International Business Partnering

Can a Service Based Company Get Business utilizing Social Media?


Social Media is all the rage these days, if you haven’t been invited by colleagues to their Linked In, Facebook or Twitter accounts you’ve been living under a rock. Yet skepticism as to whether social media has a place in the corporate world is still very strong, while retail appears to be able to effectively utilize social media as shown in the article Who won the social media battle for customers? , service-based firms are having a difficult time understanding how social media can benefit them. Managed properly,  Social Media can open a whole new world of opportunities, allowing you to more effectively target leads in line with your strategic plan.

As a service-based company, we have used social media as a powerful resource to find companies interested in pursuing business internationally. How many of us have kicked ourselves because we find that we have wasted time chasing poor leads and dead ends? Social media is like having additional eyes and ears out in the field without hiring additional personnel to do your research.

As an International Partnership Broker it is has been my job to research and understand what it takes to successfully introduce companies into a foreign market. The past two years have been invested conducting business development and developing the relationships needed to do business in Brazil. The initial trips were spent learning the business climate and culture and beginning to develop business relationships; subsequent trips were spent meeting with key decision-makers to understand what was needed in Brazil that US firms could provide. Our approach was to understand what their needs were, what problems they needed to solve and then return and find companies that could provide those solutions. As a result, the past two years have been spent introducing and pre selling my clients’ products/services to the Brazilian market. Serving as their Business Development arm I was able to perform the groundwork needed to get in front of the decision makers and prequalify buyers prior to my client having to travel and “close the deal”.

Social Media as a Resource

Through my travels I was able to gather a great deal of information regarding Brazil’s needs. Armed with this information, I was able to use Social Media to locate companies that could provide the solutions required and prequalify them without having to engage in expensive PR or marketing campaigns.  One example is that while meeting with the Vice Governor of Rio, he indicated that Rio needed an alternate transportation resource that could travel over open ocean. Upon my return I put out a search through Linked-In “groups” for hovercrafts and found several that I could explore. I was able to narrow the list down and eventually settled on one right here in my own state. Something that normally would have taken weeks to do, took me a matter of days.  As a result, at the end of this month I travel with my hovercraft client to Brazil to meet with several key Brazilian firms who have expressed interest in my client’s hovercraft products/services.

Social media is just the beginning of the next wave of innovative technology developments on the horizon. Without a solid grasp of the concepts and benefits that social media has to offer, firms will soon find themselves behind the eight ball.  Understand that Social Media is just another component of your Strategic Marketing plan, it is a tool, a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is up to you to make it fit the plan in order to produce the best results. Think “outside the box”.

How these tools can be incorporated into your Strategic Marketing Plan will be discussed in Part Two of this blog “Understanding How Social Media Fits Into a Service-Based Marketing Plan.”

DAVNA Enterprises, LLC is a Marketing and International Partnership Brokerage firm dedicated to the Architectural, Engineering and Construction, Transportation and Technology industries to improve their marketing initiatives and the effectiveness of their international positioning efforts through market partnering and positioning.


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