Are social networks a new secret weapon for businesses?
05/24/2012 -by:Silvina Moschini , President and Founder of TransparentBusiness
In the era of social communication, corporations have made their way. How to use social networks in B2B relations?
Many believe that social networks are only useful for increasing a brand visibility and for campaigns focused on products and services for mass consumption. But the truth is that social media strategies can be very productive in other areas of corporate communications, primarily to boost companies institutional relations and to identify potential business partners.
We are referring to what is commonly known as B2B, or business transactions. This concept is solely for intercompany interactions, before reaching the end-user landscape. It focuses, therefore, on strategies developed by companies to build their network of partners, providers, distributors, etc. And, once again, social networks can be key allies in this regard.
Business social network for excellence
The jumpstart for B2B development through social network is to be present on LinkedIn. Why? The reason is simple: LinkedIn is a professional social network. Its users do not connect to the utility to share their vacation photos or to send their friends birthday greetings; they connect to develop their business.
The utility now has 147 million subscribers, a number that may seem minor when compared to more than 900 million of Facebook users. But the point of LinkedIn is not the number of its users, but its demographic: according to its own developers, 75% of subscribers are graduates; 39% has income over $100,000 per annum, and 71% is over 35. Moreover, 60% of professionals that have LinkedIn profiles hold senior positions in their companies: they are managers, directors, owners or vice-presidents.
Linkedin is much more than a database where users can create and update their curriculum. It is an authentic platform for professional contacts, which can help expand a company’s business. Its system of extended networks allows indentifying companies and professionals that can help company’s growth. The possibility to see the relations that a user has with our contacts, to corroborate if he works with someone we know and if he has recommendations, transforms it into an intelligent network for expanding professional relations.
Of course, LinkedIn is not the only alternative. Facebook, Twitter or YouTube can also be used to power B2B strategy. For example, if your company has a network of distributors, you can create channels exclusively for your representatives, which will provide content of interest to your business development.
Do not forget that a strategy of alliance and partnerships is essential for business development. The relations you company develops on a B2B level may be critical for its commercial growth and optimization of its arrival to end-users. In this regard, social networks can be key allies, as they allow building a relationship with the public that is regular, effective and dynamic, as well as give a possibility to identify contacts necessary to extend our business networks.