WHEN it comes to joining the dots, Linda Cheung of CubeSocial practices what she preaches.
The enthusiastic chief executive has certainly made good use of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to spread the message of social media best practice.
And social media has proved to be a great tool for not only making good business contacts, but also as an effective way of getting the CubeSocial name out into the business community.
“Social media is all about joining the dots,” is a phrase you will often hear Linda saying. She adds that “business has always been about connections.”
Naturally, she is keen to spread the word about how CubeSocial’s service can help businesses.
Based at Grove House in Chineham, the software development company manages social media to win business, and now also provides a consultancy service too.
Connectegrity, which uses the brand name CubeSocial, was set up in 2009 by Linda and former Microsoft lead program manager Mark Bower.
Considering its small size, this young start-up business has achieved impressive reach, gaining national and international media coverage and recognition.
Back in March, television viewers would have seen Linda talking on a BBC South debate called Our Economy, broadcast from the UK head office of forklift truck and warehouse equipment company, Linde, in Basingstoke, while on December 30, The Mail on Sunday published a business feature about Linda.
All this is in no small way down to the use of social media. The simple fact is that when used properly, it gets you noticed.
In the very early days of the business, Linda, who was previously chief operating officer at Morgan Stanley, spotted a tweet from a financial journalist, asking if there was anything good about Basingstoke.
“Because I recognised her name, I cheekily replied back saying I used to be in the City and now I’ve left to set up my own business here – so don’t be so rude about the area,” laughed Linda. “I kind of knew that she might be curious as I’m an ex-City girl and she’s a City journalist.”
Linda added: “This led to an exchange of emails and being asked to write an article about ‘Why I left London for a start-up in Basingstoke’.”
Shortly after it was published, Linda got her first call from the BBC and was interviewed on BBC Radio Berkshire “That’s what I mean by joining the dots,” explained Linda. “It just helps you ripple in terms of growing the connections.”
In fact, it was meeting South Today’s Sally Taylor that proved to be one of two routes connecting Linda with The Mail on Sunday.
“She connected me with somebody she thought I should meet, who recommended me to The Mail on Sunday,” said Linda.
That article was a good end for 2012, with Linda turning the tables on the journalists by publishing pictures of her photoshoot on CubeSocial’s Facebook page.
“People have liked the photos because it’s part of giving an insight of what it’s like to be a start-up. It’s all about how you can share that insight into your business and people like that.”
“There has been a lot of press about CEOs getting more involved with social media, giving more transparency and insights into their business because that’s how people bond with businesses.”
CubeSocial has garnered accolades from customers and press alike.
It has been named as a Top 20 Idea in The Guardian, selected as a Company to Watch in The Business Magazine’s TV250 awards, and was chosen as a finalist in the 2012 Cloud Computing World Series Awards in the Best Social CRM category.
CubeSocial has earned the nickname CubeGlobal thanks to Linda’s globetrotting. She has done a lot of speaking abroad, including at Campus Party in Europe, held in Berlin, where she shared the stage with Sir Tim Berners-Lee – the inventor of the World Wide Web.
More locally, CubeSocial was The Gazette’s overall local winner in the 2011 Local Business Accelerator competition and Linda was a speaker at the BE INSPIRED event held last April on Basing View.
Linda said: “The LBA competition was great – it was something I was really proud of. And it’s a really nice thing that people will say ‘check out CubeSocial.’ “A lot of people feel they know us or have met us – even though they haven’t truly met us physically.”