October's Marketing Blog - Social Networking

We have all heard the virtues of social networking, the way to connect to customers and build customer networks.  Most social networking companies have failed to figure out how to monetize these huge networks, but free is good and we should all take advantage of free.

Staffing Industry Analysts has recently started two social networking groups on Linked In - one for our CWS Council Members and one for Staffing Industry Analysts' Corporate Members.  So many of you are already on Linked In we thought we could just capitalize on the momentum that many of you already have and in effect join you.

Linked In Goals

Our goals for the groups are pretty modest:  1. Provide another method in which to communicate our products and services to you and 2. Enable all of you to communicate with one another on a different level.  Provide a forum by which you can share ideas, promote services to each other and see who has the most connections.

Why Linked In?

We chose Linked In because so many of you are already there.  Because it is more professional than Facebook or My Space and it requires the least amount of maintenance.  Linked In really isn't another site where we have to constantly change content and update.  We can ask questions, you can ask questions, we can answer questions and you can answer questions.  We can promote a new service or tell you about an upcoming webinar and you can do the same.  For those reasons, we thought it was best.  We really weren't interested in sites that promoted anything more than business interests and for now Linked In serves that purpose.

How Will we Measure Success?

Truthfully, we are not entirely sure.  We have sent out invitations to join, so the first measurement is how many people sign up versus the invitations we send.  Second, we will see what additional requests for joining the group we receive.  We have made a business decision to limit who can join the groups to current customers.  We may, in the future open things up to others, but for right now, it is only customers.  Then we will watch activity.  How many posts you make versus how many posts we make.  We will watch for increases in attendance at conferences and webinars using Linked In as a method to communicate to you.  And of course we will watch and listen to what you talk about.  I think that is going to be our greatest measure of success.

A Social Experiment

Does your company host a social networking site?  Let us know.  What traction have you seen from being on a social networking site?  Are you connecting to more candidates, more customers, more prospects?  Are you watching your company's activity on the site?

If you haven't set up a social networking site, why not?  What are your concerns?  Let us all know, we can all learn from each other.  And if you haven't found our group on Linked In and you are a Corporate Member or a Council Member, find it and sign up, we would like to hear from you.

As always, your comments and thoughts are appreciated.  You will find us later this month at the New York Marriott for the CWS Summit.


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