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Channel partners understand that social media marketing should be a vital (and completely free) part of their overall marketing strategy, but they are unsure how to start, or they have tried with minimal results. We’ve learned through our conversations with channel partners that many find social media marketing confusing and question if it can truly benefit their business.
Social media marketing provides channel partners with the opportunity to engage buyers, build connections and share their expertise. While engagement and connections are vital, we all know that ultimately, our marketing efforts need to promote sales. Social media marketing is the sales platform of the future — Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales transactions will take place on digital channels.
So, as a channel partner, what steps can you take to give your social media marketing efforts the best chance at success? Here we offer up five best practices to maximize the effectiveness of your channel partner social media marketing efforts.
1. Choose the right social media platforms
Just because it’s easy to spread your messaging to multiple social media platforms doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea. Choose your platform(s) based on your brand, the specific message and target audience. Here’s a good article on choosing which platform for your goals.
- LinkedIn is widely considered to be the best B2B marketing platform, used by 96% of B2B marketers over the past year. According to HubSpot, LinkedIn generates almost three-times more leads than any other social networking platform. As the only one of the top three platforms that focuses specifically on business, your presence on LinkedIn is a must.
- Twitter ranks as the second most popular B2B marketing platform with 87% of B2B marketers choosing this platform. Twitter posts are an ideal way to engage new users with interest in your topics or products. We recommend you post under your company’s account, not your personal Twitter handle.
- Facebook’s popularity with B2B marketers rivals Twitter with 86% of B2B marketers choosing this platform. Facebook is in nearly everyone’s face, so it makes sense for B2B brands to maintain a presence here. Facebook is ideal for showing your company’s human side with longer posts or personalized videos.
2. Maintain a consistent cadence
How often to post is a surprisingly controversial question. Some industry players, like Hubspot, recommend posting between one and five times each day. For companies without a dedicated social media maven, this volume seems unachievable — and perhaps unnecessary. At StructuredWeb, we strive for weekly posts.
Whether you choose to post daily, weekly or monthly, we think that consistency and relevancy are more important than frequency. Create, curate or syndicate relevant content that offers something of value every time. Next, draft a social media marketing content calendar — with room for timely ad hoc posts — and stick to it.
3. Know your goals
Identify your goals for each post and each platform to help you measure the success of your efforts. Some common goals are:
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Generate new leads
- Increase sales
- Promote signups
- Boost brand engagement
With a goal or goals in mind, carefully craft the messaging and call-to-action for the post that prompts the desired action. Measuring whether your posts are delivering on those goals can be tricky, but there are indicators (such as likes, shares and comments) and tools (Google Analytics is a free one) to help you determine if your efforts are paying off.
4. The rule of thirds
When deciding on the content you promote through social media, we’d encourage you to keep the “rule of thirds” in mind. The rule of thirds divides content into three categories:
- Point: Devote another third of your social media posts to sharing relevant posts from influencers in your market.
- Personal: The last third of your marketing content should be focused on sharing thought leadership collateral and personal anecdotes that demonstrate your understanding of the space and your audience’s challenges.
- Promote: One-third of your content can be promotional, as long as you’re delivering real value in the other two-thirds.
5. Consider video
Video is rapidly becoming a mainstay in B2B marketers toolbox, and for good reason. Research shows that including video can boost a campaign’s ROI by 49% or more.. The Content Marketing Institute found that 69% of B2B content marketers expect video to be the top content marketing area of investment in 2022. Video has the benefit of working effectively across multiple channels You can embed video within your website, or share across various platforms including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and many more.
Make it count
Along with email marketing, social media marketing is an effective way for channel partners to reach and engage customers and prospects alike. By selecting the right platforms, choosing a schedule and curating the best content, you can maximize the value of your social media efforts. Join me next time when I’ll share some key tips for hosting and promoting webinars. Until then #HappyMarketing!