raise your hand if you've been told LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B social media marketing

So we've all heard that one.

And here is the thing. It might be true for your company. Or it might not be.

If it is, though, there are a few things you should know — not the first of which is the new marketing features LinkedIn itself produced last week that focus on testing and personalization.

And if your company is investing in it as a B2B marketing platform, here are a few things to know as you take the plunge.

Target By Job Titles

Why is this important vs. targeting by another segment, such as field/location, etc.?

digital marketing, Five Ways to Sharpen Your B2B Marketing on LinkedIn

"Job title is a great way to narrow down your audience in order to focus on the most relevant professionals," said Sam Mazaheri, director of marketing & product at AdStage, a San Francisco-based advertising platform provider. "Job titles reveal seniority and authority, responsibility and focus, and help you reach customers that both care about your offer and are decision-makers, or influencers. 

Use Exclusions

How do B2B marketers begin to address this and execute? While you can target customer segments, you can also exclude customer segments.

"This is a great for when you know of red flags disqualify leads," Mazaheri said.

If leads from the hometown of your biggest competitor never seem to work out, use location targeting to exclude that metro area in order to focus on leads that are more likely to close.

"Nearly every targeting parameter can also be used for exclusions," Mazaheri said. "Just think through what qualifies your leads and apply exclusions where relevant. This strategy helps you keep your target audience large while limiting wasted ad spend on low quality leads."

Target LinkedIn Groups

Those trade associations and conferences are there for a reason. What kinds of things can B2B marketers do when they're in the group? Do they actively participate in the group? Do they promote products? Or just be an active member of such a group like anyone else?

Learning Opportunities

"LinkedIn users join groups to both connect with similar-minded professionals and create their personal brand," Mazaheri said. "When part of a group, they can engage in relevant discussions, post relevant promotions and become exposed to promotions, and they can get that group's logo added to their profile and become seen by people that browse that group. B2B marketers can use groups to engage with a specific audience in discussions, post their promotions, browse relevant profiles and target those groups at scale by spreading their offer with LinkedIn Ads."

Focus Spend on Highest Value Leads

How can B2B marketers distinguish between high and low value leads?

B2B marketers can segment their leads to find the lifetime value of the different kinds of leads.

"Maybe leads from the healthcare vertical have made the company $1,000 over the lifetime of the relationship on average," Mazaheri said. "And maybe leads from the retail have made the company only $600 over the lifetime of the relationship on average. B2B marketers can then focus their spend in LinkedIn Ads campaigns on the healthcare vertical since that is where the company derives the highest value."

Test Messages

Using the recently announced ad type Direct Sponsored Content, B2B marketers can create two different Sponsored Updates with different messages and run them both against the same audience to see which message performs best, Mazaheri said.  

"They may find that, when targeting CTOs, Sponsored Updates that speak to a product's easy implementation dramatically outperform updates that speak to a product's affordability," he said.

Because Direct Sponsored Content isn't posted on the brand's company page, Mazaheri said, marketers can run both variations while keeping tight control over the messaging on that page.

"Direct Sponsored Content also lets marketers create one Sponsored Update and run dozens of copies against different customer types in order to track its performance against each audience," he added, "without ending up with dozens of copies of the same post on their company page."