Expert Manufacturing Advice tailored for step-by-step implementation in the workplace. Small Manufacturers, Machine Shops and CAD Engineers improve and thrive with our hands-on help. Social Networking for Manufacturers Essential Leadership and Management for Engineers
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No Networking piece would be complete without some comment on Social Networking. Most people by now are familiar with the world-wide phenomena of Facebook, Twitter and to a slighter lesser extent LinkedIn. Of course there are many other social networking sites out there too. The convenience and speed with which you can make contact with other people is a massive advantage.
Whilst Facebook has the largest membership and is increasingly being used effectively by businesses, it is most popular with social rather than professional networks. So be careful to ensure any information you post looks professional and represents you in a way that isn’t embarrassing. Having said this, any business serious about marketing and reaching out to potential customers and suppliers, should consider investing in a Facebook business account, simply because of it's universal popularity.
Twitter is an excellent means of networking, with its quick and convenient 140 characters and ability to follow people and organisations. What’s more, you can directly comment on things yourself (tweet) and build up your own following. In this way it's a great method of keeping up to date, whilst keeping like-minded people informed of things of interest. As such, Twitter is a great platform for marketing or building your own brand to increase credibility in your field. Maintaining contact with people in your network and building relationships is very quick and convenient with twitter.
LinkedIn is perhaps the social networking site best suited to building and maintaining professional, business related networks. You can build up your profile by uploading various details about yourself including career history, CV, skills, achievements, and qualifications. You can join groups relevant to you and your interests, before joining in discussions with like-minded people. You can also search for people and approach them, requesting they join your network. LinkedIn is an effective way to rapidly build up a network of professional people with interests directly applicable to your career needs.
Social Networking for Manufacturers: Final Considerations...
The speed and convenience of social networking has various advantages, a few of which have been listed above. However, the ease of using social media means sometimes you should stop and think before commenting and sending your opinions out into cyberspace. Convenience can sometimes bring consequences. If in doubt – stop and think.
Social media should be an integral part of your marketing strategy if you are serious about competing in 21st Century business. Plenty of firms exist to assist small businesses define and execute their social media marketing strategy. Review what's out there to stay up to date and realise your marketing and sales potential.
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