Social media has become a huge part of people’s daily lives and continues to gain ground as a marketing and communications tool for businesses. According to according to The Marketing Data Box, The average budget spent on company blogs and social media increased from 9% in 2009 to 17% in 2011.
While most vendors and channel marketers already use blogging and social media in some way, few are very active on Linkedin. Let’s take a look at the “Big Three” social networks to see why Linkedin may be the best underutilized resource for communicating with your channel partners and improving your channel marketing program through relevant discussions.
The Big Three: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin
Facebook is the most used social network site on the web with over 600 million users. Many large corporations and technology vendors already have well-established fan pages on Facebook with thousands and often millions of fans.
While Facebook can be very effective for consumer branding, it is not the most effective for two-way communication with your channel partners. Facebook has a more casual and fun nature. Most people on Facebook are looking to catch up with friends or be entertained and are less likely to engage in business related discussions.
Also, Facebook profiles can have a lot of personal information and photos, which partners may not be as comfortable sharing with their professional network.
However, it has been debated that only a percentage of registered users are actually active. This was further confirmed when I tried to follow partners currently using SharedVue’s Cloud Marketing platform and found that out of every 10 partners on Twitter, there were only about 2 who were still active users.
Linkedin has over 100 million active users and is the smallest of the Big Three but it also has the most potential for B2B customers and channel partners. Most professionals today have some sort of presence on LinkedIn and this business focused social network is the perfect environment for creating discussions and gathering feedback to improve your partner enablement programs.
You can use Linkedin Groups to interact with your partners in a forum-like setting. Partners and vendors can collaborate through asking and answering each others questions. Partners can benefit from best practice tips vendors share while vendors can benefit by learning what’s working and what’s not in their partner enablement programs.
Guiding Questions to Help Promote Content Syndication Programs
To help get you started, here a few questions you can ask your channel partners:
- If you haven’t registed for content syndication yet, what is keeping you from doing so?
- If you could request one improvement to the content syndication program what would it be?
- If you could request one improvement to the partner enablemet program as a whole what would it be?
- What issues have you run into with the current partner enablement and content syndication programs?
What questions are you asking your channel partners? Share your questions and experiences with the rest of us in the comments section.