LinkedIn comes of age: Why this platform is the B2B marketers’ non-negotiable

LinkedIn officially launched on 5th May 2003, founded by Reid Hoffman and Eric Ly. As LinkedIn pops the champagne on its 21st birthday, it’s not just celebrating years of connecting professionals but also coming of age in the digital world. 

Just as a 21-year-old steps into new opportunities and responsibilities, social media has matured from small peer-to-peer networks into serious marketing channels to reach new audiences.  

In the B2B space, social media can be the ‘forgotten’ channel or seen as the ‘nice to have’. But today, LinkedIn is more critical than ever and should be central to any B2B marketing strategy. To commemorate 21 years of LinkedIn and the start of a new financial year for many, here are some surprising stats (there are at least 21 data points!) and five key reasons to convince your boss this network is the one to invest in.  

1. Reach new markets – and new demographics 

While many social platforms vary in market-by-market uptake, LinkedIn is the B2B platform and boasts a user base of over one billion members worldwide, spanning over 200 countries and regions across the globe. This extensive network includes over 278 million members in Europe, 244 million in North America, 298 million in the Asia-Pacific region, 169 million in Latin America and 65 million in the Middle East and Africa.  

LinkedIn is popular across age groups too. Gen Z is the fastest-growing demographic on LinkedIn, which has seen a 73% surge in student sign-ups year-over-year as these younger generations begin entering the workforce. So, if you want to sell to or hire in this age bracket, don’t just prioritise TikTok!  

2. Turn your executives into thought leaders 

People buy from people – not brands. This is more true than ever in the B2B space.  If you’re investing in great company marketing and public relations, the LinkedIn networks of your employees and leaders offer a whole new valuable channel to tap into. Content shared by leaders on LinkedIn garners significantly higher engagement compared to company pages, achieving three times as many comments and twice the number of overall engagements as those posted on company LinkedIn pages. If your company’s top executives are not actively using LinkedIn, you are at a disadvantage compared to your competitors. 

Business leaders who make a great use of social media also build the most trusted relationships and see benefits to the overall company reputation. In fact, 92% of professionals are more likely to trust a company whose senior executives are using social media and 82% of business leaders agree there is a wider reward for the organisation if their leadership are active on social media. And LinkedIn is the right platform for boosting that credibility and trust. 

 3. Gain unrivalled ROI and sales boosts 

LinkedIn is a powerhouse sales machine in B2B, and it delivers the best ROI of any social media channel. It is the most trusted social platform by brands. 70% of marketers are confident that it delivers a positive return on investment for their organisation while other major platforms such as TikTok and Twitter (now X) are only trusted by 50% and 30% of marketing professionals.   

This is especially true in tech and financial services – LinkedIn generates 2-5x higher ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) than other social media platforms for tech companies and outperforms display media for financial services brands, generating 7x more incremental customer sign-ups. 

 4. Reach key decision makers 

Broad brand awareness is great, but any marketer will understand the challenge of getting your brand and key messages in front of those few core decision-makers. The concentration of high-powered decision-makers means that marketing efforts on LinkedIn are more likely to reach those who make purchasing decisions. Four in five LinkedIn members drive business decisions and LinkedIn users have 2x the buying power of the average web audience.  

5. Foster trust and credibility 

Brands using LinkedIn advertising are perceived to be “more professional” (92%), “more intelligent” (74%), “higher quality” (59%), and “more respectable” (59%). It’s the ideal space for B2B companies to engage directly with prospects, with 65% of B2B brands reporting they have gained customers via LinkedIn. 

LinkedIn also helps sales teams take a different approach that focuses more on gaining trust and having valuable discussions about the industry than stale direct pitches. 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media and social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach quota. LinkedIn is the right tool to boost your sales success and you naturally foster meaningful conversations that can evolve into sales opportunities long-term. 

In 2024, the importance of social in sales is such that sales professionals consider it as important as customer referrals. These two sources tie (33% both) for first place as the routes to the highest quality leads. Then, given that 80% of social media leads come from LinkedIn, having a good social selling strategy is indisputable. 

Capitalising on LinkedIn: A strategic imperative

As LinkedIn marks its 21st anniversary, it’s an apt time to evaluate your strategy and ensure this channel is getting enough attention. Social media strategies can feel daunting for B2B marketers, but LinkedIn stands out as the channel that can offer the biggest bang for your buck.  

Want to know how we’ve helped some of the world’s biggest tech companies and their top executives achieve spectacular results on LinkedIn? Our team of LinkedIn experts will help you succeed on the ultimate B2B social platform. 

Featured Photo by Airam Dato-on.