Since the private equity business is dependent on relationships with a finite number of LPs, executives and entrepreneurs, you need to be sure you can identify every potential opportunity to engage with your target audience. With 3 out of 4 Americans using social media, various platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have become an extremely cost-effective way for a firm to broaden its reach and strengthen its corporate relationships. Surprisingly, however, when BackBay Communications surveyed the private equity market for its Private Equity Brand Equity II report, published last fall, only 7 percent of responding professionals said their firms were using social media regularly.
Is Social Media Right for My Business?
If you think social media won’t be an effective communication tool for your private equity business, think again. Social media empowers you to (1) build relationships with prospective clients, (2) position your company as the subject matter expert in your particular area of practice, (3) increase the effectiveness of your customer service and (4) find new ways to creatively connect with people who are looking for your expertise.
The question you need to ask is, “where are my prospective customers, investors and partners consuming information?” In many instances, especially in the case of the younger demographic, social media might be the only channel where you can reach your target audience. That’s not to say social media becomes your only channel for establishing and maintaining business conversations, but that social media is a compliment to your existing marketing ecosystem. It allows you to present a consistent message across many channels as possible in an effort to broaden your reach and build your brand.
Every time you create content on your website, such as blog posts, you need to actually push that information out across social media channels instead of waiting for people to find you through search engines. The true value of social media is when your network begins to share your content and expertise with their network and your network begins to grow organically.
What are Some Examples of Broadening Your Presence Through a Social Network?
When you need to network in an effort to raise capital or originate investments, LinkedIn is a very powerful platform not just for introductions to new investors but also for continuing to build your reputation as an expert. There is section of LinkedIn called “Answers” where you can answer questions posed by other members, thus, building your authority within this community and attracting the attention of both investors and entrepreneurs.
You can also join “Groups” within LinkedIn to find potential business contacts or you can create your own group and direct the conversation, build an expert network and stay abreast of new developments in your industry.
Lastly, be sure to list your business in the “Companies” and include links to your profile, website and social media accounts. There are plenty of areas within LinkedIn where people might be searching for you so be sure to leverage these tools as much as possible.
How do I Manage the Process?
Of course, you will need to develop and implement some kind of social media policy where you outline detailed rules of engagement that map back to a clear concise marketing strategy and, also follow your corporate branding guidelines. There should be a single point person who acts as the community manager and is responsible for enforcing policy and controlling access to the various social media accounts.
Social media is not a one size fits all proposition and each business needs to evaluate best practices that fit their particular business model. Social media can take up considerable human resources if not managed and measured properly. ROI has always been a bit elusive with these platforms but more and more tools are now available (even Google Analytics) that allow you to track the performance of your social media programs.
You can simply think of social media as a suite of communication mechanisms that allow you to engage with your target audience in the way that’s most comfortable for them.
If you would like to learn more or speak to one of our client partners about working with Revenue Architects to develop your social media strategy, please contact us at contact @ revenuearchitects.com.