Article Summary: Our work centers have expanded beyond the confines of a single building, state, or country. We are sharing our work with others in different time zones, languages, cultures, etc. How do we bridge these global differences and help grow our businesses? Social media. Social media brings us together. Let us look at five key social media tools for raising our international productivity, which, in turn, accelerates our success in global commerce.
Thinking of Going Global? Use Social Media to Accelerate Your International Success
Copyright © 2010. The Chief Storyteller®, LLC. and ThinkBusiness Magazine
Ira J. Koretsky
In Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, he told the story of a small pin factory where 10 workers produced more than 48,000 pins each day. Eighteen distinct tasks were needed to make a single pin and each task required a unique skill set. These workers were able to produce large quantities by dividing the tasks and specializing in a skill. Smith believed productivity would have been lower had each of them instead worked independently, building the pins from start to finish.
Fast forward to the 21st century. The productivity benefits from specialization that Smith identified persist. Our work centers have expanded beyond the confines of a single building, state, or country. We are sharing our work with others in different time zones, languages, cultures, etc. How then, do we bridge these global differences and help grow our businesses? Social media.
Social media brings us together. Let us look at five key social media tools for raising our international productivity, which, in turn, accelerates our success in global commerce.
Reach Your Clients and Prospects Where They Live
Develop and maintain a global professional network. Reach prospects where they live. Use social media to build a network of trusted advisors.
XING is the leading European business networking application and is home to over eight million members from over 200 countries. XING brings people from around the world with “wants and haves” together. Imagine that your company is trying to enter the German market. Use XING to learn about German culture, taboos, presentation preferences, potential partnering arrangements, and much more.
Synchronize Your Message Across All Media
Use social media to synchronize your marketing messages across multiple media channels. LinkedIn is the most popular business networking site with over 60 million users worldwide. LinkedIn allows you to integrate content from blogs, presentations, upcoming events, groups, and Twitter. Because of its popularity, LinkedIn profiles often appear first on search engine results and it is fast becoming the first stop for someone researching you.
When a prospect searches for your name and your organization’s name, what will he/she find? Mixed messages and incomplete information? Or compelling content and messages that scream, “Tell me more”?
Establish Yourself as an Expert
Use social media to establish yourself as an expert. Members share knowledge, expand their networks, and grow their businesses by using Ecademy [Editor’s Update, Ecademy was acquired in 2012. You can view its original site here]. Founder Penny Power describes it as “a wine bar where business people meet and discuss life and business—it is a social place where business happens.” Because of the more social emphasis, most profiles contain some personal information.
Use social media to establish yourself as an expert.
You can post a variety of content, establish groups, and network with millions of people across more than 120 countries. Your activities increase your visibility in the global marketplace, establish credibility, and promote your business.
Do your research. Find the right experts. Ask the right questions. Sites like Ecademy shave off months or even years from research and planning time.
Solve Problems with Experts from Around the World
Join sites to expand your network of trusted advisors. Imagine having access to a global think tank of corporate chieftains and industry leaders to help solve critical business issues. MeettheBoss and Talkbiznow (Editor’s Update, site no longer available) can help. Members communicate with one another via web seminars, secure video conferencing, instant messaging, email, and text messaging. Discussion groups abound, affording you numerous opportunities to network and gain insights from industry experts. As with any relationship, building trust takes effort and commitment.
Ultimately, you spend less time tackling problems outside your area of expertise. You enhance your own expertise by helping others in areas where you are proficient, which raises yours and their productivity.
Accelerate Your Success and Make Adam Smith Proud
These five social media tools help us exchange information, ideas, and opportunities in what is an increasingly large and diverse global market. They provide specialized resources from around the world, accelerating our success in global commerce—something Adam Smith would be proud of today.
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Photography Source: FreePik, Updated 2018