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23 November 2010
“LinkedIn is for people you know. Facebook is for people you used to know. Twitter is for people you want to know” sums up pretty well the roles three largest social media sites – although nobody knows who first said it. And as they started to catch on (if you can remember way back in 2005) the key word was “people”. It was individuals networking with other individuals.Since then, businesses have seen the opportunity to extend their message to the world. Be it reaching customers, vendors or prospects, everybody agrees social media is a “good thing”. Supply Management (and sister title CPO Agenda) are no strangers to this trend with a presence on Facebook and Twitter and, for CPOA, a huge and vibrant LinkedIn group. I have been asked: “Why, what do you gain?” Many buying organisations are considering the same point. For us, these sites present the chance to get our articles to a wider audience. They also drive traffic to our websites. Indeed, some CIPS members will be reading 
this article on our blog. But for procurement professionals 
the benefits may be less clear cut. 
And this probably explains why their 
take-up among buyers has been slow, as discussed in our cover feature on page 28. I think the advantages for buyers can 
be huge. Raising your profile among potential suppliers, stakeholders and peers is never a bad thing. And doing so using these established and popular sites is free. Imagine the costs and 
work required to establish a site of your own that could reach 
all these groups. Plus, you can disregard the communication that isn’t helpful for you and make the most of those contacts and ideas it does reveal. Which site you choose will depend on your requirements. But I would urge some caution. Choosing Friends Reunited in 2005 wouldn’t now look like a great decision.
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