Many, if not most, brands will acknowledge that social media marketing is important for helping them connect with their customers. However, most still believe that social marketing is best for connecting with individual consumers, not business clients.

Contrary to that popular belief, marketing on LinkedIn, specifically, is a great way to reach business clients.

Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should be doing B2B marketing on LinkedIn, if you aren’t already:

Large User Base

More than 430 million people used LinkedIn, and their sole purpose for being there is professional networking.

Of those users, 61 million are senior-level influencers and 40 million are decision makers.

No one signs up to LinkedIn to post pictures of their kids for family to see or to share their weekend escapades with friends. They sign up to make professional connections and to advance their career. Businesses and business leaders sign up to promote their brands.

You can tap into those connections to promote your products and services. Even if you have a lot of followers who are just individuals, they may be influencers in their company or they may suggest your product or service to those who are. Every contact you make on the network is potentially valuable, even if it is not a direct business client.

More Leads

LinkedIn generates more leads for B2B brands than any other social networking site.

According to new information that LinkedIn released, approximately 79 percent of B2B marketers say that marketing on the site is an effective way to generate new leads. Marketers say that 80 percent of the leads they get from social media come from LinkedIn.

Many B2B marketers use LinkedIn specifically to launch a new product, though many also report an increase in web traffic and brand awareness thanks to the site. Marketers say that 46 percent of the traffic they get from social media comes from LinkedIn.

Those are huge numbers that you just can’t deny. If you want to reach more of your audience, you need to have a well-cultivated presence on LinkedIn.

Better Ad ROI

Marketers report that they get a much better return on their investment with LinkedIn Sponsored Content than they do with Google AdWords — in fact, they get a six times better ROI.

Marketers say that they get more leads from LinkedIn Sponsored Content and that those leads are of much higher quality. They also had to spend 75 percent less per lead through LinkedIn than with Google AdWords.

LinkedIn offers a couple of sponsored opportunities: InMails and display ads.

Marketers say they get more traffic and more leads from the display ads, and they get higher open rates and better response rates from their other email campaigns. Overall, they also had to spend less for each of those leads, regardless of whether they invested in display ads, email marketing or both.

The key to their success was to find the right audience and tailor their messages. Thanks to the comprehensive information that most people provide in their LinkedIn profiles, you can get plenty of data to tailor your campaigns. Make sure that you take advantage of that data and tailor your advertising and your messaging as narrowly as you can.

Keys to Success

You can’t just create a profile on LinkedIn or start up some ads and expect results. You need to follow a strategy.

It is important that you take advantage of the opportunity that LinkedIn offers to establish your brand authority. You can do this by publishing informative articles and think pieces on LinkedIn Pulse, by contributing thoughtful commentary to groups, and by providing real value in your posts, comments and other activity.

You may want to promote your brand, but your clients only want solutions. Provide them with answers to their problems, and they will readily listen to anything else you have to say. When you strategically promote your products or services, you will have a much better response.

You also need to build your reputation on the site, and you can do that by being an active participant in groups, on your page, and on the pages of your connections.

Embrace the spirit of the site — business networking — and you will have more success with it. Even when you invest in advertising or sponsored emails, you will have more success because people will have a better perception of your brand long before they encounter your ads.

Social media is no longer the frivolous pastime it once was. It is a powerful business tool, and that is especially true for LinkedIn. If you are a B2B brand, it is important that you have a presence on the site and that you are exploring all the opportunities that it offers. If you do so, you will get closer to your goals this year.