Suomi/Africa
Perspectives from Africa,
engagement from Finland
 
 

Understanding Africa

Representing Africans

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Fireworks at Kansalaistori Square, Helsinki, to celebrate a century of Finnish independence (Photo: Finland 100)

Fireworks in Helsinki, to celebrate a century of Finnish independence (Photo: Finland 100)

Social media - an opportunity for a company to reach out

After the flurry of social media innovation over the past couple of years, things have begun to settle down and it is now easier for companies to discern the opportunities and possibilities available to them. Companies use social media, as they use most digital communications, to make themselves more visible. That's a good idea – the amount of content on the Web is steadily growing and will continue to do so. As many as 150,000 new URLs are created every day! The term ‘needle in a haystack’ pales in comparison to ‘Web site on the Web’. Search engines like Google and Bing appreciate social media channels, and accounts on these services give Vacon a far more noticeable presence.
Social media sites are now a vital part of the Web, and critical to corporate communication (Photo: iStockphoto.com/teekid)Although social media sites are now a vital part of the Web, they are - to some extent - entities in themselves, with their own search engines, logic and culture. It is, therefore, important to communicate through these channels as well as through the conventional company Web site. Social media activity means new people are more likely to become aware of the company via shared content or as it shows up on other people’s news feeds on Twitter or LinkedIn for example. And, while visibility and ‘findability’ were major reasons for Vacon to start using social media, the main reason is to enable partners, customers, potential customers and potential employees to easily interact with the company. This can include communicating on a personal level, making the company more approachable and able to help customers, providing industry insight and telling students what it’s like to work at the company. Without social media channels, these conversations would not happen as easily as they do now.

Vacon offers an example in social media
Today, for example, a Finnish manufacturer of variable-speed AC drives (or frequency converters) called Vacon can be found on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Slideshare, and Weibo:
Twitter is a very topical channel where Vacon updates followers with general company news and relevant industry news. It’s a great way to quickly push out news that is interesting, but it's also a way to answer questions from Twitter followers.
Video is becoming a normal, integral, and expected part of the Web. YouTube is less of a two-way communication channel than say Twitter, but still, YouTube provides new and simpler ways to share ideas and news.
Vacon has a company page in LinkedIn, where its products and services can be found. It also has a group in LinkedIn called Vacon Group in which it shares news. The group is also open for discussions, which can be started and answered by any of its members.
Slideshare is to presentations what YouTube is to videos. At the moment, Vacon shares its reference stories and brochures in Slideshare, which can be downloaded and embedded to other Web sites.
Weibo is the biggest micro blog in China. Vacon recently opened a Weibo account in order to offer the same possibilities in China as its Twitter presence does globally.

Integration on the Internet
In November 2012, Vacon launched a new website. Together with its social media channels, the company hopes to provide a more consistent and helpful digital experience for its visitors. It is now possible to follow Vacon social media channels directly from its Web site and share pages, documents and other downloadable material. You can also recommend its products and services to LinkedIn directly from the Vacon website.