In Monday’s first commonsku University session, suppliers learned ways to make the most of the platform that helps connect them to industry distributors.

Mark Graham, commonsku co-founder and chief platform officer, led the 50-minute session, sharing the basics of commonsku with supplier attendees to help them better interact with users of the customer relationship management and order management system, which doubles as a social network for industry members.

“This is a $300 million network that has doubled every year since its inception,” said Graham. “And it is a platform for suppliers to showcase their creativity.” He described commonsku as a place “where people buy from people they know, like and trust.”

To make the most of commonsku, Graham says suppliers should take advantage of the platform’s commonsku community, commonsku collaborate, and commonsku insights.

Graham also shared examples of how suppliers and distributors are using commonsku to stand out and connect with potential business partners. One supplier took advantage of the holiday season to create posts with a “12 Days of Christmas” theme. “This is a brilliant example of how suppliers are cutting through all the noise and reaching a targeted market with really great content,” he said.

To gain traction in commonsku, Graham said, suppliers should post during the workday when clients and prospects are online and likely to be searching.

They should tag industry professionals to bring them into the conversation, and comment five times more than they post. Video links in a news feed are also a way to drive traffic and inspire conversation. Graham cautions against posting product flyers, news of specials or other sales-related information; rather, posts should inspire action--contests are a great way to invite participation.

commonsku University continued throughout the day Monday with three additional sessions aimed at distributors.