Ok, so you’ve met people and started relationships with prospects in Europe via projects and commercial trade shows. Now it’s time to keep up those relationships while making new ones.
Of course, a content marketing strategy (inbound marketing) and a good customer relationship management system (CRM) are essential for properly following the evolution of your sales and marketing endeavors. Social networks should also be considered as a part of your inbound strategy.
If you’re concentrating on Europe, let me draw your attention to social networks in B2B that often go unnoticed by North Americans but are quite popular on the Old Continent.
From a North American point of view, LinkedIn is the natural number one choice among social networks for establishing one’s presence, credibility and making connections. In January 2013, LinkedIn mentioned that it had surpassed 200 million users all over the world. This is the most used professional social network in the West. But in Europe, there’s also Viadeo and Xing.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
If you’re looking to network in France or other Francophone regions across the Atlantic, Viadeo.com is the preferred network, with over 50 million professionals. Its features and member management are very similar to that of LinkedIn.
Or if you’re aiming for Germany, Xing.com should be seriously considered. Xing counts more than 13 million subscribers and is known for being very “German-speaker friendly.”
If you’re on LinkedIn, it’s quite possible that your prospects are as well. See if they’re active on LinkedIn as much as on other networks and for what reasons. It will help you make a more informed decision about whether or not to invest in Viadeo or Xing, in addition to LinkedIn.
Don’t forget to adapt your method of communication as the language level and ways to approach people may be different than here. Being part of social media involves merging culturally into them. For a representative, it’s important. After all, these are “social” networks.
Lastly, even if you haven’t signed up on any social networks, reserve your spot, open a free account and take your place before someone else does it before you!