From a Vendor perspective, every tool or tactic that engages and assists Channel Partners to sell or develop solutions around yours, is one day closer to them joining your top 20%. This includes content syndication offerings meant to make it easier for Partners to execute marketing tactics. Think blogs and social.
Why Partners (still) neglect social media
No doubt, social is critical for integrated demand generation. It’s also complicated and like Partner portals, there’s a different interface, set of rules, and protocol to master for each platform. Should Partners use Instagram? How about Twitter? Is LinkedIn really the place to meet new clients, and if so, how and where? Suddenly, social media, a topic that’s time consuming at best, becomes annoying and therefore… neglected.
Circa 2014 Partners - social syndication to the rescue
Three years ago, some Partners were on the social bandwagon but most were deer in the headlights or outright ostrich-like in response to it. Social syndication solved immediate barriers to posting but it’s not the end of the story. Vendors began dedicating resources (like us) to Partner education including one-to-one consultations at events, video series, and tactically executing strategies on behalf of Partners. Slowly, as marketing and sales morphed into today’s “integrated demand generation,” we see more Partners wanting to invest in their social.
Three years later, what’s changed?
Most Partners now agree that social media helps drive demand and in a perfect world those same Partners would focus more time on it – but – in reality, they can’t. This is true for so many reasons. We get it; there’s not enough time in a day to get everything done. Sorry, Twitter followers.
Social media content syndication – who benefits?
At face value, social content syndication seems like the perfect answer to the Channel Partner social media conversation; and in many ways it is:
- Vendor provided posts are pushed automatically once a Partner connects their accounts to your portal
- Vendor provided posts are inherently trustworthy and well written so no concerns about quality or appropriateness
- Partners control types of content pushed ie: solutions, topics etc.
- Partners also control when and how many posts are sent through their accounts and which accounts to connect
- Once connected, social syndication is set-it-and-forget-it which alleviates the Partners worrying about posting on social
- Vendors are satisfied because Partners are posting their content
Social Media Content Syndication - who doesn’t benefit?
Social media platforms are currently hyper-focused on boosting engagement. Syndication alone doesn’t create engagement. It creates noise. Worse yet, Twitter and other platforms are fully aware of who’s engaged and who’s blindly pushing content and they’ve been working hard to rectify the situation.
Social Media (Twitter) – algorithm changes
Social media platforms and search engines apply algorithms to encourage user engagement and deliver satisfying experiences. It’s why Facebook is now minting their own dollars via ads, LinkedIn got rid of their advanced search, and Google started downgrading mobile unresponsive websites. Twitter has followed suit with their own algorithmic changes, including:
- Serving up Tweets from the users you interact with most
- Showing more ‘popular’ posts from others you follow
- Ensuring popular posts are more widely seen so they go viral more easily
According to the Twitter timeline’s product manager, “every possible engagement and attention metric went up, when the algorithm took effect.” Ah-ha – mission accomplished!
What Partners Need from Vendors
Well meaning Vendors smartly used social syndication to solve yesteryear’s pain points. Now it’s time to reassess the value. Generic posts aren’t cutting it; Partners need engagement strategies and custom content. They need an actual person behind their accounts sharing, chatting, engaging and posting. Local Partners need local content. Partners who work globally need global content. They both need content that’s timely and relevant to audiences specific to them.
Need help with Partner social media strategies? We’re here to help. Looking for more insights on New Thinking for Through-Partner Marketing? Check out our new e-book, hot off the press!