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ost people are familiar with social media's frivolous, time-wasting side. But do you know social media's serious side? In the business-to-business (B2B) sector, social media can help you generate new leads and nurture existing relationships. But for the pallet industry, it can also play a critical networking role, such as helping you find new sources for purchasing raw materials, or sharing ideas for solving problems. Can you benefit from social media? You can. But to be effective, you'll need to strategize your efforts. Start by determining what your company's primary and secondary needs are, and then allocate your time to get the biggest bang for your buck. Here are some key rules to follow: 1. Know which sites are important to your company. LinkedIn is the preferred network among most B2B marketers. In the pallet industry, LinkedIn is probably the most powerful networking tool. In addition, it can serve as a resource to research and target individual sales. You can also join groups that focus on pallets to find resources, share information or get advice. In addition to NWPCA's LinkedIn group, there are other related groups or companies worthy to check out, such as the Reusable Packaging Association; Wooden, Plastic and Steel Pallets of America; Packaging Professionals; Bulk Container Professionals; Institute of Packaging Professionals; Green Packaging Forum; GMA Pallet Users; Pallet Recyclers of America; and Pallet Security, Returnable Assets Management & Pallet Control. Facebook is not as useful as a B2B tool, but it can be valuable for strengthening communications with your clients and potential clients. You can also search for vendors to service your company. In general, Facebook is a better forum for 34 PalletCentral March-April 2014 M Social Media For Pallets by Jon Goldman Your social media accounts can reflect poorly on your company if you over-post one week and then don't post for weeks at a time. BUSINESS

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