Insight

How partners can use social media more effectively

Making connections is really critical in the channel. But how can you best make those connections in a digital world?

A few months ago, we talked about a study that suggests social media can be used as a tool by B2B companies to educate their buyers. Social media platforms can also be powerful tools for partners looking to build their brand and connect with new and existing customers.

But things like social media calendars and content creation schedules can sound daunting to some partners. So where do you start? A recent Powering Up Podcast saw Jenn Prystupa, manager, brand content and social media at Mitel, provide some great advice to partners establishing a social media strategy.

From a business perspective, Jenn said it’s important to go where your customers are.

“So if they’re on LinkedIn, that’s great. You want to make sure that your presence from a personal brand and a company brand are both on LinkedIn. But if they’re on other places like a Facebook or even TikTok, you want to make sure that you have a presence there and a strategy and a plan for each individual channel.”

This is because not all channels are the same. The audiences and demographics are typically a little bit different – but that doesn’t mean that you need to be on all platforms, said Jenn.

“You really want to be targeted where you spend most of your time because it takes a long time and a lot of thought to come up with a cohesive social media plan. So you want to be really thoughtful about it.”

Also you don’t need to get caught up in the complexity of calendars and schedules – it can be as simple as being consistent in terms of posting, and then start to look at types of content, how often and when you’re posting.

Jenn used LinkedIn as an example: “Make sure before [you] even launch the page that, like most marketing, you have some assets already lined up. ‘Okay, this is how I’m going to start. I’m going to start maybe posting every other day about a blog or about a product or about a company update that we know that’s coming.’ So starting there is a really good idea and then it takes a little bit of time for you to figure out what the return is. You get the immediate view of how many impressions, how many unique people that you reach, but to take a holistic view of how things are actually performing – that’s going to take a month or two. A lot of it is about testing.

“It’s always flexible and moving, and always open to testing and trying new things. Coming to a platform at the beginning [with] a general plan, some content lined up already, and then popping it in and seeing how it performs and iterating over time is the best way to start these channels up.”

Concerned you don’t have content? There is content everywhere you can use. This could be news, blogs or whitepapers for example. A good tip for partners to try to think of what they want to post, is to think of social itself as a content generator, said Jenn.

“On LinkedIn, you could post a poll, and that doesn’t take a lot of thought. But if you have an ongoing marketing campaign, you could extrapolate from that campaign and pose it as a question, there’s your poll. They’re great because they generate a lot of impressions. If somebody takes part in a poll, their friends see it or their network sees it. So it really amplifies that.”

Also user generated content is another idea for free content. It’s the people who are engaging with your social media channels and are tagging you in a post or a photo, maybe at a meeting or an event – that’s something that’s easy to share with your network.

Importantly, though it is important to manage your expectations. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get a million dollar deal by week two of a social media campaign.

“Social media isn’t a short term activity, there are very few short term wins,” said Jenn. “This is about consistency over a period of time, being present. And managing those expectations to understand that this is not going to be world-changing overnight. It’s about being consistent over time.”

There is loads more practical advice around brand building on the podcast, which you can check out here.

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