print edition of Providence Business News
Speakers at the two-panel event sought to provide insights and advice for companies hoping to use social media in an integrated marketing plan that increases leads and generates business.
The danger comes when companies’ LinkedIn profiles aren’t indicative of the current state of their actual business. “Just like any network, these are things that are … reflective of you,” said Corissa St. Laurent, Constant Contact director of regional development for New England.
“If your information is out of date, it shows that you’re out of date. If you’re taking the time to create a social profile, keep it up to date,” she urged attendees. “Don’t just do it because you read an article somewhere that said you should.”
But social media is about more than just creating and updating a profile, agreed the panelists. “Once you feel like you’re credible and dressed appropriately to the cocktail party, what do you do now?” joked Ciunci.
LinkedIn’s mail service InMail was lauded by Ciunci for its response rates. According to TribalVision’s presentation statistics, LinkedIn’s mail response rates are 30 times higher than cold calling and 10 times higher than a standard email. The other benefit, he said, was that LinkedIn searches can be filtered by many parameters, including industry, company size and location.
With all its benefits, LinkedIn isn’t the perfect site, warned Brian Lamoureux, partner at the law firm of Pannone Lopes Devereaux & West LLC. He said that while answers from LinkedIn are “great for the target audience” he can think of “a whole population of folks under 25 or folks of a certain socioeconomic status that aren’t on LinkedIn.”
For jewelry designer and manufacturer Alex and Ani, Facebook and Twitter are the big players in cultivating business-to-customer relationships. “LinkedIn is fantastic for B2B, and we use it to target very focused groups,” said Ryan Bonifacino, Alex and Ani vice president of digital strategy. He added that Alex and Ani has the ability to target the “exact end user” of its products with social media through Facebook and Twitter.
Bonifacino said Facebook was his company’s biggest revenue driver, while Twitter took the No. 1 slot regarding customer engagement.
The important thing, according to Bonifacino, is to figure out how to attribute a “time out, dollar out” amount to a “dollar in” figure.
Bonifacino explained the evolution of the Alex and Ani marketing brand from a small Main Street business to a multimillion company.