Nine times out of 10, the person in charge of business development already has an idea of the kind of company they want to partner with for a particular initiative. Traditionally, their next step in forging an initial connection would be to cold call or email the company, and to build a rapport from there. Social media fast-tracks this process. We’re now able to find precisely the best person to contact, determine if we have any mutual connections, understand their background (as well as the company’s) and get a sense of the different players within a company — all before we have a single conversation.
FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
On or offline, the most fundamental element of business development will always be strong relationships. At the end of the day, what’s most important is that you are partnering with a company or person that has a good reputation, will do great things and can market an initiative collaboratively to significant traction. Social media is an incredible starting block — just think of it as a means for old-fashioned relationship building, but for today’s increasingly connected world.
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One of the keys to a successful social media marketing platform is knowing your own business. A large corporation is going to have needs and attributes which require a very different approach to social media marketing than a small, local business will need to be successful. Play to your strengths—if you’re a larger company, focus on using social media to connect with a larger audience in order to get national exposure for your brand and products. If you’re a small, local business, use social media to build a dedicated, loyal customer base by offering the personal touch that only a local business can provide. If your business has a product or service that is primarily used or purchased by other businesses, use social media to network with other businesses in order to increase your visibility in the commercial marketplace. If your business offers a product or service which is primarily used or purchased by individual consumers, aim to use social media as a way to develop a pool of customers who see your brand as quality, hip, and available. No matter the size or nature of your business, a knowledge of your company’s strengths, target market, and product or service niche is an essential part of any successful social media marketing platform.
How does your company leverage social media for business development? Share your experiences in the comment section below.