It's hard to imagine a day going by—at home or at work—in which we don't interact with social media. Social media has become the primary way many people get news, seek out products, and register their enthusiasm (or disdain) for brands. And just as it's become critical for customer-facing businesses to have their social media presence in order and their strategies in place, it is growing ever more important for the channel to understand how to use social media effectively.
Buyers, resellers, solution providers, and other players in the B2B world are increasingly using social media to conduct business and build professional partnerships.
The following tips will enable you to help your partners understand the value social media will bring to their—and your—business, and will show you how to guide them toward correctly, effectively, and profitably using social media in the channel.
A few years ago it may have been safe to treat social media as an afterthought. You could just assume that a new partner would have one tech-savvy millennial who could pinch hit to manage that part of their business presence on top of their other responsibilities, and figure out how to fit you into the mix. But now, your strategy for social media is just as important as your traditional and regular online strategies. That's why it's important that when you have a new partner, you set your expectations for their social media usage and train them on how to do everything that's necessary. Social media is part of your overall promotional strategy, and consequently should be part of your partner onboarding.
Each social media platform has a different use case and consequently, different users. It's crucial for you to know which social media outlets are the ones your buyer personas are active on, and to let your partners know. If your partners have a substantial LinkedIn presence, but you know your potential buyers spend most of their time on Twitter, clue in your partners and pass on insights learned from your company and its existing partners.
Determining which social media platform will yield the most returns, however, is just the beginning. Communicate with your partners which hashtags your buyer personas are using, and what you see working versus not working on each platform. Provide them with tips for how they should handle any opportunities or potential concerns that come down the social media pipeline.
Since you've developed a keen understanding of what type of voice and messaging plays well in the specific social channels where your buyer personas hang out, take the next step and keep your partners prepared with a stream of content fine-tuned for social sharing.
Your partners are busy, and sharing content and interacting with potential customers on social media is probably not the first thing on their minds. Make it as easy as possible for partners to access and share high-quality, relevant content. The right sales acceleration tool will make sure none of the content you worked so hard to create gets lost. Downloading and sharing content should be a breeze for your channel sales partners.
How do you make it simple for your channel partners to use social media to connect with and close leads?