Funny thing happened to me the other day when I was out looking for folks in need of more sophisticated marketing services than just the “I need social” or “I need a spiffy name for my new venture”, mind you I do enjoy these types of projects but not as much as putting more difficult puzzles together. Part of that search involves reconnecting with my own “social network”, particularly those in my immediate area that have not been as well cultivated during my years of national and international business focus.
Another part of that has been really coming to grips with the difficult situation my home state has found itself in now that it has born the weight of the economic downturn. As I have long established roots here, not to mention six kids, ten grandchildren and neighbors who are all suffering the effects, I want to be able to make a contribution to efforts that will provide real help growing our local economy.
The funny thing that happened was I found out that for some individuals in a position to really help grow our manufacturing businesses, finding the companies to help sometimes was difficult. During a recent discussion with one such set of folks I introduced the idea of utilizing the more focused discussion groups on LinkedIn as a way of “inbounding” inquiries from the companies who need help.
Now of course this is not at all unlike what Hubspot.com preaches in its Inbound Marketing University although in this case we are offering money…not offering to take it! Out approach is simple and includes a carefully drafted discussion post outlining the type of companies we believe we can help, the range of investment opportunity we are willing to work with and how to contact us in private. We also made sure that we contacted the group manager if we thought our post might be considered spam and included a disclaimer to the group requesting them to contact us if the post was not appropriate.
I’ll keep you all posted in the near future on how well this worked but it is an excellent example of how to creatively use social networking to not only benefit yourself but others as well.