It’s hard to Google “social media for small B2B organizations” without seeing the majority of articles praising the value of LinkedIn for early-age startups and smaller-sized tech companies. These articles exist for good reason: LinkedIn can be a fabulous tool for lead generation, information sharing and building partnerships. But for some organizations, perhaps it’s just not the right fit for the size or scope of your organization.
Enter Alignable, a relatively new social media platform that serves the needs of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Unlike LinkedIn, Alignable has a hyperlocal focus and connects SMBs to each other based on geographic proximity as well as shared needs and interests.
Alignable was not launched on a global scale: instead, the platform is rolled out on a community-by-community basis, building networks on a neighborhood level by creating virtual business associations and encouraging users to evolve their digital connections into real-life relationships.
Whether your tech company is hyperlocal or growing globally, Alignable has tools to help you connect, learn and build leads without the social media noise that can sometimes creep into LinkedIn.
Below are three benefits for small businesses to consider using Alignable:
Alignable Offers A Comprehensive and Readable Blog with Main Street Insights
When Alignable launched in 2014, it was purely a platform for connection and relationship building. With the rise of inbound marketing, however, Alignable launched a sister site called Main Street Insights, an educational blog similar to those found on HubSpot, Inbound and Buffer.
One key advantage that Main Street Insights has over these other marketing-focused blogs is that it covers more than just marketing. SMBs often find themselves wearing multiple hats acting as the company accountant, HR manager or financial planner and Main Street Insights features articles about payroll tax, legal requirements for hiring employees, etc.
While Alignable is ultimately a marketing tool, the company understands that small business owners are hardly ever focused on just marketing, and providing valuable information across the scope of small business ownership makes Main Street Insights stand out. The blog is open to contributions from members, which makes for a great opportunity to write content that showcases the expertise and services of your business.
The blog also offers forums in the form of a Questions vertical, where users can pose questions to a greater audience and receive answers and feedback.
By engaging regularly with questions and posts on Main Street Insights, users can leverage their own industry knowledge to be featured prominently in the Questions vertical and connect with other users in a conversational way that is not restricted by geographic proximity like the rest of Alignable’s offerings.
Alignable Emphasizes Relationship Building, Not Connection Grabbing
How many times have you grabbed someone’s business card, added them on LinkedIn, and never spoke to them again? Maybe you met someone in a group who you really hit it off with, only to find out that their business is located 3,000 miles away.
Geographic distance isn’t always a hindrance to building valuable partnerships if most your business is conducted online, but face to face relationships continue to be the most valuable, memorable and lasting partnerships a business owner can form. Alignable uses the location of your small business to virtually connect you with other businesses within a small 5- to 10-mile radius around your business.
In the testimonials, many people who felt Alignable was valuable to their business made an effort to leverage the online networking the platform offers into coffee meetings or lunch. The ability to seamlessly transition from virtual communication to face-to-face conversation can be a huge benefit to small- and medium-sized businesses where in-person relationships still rule most business transactions.
Alignable Has Easy Systems for Referrals, Joint Promotions and Event Promotion
In the Alignable dashboard, there are opportunities to segment your news feed and create private groups with other technology-oriented SMBs. Business owners that offer similar or complementary products/services can get together in these groups to share leads, referrals, and event opportunities.
Private groups are also a great way to coordinate multi-merchant promotions, in which several businesses offer complementary promotions to reach a larger customer base and drive business back and forth to each other.
Alignable can also connect with your social media pages and email platforms, which makes it even easier to send promotions and event invitations to your entire database across platforms.
LinkedIn is here to stay (for the time being), and it is probably wise to continue to develop your strategy and presence there. However, social media is not “one size fits all,” and, if LinkedIn is truly not serving your business and generating the leads you need, it may be worth your time to explore Alignable or other social platforms.
Not loving LinkedIn because you’re at a loss for how to start? Check out these quick tips for getting started with LinkedIn on the Launch blog.
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