Are agencies using social media?
Apparently, the answer is yes. Research by RSW – a lead generation firm based in the U.S. found that 58% of agencies surveyed use LinkedIn to find new business. While on the face of it this is encouraging, the same study also finds that 49% of agencies surveyed had never used social media to source new business. This finding in itself demonstrates that there is confusion around what constitues social media as LinkedIn is, by its nature, a social network.
As we hit tougher economic times it seems that some agencies are turning to new tools in the increasingly competitive marketplace for new (and existing) business. LinkedIn is regularly hailed as the social media tool of choice for B2b social networking. It certainly has its uses and I’d advocate actively using the site if you’re in the b2b sector. But don’t let it hog all the limelight. The same survey found that only half of the agencies had social media accounts set up for their businesses. This, in my opinion is missing a big trick. Yes, LinkedIn is the place to go to find business and build your professional network, but you have to remember that the person behind your new business lead is – a person. Just as they will be active on LinkedIn you can also find them across other social platforms. They’re not just active in that one role online, after all. Remember that they could also be on Twitter, using forums, reading blogs. Find a way to stand out to them and communicate with them away from the more official, corporate atmosphere of LinkedIn.
As an agency in whichever sector you may be working, you have to make the most of the social media tools available to build a presence in your industry online. Don’t assume that your only option is LinkedIn. Like I said, it’s great, but it’s not the only place your new business prospect is going to be active. Make sure your agency is active across a range of platforms and this comes down both to your official business accounts as well as the people within your organisation. Speaking from experience, new business can come from a range of platforms, don’t restrict yourself to the social network for ‘business people.’