So far, we’ve been been looking at the vital roles social media can play in engaging with your community, regular customers and local dignitaries. Today, it’s also possible to follow up on visits from reps or conversations with top-level industry figures at conferences on online platforms. Here’s a few ways to do it…
Business-focused sites such as LinkedIn can enable you to build links with related businesses and individuals. The ‘Joy of Business’ blog highlights opportunities for cementing and building contacts, and explains how LinkedIn profiles quickly shoot up Google rankings when people search for them. Spend time making sure your profile looks great and is updated regularly – this is definitely a more serious social network than others.
When you meet new people, invite them to ‘link’ with you on LinkedIn and use the tool available on the site to ‘recommend’ them by writing a short reference that tells others why it’s good to do business with the supplier, rep or wholesaler. It’s amazing how a good deed can be remembered.
Most high-profile industry figures will have a Twitter presence. Following them helps you get to know them better and, as Costcutter retailer Derek Richie knows, can mean you get personalised and public congratulations from your bosses (Darcy Willson-Rymer, in his case) when you’re nominated for awards. You can quickly become a bit of an industry celebrity with some witty, clever tweets and good conversations.
Action for the experts
Although LinkedIn began as a place to collect contacts and one-on-one trade advice, groups are becoming ever more important. Start discussions on the site and invite your favourite industry figures to get involved too.