By now, I hope you recognize the unique opportunities offered by social media. Blogs, podcasts, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media tools allow vendors and partners to engage with each other—and with end-users—in a decidedly modern way. But you still may be in the dark about exactly how to set up your social media strategy.
Let me put it simply: Work from the inside out. Start internally by developing blogs and podcasts to be used for training. Share these resources with channel sales groups and support teams. Use these tools to teach your team how to communicate better with channel partners. As you know, communication is the key to success in the channel.
Speaking of communication—extend your social media strategy to your partners. Take the tools you used with your internal staff (i.e., blogs, vlogs, podcasts, etc.) and re-appropriate them to share information with, support, and train channel partners. Don’t forget to incorporate community tools that will let your partners cross-communicate when appropriate.
Your partners likely turn to you for marketing support. Think about creating media that your partners can embed on their sites and use to sell your product; it’s co-branding with a twist. Also consider holding training sessions that teach partners how to harness the power of social media for themselves, which is another way to get closer to the end-user.
Finally, you, too, should think about using social media to connect with end-users. Discuss the ways in which your partners are satisfying end-users’ needs, but keep it straightforward, not gimmicky. Hope this helps, and good luck!