Middle-market M&A professionals may attend conferences to network and find leads on new deals, but Twitter Inc. and LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) can also provide some of that action, experts said at a panel on social media at ACG Philadelphia’s M&A East conference. For more on social media, watch our video with Watermill Group's Emily Lord, below.
The panelists; Kristy Delmuto, director of marketing for private equity firm LLR Partners; Harleen Chillon, vice president of Ennovance Capital, a chemicals-focused private equity firm; Michael Idinopulos, the chief marketing officer of PeopleLinx, which helps people use social media; and Karin Kovacic, vice president of Alcentra; provided advice for dealmakers looking to start using, or advance their social media use.
Some private equity firms, such as Ennovance, use social media to establish subject-matter expertise, she said at the panel. Others have used the networks to bring in business – CBIZ Inc. (NYSE: CBZ), where Kovacic worked before Alcentra, generated about $1 million in closed business from social media, she says.
Here are some tips from the panelists:
- Secure the brand or company’s name for the Twitter account, so no one else does.
- Start with a few forms of social media, not all of them.
- If you’re anxious about tweeting, start by retweeting.
- Consider incorporating “fun” tweets about 20 percent of the time. It adds personality.
- Make your posts as thoughtful as possible. Part of the point of developing online relationships is to take them offline.
- The real power of social media in not in the firm brand but in leveraging the members of the firm’s expertise through social media.
- If your company does not have an Internet marketing director, ask the person who is the most enthusiastic about social media to run the company’s accounts. Don’t just pick the youngest person.
- Consult your company’s compliance officer and include a social media section in a compliance manual for the company.
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Corrected October 18, 2013 at 8:38AM: 2680067144001