If you’re doing business in Germany, chances are you’ve heard of XING and are probably wondering how to use it for marketing and online reputation management. In Germany alone there are approximately 3.5 million high-level personnel are using the business network XING - the European pendant to LinkedIn - to manage and expand their professional contacts.
This network has proven to be an effective social media channel for B2B communications and reputation management. Why? XING has more than 30,000 topic-related groups where members exchange ideas, thoughts and experiences concerning nearly every branch or every professional field of activity, like “Risk Management”, “Underwriting”, “Corporate Publishing”, “Construction Engineering” etc.
We include XING more and more into our clients’ communication plans. As far as planning and implementation are concerned we recommend following these best practices:
1) Basic identification of relevant groups:
2) Rate the relevance of a group:
3) Develop a content strategy
4) Identify and train client employees to represent the company on XING.
5) Work with these employees to develop different and relevant content to be posted within the groups’ discussion forums. Depending on the group that could contain:
6) As a last step we recommend founding a branded group on XING. This offers new opportunities like organizing real life group meetings or issuing newsletters. As this requires greater involvement of client employees, we recommend commencing in only after conducting 6 months of XING-relations.
Summing up, one can say that XING has been proven to be a good tool for social media B2B communications. For foreign enterprises coming to Germany it is furthermore a good way to demonstrate market knowledge and integration into German business communities.
David Carlson: Social Media and Traditional PR