B2B Social Media and Engineering communities


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Social Media is about making connections, but you need to know where to look to find prospects worth your while connecting with. If you're in engineering, here are some pointers.

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B2B Social Media and Engineering communities

  1. 1. B2B Social Media and Engineering Communities
  2. 2. Think of the phrase ‘Social Media‘, and no doubt your mind will create images of Facebook, Twitter and Google+. But what if you work within the design, engineering or scientific communities, and are looking for an outlet to share your ideas and converse with like-minded people, without getting caught up in the ‘Likes’, ‘#s’ and ‘+s’? Well, look no further! Here is our list of the top Engineering Social Media Communities at your disposal! linkedin.com LinkedIn is currently the largest leading social network for professionals – a database, if you will, of people you know, or have known in a professional capacity, such as previous or current colleagues, clients or suppliers. The site plays host to numerous special interest groups, giving users an outlet to start discussions, ask questions, share valuable content and reach out to other members for information. It is also a platform to browse and follow companies of interest, allowing users to stay up-to-date with their recent activity. If your organisation is not one of the 2.6 million with an active LinkedIn profile, it’s missing a trick! By creating a company profile and beginning to build valuable connections, you’ll instantly increase brand awareness, enabling prospects to easily find the company with the outcome of turning professional relationships into opportunities. Share xing.com n nce you have built your personal O connections, you can grow your ‘Extended Network’ by gaining Second and Third-degree connections (i.e. contacts who are linked to the people you know) n Request skill recommendations from your connections, or perhaps endorse them for a particular business skill or professional quality n LinkedIn is an excellent platform to increase company visibility, products and goals – make sure your company page is live and represents your company in a positive light n Looking for new staff? 89% of recruiters have filled a vacant position at some point in time using LinkedIn (source: www.masters-in-humanresources.org/recruiting/) n you know of a colleague who could Do provide support to a client that they are currently unconnected to? Why not introduce them via LinkedIn? Often referred to as the ‘European LinkedIn’, Xing is the third-largest professional networking site, enjoying most of its popularity in Central Europe, particularly in German-speaking countries. Much like LinkedIn, Xing offers users with the ability to connect with contacts, search for companies and join groups. Additionally, Xing features Events and Projects offerings. The Events capability informs members of local training opportunities, encourages event participants to connect and enables users to organise their own event which Xing can manage through its professional online event registration and ticketing subsidiary, Amiando. The ‘Projects’ feature allows companies to promote these and search for freelancers to work on them. Xing currently boasts 100,000 company profiles, and with a large proportion of these based in one of the largest corporate hotspots in the world, users can reap the benefits of joining this site. n Check out the ‘What’s new in your network’ feed, which filters new posts by topic, depending on which part of Xing you’re looking at n Xing recommendations provide ‘Next step’ suggestions in relation to new job roles, for example. The most relevant recommendations will appear in your updates n Start a group: discuss the industry issues that are important to you or your company, or simply request answers to a matter that you might be struggling with n Looking for a new job? Use the ‘Job search’ function to look for new positions, or browse the ‘Job ads’ n its very basic level, Xing can be used as At an address book/diary – keep up-to-date with events and appointments with the ‘Upcoming’ section 2
  3. 3. engineeringexchange.com engineering.com element14.com The Engineering Exchange is a social networking community developed by engineers for engineers. The site hosts many platforms for users to grow their network by connecting with each other, posting comments, starting discussions and developing their awareness of engineering related topics. As well as having a profile page, members can join groups that are of interest to them, such as Automation and Control, Electronics and Industrial Air Filtration. Once registered, members have full, ungated access to educational videos, images and blogs, as well as notifications about upcoming events they may wish to attend. Forums exist as an outlet to pose questions or exchange content and ideas, as well as a rather nifty tabbed ‘Resources’ section, enabling access to a library of educational whitepapers and information about new widgets. Hailed as ‘The Engineer’s Ultimate Resource Tool‘, engineering.com is an online library of engaging blog articles and videos, which are neatly cross-referenced into handy content-streams, as well as whitepapers and the Ask@ forum where members can connect and share. The site is innovative in its content, which includes a free calculator library for conversions and equations, as well as original engineering games and puzzles which will surely brighten a dull day! Perhaps the most useful company resource are the searchable directories through which users can source products, services and companies, enabling customers to link with vendors from across the globe. Element14 is a huge online forum for engineers and electronic enthusiasts, giving members a platform not only to request and share knowledge, but also to stay up-to-date with the latest engineering products and trends. This may be through watching the regular webinars or videos rated by other users, reading or posting blog articles or even by gaining tips from industry experts. As well as the usual group element – members can join groups of interest to connect and collaborate, follow groups run by industry experts, or create their own – the site hosts a handy ‘Road Test’ section, giving users the chance to test and keep the latest products on the market in exchange for their feedback and ratings. n Browse the ‘Feature Sections’ – streamed content from the most influential analysts in Design Software, Electronics, 3D Printing and Careers n Register to Road Test the latest development kits and other new products for free n Engineering Exchange is an easily navigatable site – familiarise yourself with their offerings by clicking the quick links to videos, latest activity, events, forums and blog posts n your company an engineering services firm or contract Is manufacturer? Become part of the engineering product and service directory, gaining increased