By Alan Perkins
IT has been three months since SilverDisc partnered with Business Times to produce the online version of this popular Northamptonshire business newspaper, so, as we enter Q2 and with this month's Network Northants feature, what better time to announce the improved use of internet social networks for the Business Times community?
From this month's issue, all contributors of articles to Business Times will receive an email giving instructions on how to share their article to their preferred social media channels - including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ - and tag Business Times in their post. Business Times, will be re-sharing, re-tweeting and re-posting all such tagged articles to its own followers, which helps to extend the reach of our contributors' articles.
The intent is to position Business Times as a hub for all Northamptonshire business, where like-minded local businesses can support each other as suppliers, customers, advisors and friends - much as takes place at the many networking events in Northamptonshire, listed on the Business Times Events page, but online through social networks.
Are you one of those people who, though you might attend a networking event in person, fail to see the value of online social networks for business purposes? Do you think of social networking as a waste of time?
Done wrong, it is a waste of time. Sharing photos of your breakfast or trotting out banalities like 'Happy Monday everybody' is probably not the best use of a social channel for a B2B business.
But... offering social proof at the point where somebody is making a contact or purchase decision; staying in touch with existing customers to aid retention and extension of their business; keeping front-of-mind for those prospects who are in-market for your products and services, and making them aware of the depth and breadth of your expertise - these are all excellent uses of social networking, and there are many more. The new offering from Business Times brings this to a Northamptonshire level.
So, don't disregard social networking. Done right, it's a very powerful weapon in your marketing armoury. Join in with the Business Times initiative and engage socially, online, with the paper and its contributors.
Let's make Northants Networking work online as well as offline.
For more information, contact SilverDisc on 01536 316100 or visit www.silverdisc.co.uk