Archive for January, 2009

LinkedIn – creating a community

linkedinLinkedIn offers a great opportunity for office products companies including suppliers, dealers and wholesalers, to engage with each other and improve ways of working.

It has its benefits over other types of forum, too. Some forums are open to abuse. This is generally caused where people can engage anonymously. It is very easy to post unconstructive and sometimes defamatory comments when you don’t have to admit your identity. But LinkedIn offers a professional, business-like environment in which to engage and share ideas, knowledge and opinion.

I have recently delved into the world of LinkedIn Groups and set one up for Spicers UK. It’s a small but growing group of like-minded people who want to make a success of their business – be they Spicers employees, suppliers or dealers. Having posed a couple of questions to members, it’s interesting to see that, despite the growing size of the group, there is an apparent nervousness to be an early contributor.

But the benefits outweigh the risks. The site can be well controlled to ensure it includes only relevant members and content. In addition, ideas can be developed to benefit all parties and aid the survival of businesses in the industry through tough economic times.

Supportive communities can be a vital lifeline in times like these. So if you’re a supplier or dealer in the UK office products market, why not take a look and see how we can all work better together.


January 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment

Twitter – Business Value for the Office Products Industry

twitterOnly last week I was in conversation with someone about social media who stopped me mid conversation to ask ‘What’s Twitter?’. My explanation covered details of ‘micro-blogging’, ‘character limitation’, etc. The person remained puzzled and after a while asked ‘So why do people do that?’.

It’s a good question from someone with no experience of the service. This is someone, whilst not connected with the office products market, could just as easily be a dealer, end user, PA or office manager purchasing stationery for a business.

What is the value of Twitter in our industry?

Communication is a two way process and Twitter offers the opportunity to both monitor what is being said about your business, respond, share news and business or market updates, answer queries, engage with customers to improve service and enter in to a true two way conversation. In fact, as Tweets (the individual updates) can be either private or visible to all, you are able to engage people who are not active, but just monitoring the conversation. All these features are of value to suppliers, wholesalers and other companies within the office products industry. Just go to and type in “Post It Note” in the inverted commas and see who is talking about this product.

For more information on how Twitter can be used, see the Twitter Book from the Financial Aid Podcast.

January 3, 2009 at 7:44 pm 3 comments

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