visibility and buyer awareness n reate your own page to showcase your skills, connect C with other members, and start discussions n Browse the group’s library, and those that interest you or are relevant to your industry n heck out the plethora of resources! C n Exchange expertise and advice by getting involved in a forum discussion Share n Watch the educational webinars and download the free whitepapers to keep you abreast of the latest trends in your industry n Check out the ‘Engineer’s Picks’ for the most innovative engineering products on the market n you’re new to the industry or brushing up on your If existing knowledge, you might find the ‘Education’ tab and the ‘Textbooks’ section helpful – especially for complicated formulas! n View the ‘Resources’ tab to access a wealth of material, such as webinars and the ‘Ask Industry Experts’ section n Check out ‘The Knode’ – a search engine and technical library for embedded system designs n Navigate around the site to see what groups or discussions you could join and add content to n nterested in a particular type of technology? I Browse the ‘Technologies’ tab to participate in the latest discussions, read blog posts and find product solutions for your chosen area 3
  4. 4. designspark.com Designspark is a technology hub for electronic design engineers, hosting a plethora of unique downloadable resources, such as free professional ‘Design Spark PCB’ software, which enables users to create schematic designs in 3D. Members of this community can gain full access to the free 2D and 3D CAD model library, tutorial and product demonstration videos, as well as the usual blog articles and forums. n f you’re a design engineer, you may be I interested in the free downloadable tools and apps offered by Designspark. Offerings include ModelSource and RS Digital Catalogue digikey.com/techxchange n lick on the products offered within the C ‘Design Centres’ tab, whereby you can read an overview of popular themes and technologies n DesignShare’ is an area of the website ‘ for hosting open-source project sharing, collaboration and concept discussions. Feel inspired to add your own project, or download those that may be of some interest to you n ModelSource’ is an online database ‘ of free engineering models that hosts Schematic and PCB component libraries and 2D and 3D CAD models. Choose to download or contribute to the database at your convenience n ould you like to see your own articles W published in the Designspark blog? Request to become a contributor and this could become a reality! Share A huge user-to-user forum, TechXchange is a platform for design engineers to discuss new technologies and innovations in the industry, as well as pose questions and share designs with each other. Members can browse through four sectors of communities for the information they require, which can also be cross-referenced by type, such as videos, discussions and documents. There’s also a multitude of groups to explore, all of which are open to view as a non-member, which is beneficial if you’re looking for a quick answer to an existing query. Choose to create an account if you want to share content, reply to a question or join a group to reap the benefits of being a member. n oin one of the TechXchange J Communities to speak technology, products and designs with design engineers and hobbyists n Browse the videos and resource documents related to your chosen community and technology area n lick the ‘Newest Products’ tab to C read reviews and features of the latest industry offerings n ooking for a particular product? L Search the ‘Product Index’ for a wealth of products, each listed at competitive prices n heck out the ‘Resources’ tab for C the latest educational materials from the industry 4
  5. 5. cr4.globalspec.com GlobalSpec is ‘The Engineer’s Place for News and Discussion’ – a multitude of forums and blog articles organised by discipline, such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and manufacturing. Similarly to TechXchange, GlobalSpec is open to all users, unless wishing to post content or ask a question. There’s also various user groups to join, some of which are open to all and some that require permission to join; members can also register for interactive online trade shows for the purpose of networking and to meet manufacturers, product demonstrations, and to gain knowledge of new industry offerings. Share labroots.com n ithin the ‘CR4 Sections’ area, click W the hyperlink of the particular sector or industry you are interested in to participate in related forums and read blog articles around the subject n ubscribe to the CR4 RSS feeds S to receive the latest news from the community, anywhere, anytime n oin a ‘User Group’ to talk industry J related topics with like-minded individuals n lick ‘Got Something to Say’ to ask C other members a question, or start a discussion n isit the CR4 Store to buy branded V merchandise from your favourite engineering social media platform! Labroots is a networking site for professionals working within all strands of the scientific industry, from linguistics to engineering. Open only to members, Labroots encourages global collaboration amongst users, who can choose to showcase their expertise through content creation, by posting (and watching) webinars and videos, and by joining and following groups of interest. Companies have the facility to create their own pages, keeping followers abreast of progress and feeds; individuals can follow in real-time and have the opportunity to enter into monthly scientific contests to win money and prizes. n egister for free to access all of the R site’s offerings n ollow the companies and institutions F that inspire you n eview the latest videos and infographics R from your industry n heck out which ‘Events’ are available C to attend in your area n articipate in a live webinar, or browse P through the archive 5
  6. 6. Resource Centre You may also enjoy reading: Download Modern Marketing and Demand Generation Pulling together: Centralising your marketing Download Download Content Marketing 101 Guide Download About Ledger Bennett DGA www.lbDGa.com Telephone: +44 (0)8458 383883 Email: info@LBDGA.com Milton Keynes: Ledger Bennett DGA Tungsten House, Warren Road Little Horwood, Milton Keynes MK17 0NR London: Share Ledger Bennett DGA 1st Floor Centric House 390-391 Strand, London WC2R 0LT We are a B2B Demand Generation agency that uses sales and marketing know-how to help customers increase revenue by deploying Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and Marketing Automation strategies. Our highly focused Demand Generation programmes drive our customers’ business performance, helping them to: n Generate more opportunity n Convert that opportunity into sales n Retain customers and grow their value Using more measurable and cost effective techniques than traditional full service marketing agencies we are able to maximise business revenue in the modern world where the internet has fundamentally changed the behaviour of the buyer. 6