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Tradeshift Is Social Media for Businesses

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- When it comes to social media, having a strong presence in the social networking world of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (LNKD - Get Report) is a must-have for small businesses promoting themselves to the outside world.

Small businesses should also connect via social networking with customers and suppliers. Tradeshift labels itself as a global social business network that focuses on building business relationships and improving transactions through e-invoicing.

The company is comparable to combining Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn into one site specifically for businesses. Invoicing is only part of the conversation, according to CEO Christian Lanng.

Lanng shared with TheStreet how small-business owners can benefit from joining a business-specific social network such as Tradeshift and how electronic invoicing will improve efficiency.

How does Tradeshift connect businesses to customers and suppliers?

Lanng: Business is not only about the numbers -- it is also about the connections. [Tradeshift] helps to create more valuable connections by allowing you to listen to the conversation going on in your network and to communicate to all your suppliers or customers. Tradeshift users can broadcast messages to all suppliers and customers in their network, exchange private messages and see real-time updates on their invoices and payments. More than this, they can stay connected through other interactions, such as recommendations and activity streams.

How can Tradeshift improve small business' processes?

Lanng: Small businesses spend a significant amount of time creating, filing, sending and then waiting. E-invoicing makes businesses more efficient by retrieving money more quickly from customers and by reducing the amount of time wasted while invoices are [in the mail]. By connecting businesses electronically, Tradeshift helps them save time and ensure they get paid faster at both ends of the supply chain.
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