In this article, we discuss how LinkedIn is increasingly replacing work-based travel and face-to-face business development activities.
Travel, whether to meet with existing clients and prospects, attend exhibitions or networking events, enables essential activities that help businesses to grow. At Accelerate, we are keenly aware of how much valuable time it takes to get around by car. Despite being regular users of public transport, this can be inconvenient when accessing more remote locations.
Increasingly, technology offers a practical solution; a fact that is reflected in the number of market research projects we now complete without ever having met the client face-to-face. Skype, Zoom and other video conferencing portals offer a real opportunity to reduce and eliminate unnecessary travel.
Similarly, social media can supplement networking and provide business development opportunities. Operating in the business-to-business market, we use LinkedIn and twitter to engage with people that we may not have had the opportunity to meet face-to-face.
LinkedIn is a core business development tool which we use on behalf of a range of clients to find and engage with contacts for their own businesses. The key benefits of this service are that it saves time and resources; enabling sales staff to strategically plan their time on the road. From profiling and contacting likely prospects to upgrading LinkedIn profiles, our work behind the scenes supports clients to grow their potential customer base and enables sales teams to work smarter.
Use of twitter in the B2B sector has grown significantly in recent years and is a particularly useful tool to use to engage with delegates at conferences and exhibitions as well as keep your customer base informed of latest developments. Like all channels, companies need to determine their communications strategy for twitter – some companies use it for customer service e.g. to report service issues and upgrades whilst others use it to inform and engage with potential customers and other stakeholders.
Philippa Bevan has over 25 years commercial and public sector experience in marketing, market research and product management spanning the education, laboratory, medical device, technology transfer and packaging industries. Philippa has a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology and Virology and is a Chartered Marketer.