Social media isn’t just about gaining followers. Social media can be a powerful networking and intelligence tool. Social media can be incorporated into your BRE strategies.
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for your BRE program. Login to LinkedIn and follow the companies (large and small) within your community. Don’t just follow – listen to what these companies are saying. You can set up daily alerts or notifications as the posts happen. These alerts and notifications will give you good indicators as to how businesses in your community are growing or declining. Has a company announced an ownership change? Have there been regulatory changes that impact their business? Have they had recent increases or decreases in employment? Listening to the chatter out there with give you an advantage during your next BRE visit.
LinkedIn can also be used to set up discussion groups for existing businesses. Form discussion groups based on cluster, common interests (like industrial park tenants), or as a general group. Use it as a forum to inform and gather feedback.
Creating a Google News alert for the companies in your area will also let you in on some of the not so positive information the companies won’t be posting on LinkedIn. Google News alerts can be setup daily or weekly. If you haven’t created news alerts for your companies in your area, do it today. This is a great intelligence gathering tool. It will provide current, ongoing information about the businesses in your area. With this information your BRE program will be more informed.
Another tidbit – create a news alert for you and your organization. It’s helpful to know when something is being posted to the Internet about you!