For years now, LinkedIn has been the most popular social media networking site for professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs. I personally have used LinkedIn in the past to locate, connect and build relationships with Angel Investors, future Business Partnerships, Clients, and yes Supplier Diversity Managers working for Fortune 1,000 Firms.
Over the past 5 years, LinkedIn has seen an explosion of pages and profiles of government agencies and their employees. At the same time, more and more LinkedIn Groups have been established among Contracting Officers and other government buyers. So now, for business owners seeking creative ways to network with government agencies and Fortune 1,000 firms, LinkedIn has become a premier tool. For example, doing a simple search in LinkedIn using the keywords “Federal Contracting Officers” and “Supplier Diversity”, I was able to identify 126 large and small groups!
Here’s a brief sample of relevant LinkedIn Groups and their goals.
- Supplier Diversity Community – 3300 members.
The aim is to provide a central location for professionals to engage, discuss, share ideas, and facilitate discussion.
- Contracting Officer Podcast = 573 members.
The intent is to create a forum for members to learn about the federal market from a Contracting Officers perspective.
- Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR)= 66 members.
COTR's within the federal and state government can network to discuss non sensitive information regarding contracts, finances and creating a better relationship with clients and the customer.
- IBM Women and Diversity B2B Marketing = 1,863 members.
The IBM Women and Diversity B2B Marketing is a global community focused on business growth, supplier diversity, talent development and global communities.
Building relationships with Contracting Officers could significantly elevate your business and understanding of the procurement process. Creating and maintaining a robust LinkedIn profile could very well be worth the effort.
To learn more about LinkedIn Groups and the rules established for networking, please use the following link. www.likedIn.com/help/linkedin/answer/190
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Wrriten by Thomas Burns, Procurement Specialist, Norcal PTAC