Insight

Social Media & Trust in the Channel

As a follow on from our recent blog on social media, here we take a closer look at social media in the channel.

It cannot be denied that social media has had a profound impact on how marketing is carried out across B2C and B2B, from general brand campaigns through to channel marketing.

When it comes to the channel, with more than half of vendor channel executives expecting double-digit growth in 20171, all eyes are focussed towards technologies and transformative business models, which involve heavy use of social media to further engage audiences.

Businesses across all industries, in particular IT & Cyber-Security are recognising the value of social media combined with the relationships held with partners as a means to expand their brand audience and reach.

Additionally, vertical markets continue to be a major focus for distributors, who have invested in building out industry-specific solutions for partners that incorporate technologies from multiple vendors. Therefore, distributors and their partners will be looking for even more from their vendors in 2017 as they attempt to integrate cloud, mobility and newer technologies into their vertical market programs and solutions in order to differentiate.

While B2C companies quickly adopted comprehensive social media strategies, B2B companies have been much slower on the uptake2. Leading B2B companies are now discovering the value of their partner relationships and are beginning to leverage the audiences they benefit from. In turn, each partner audience leverages the trust of their suppliers to provide them with qualified, valuable information through the social channels.

In a world where the social media channel is becoming increasingly monetised through advertising, paired with the rapid growth of cyber-security threats (malware, ransomware, social-engineering attacks and more), trust has never been so important. Social networks, while essential tools for prospecting and distributing content, are becoming an important part of the channel partner toolkit for providing rich content, product information and industry insight.

With businesses looking to their suppliers for trusted social interaction, it is vital for businesses to have the right mixture of content in order to satisfy the needs of their partners and in turn partner customers and prospects.

It is similarly important to demonstrate a healthy balance of vendor, product information, news and thought leadership when communicating through the various layers of social audiences. Leveraging social amplification and personalisation tools as part of that strategy is also key.

Whilst these tools are efficient and cost effective ways to engage, the demands for relevant and varied content must also be met on a consistent basis in order to tick all of the right boxes for audience retention.

With a variety of options available for such social feeds, making sure you choose the right platform is more important than ever. Depending on resource, the breadth and quality of content required to meet such demands cannot always be reached. Therefore, it is important to combine the tools available on the market, with the experience of an agency in order to feed a social media programme.

At purechannels, we have over a decade of experience working exclusively within the channel, supporting global IT and Telecoms brands to develop and execute effective channel growth, management programs, communications and campaigns.

We also take pride in our first-mover position in creating effective social media solutions for the channel, from the day to day running and managing of social media activity, creating original content, right through to the intricacies of deploying our proprietary software, socialondemand.

If you wold like to discuss how we might be able to help your social media plans for 2017, please get in touch.

References

1 GTDC_Insights-Into-2017

2 B2B Social Media Report | © 2015 Brandwatch.com

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