While social media had been a great success in B2C, and many say is the next big thing in B2B, it can be a valuable tool in the B2B space now – if used strategically. The problem is that we too often see just the opposite. For many partners, success is frequently hit or miss without a plan in place for consistent and relevant updates. This results in sporadic postings that may or may not be engaging to the audience, and often go ignored. To make the most of social media, your partners need to develop a social media strategy and put together a plan to implement that strategy for the fiscal year.
So, let’s say that your partners have created a strategy. Don’t jump for joy yet – that was simply part 1. Now they need content – lots of it. The majority of your partners don’t have the staff resources to create the amount of content that is needed to really give them visibility and credibility among the hoards of blogs, networks, postings, etc. that are out there today.
This is where you come in as a vendor. Vendors have a unique opportunity to strengthen partner relationships and increase brand awareness through social media by providing content that partners can re-purpose. While partners may not have enough staff to produce content, as a vendor, your broader resources allow you to generate strong content for partners that they can share with their customers through social media. The partner gains mind share with their customers and you benefit from increased brand reach and amplification of your message.
With the proliferation of social media, to the point of overwhelming, it’s easy to just “opt out” altogether. Many even make the argument that not engaging in social media is better that a haphazard approach. At CCI, we think that both are poor choices, and can even be harmful to your bottom line. It is possible to tame the social media beast and put it to work for you. With 30 years experience in channel management, CCI has the good fortune to have developed relationships with experts in many arenas, including social media. One such company, purechannelapps, has a couple of upcoming webinars that we recommend:
- February 14: Building the Social B-to-B Organization
- February 22: Social Media and Channel Marketing – Strategy and Best Practices
Another great resource on this topic is a recent guest blog by Richard Harris at Seagate – “Make Your Customers Rock Stars.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steven Kellam, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at CCI
As a growth specialist, Steven is responsible for CCI’s sales and marketing strategy and vision for today’s goals and objectives as well as positioning the organization for continued, long-term success. Steven has experience in both the VAR space, having run a successful Managed Services IT business, and a background in Manufacturing where he built a channel of over 2,000 partners.