10 July – Channel Partners need social media training. NOT! (Social Media and Channel Partners – excuses, excuses! Part 2)

In part one of this blog series, we established that channel partners DO do social media.  So now let’s talk about all the fabulous and unique social media training events put in place by vendors.

 

The first question is: Who needs the training? The partners, really? Or the vendors? Frankly, it is not such a tough call.

 

Most channel partners have some social media presence already; they are active and they know their local markets and networks. Can ‘global’ social media training sessions or webinars really benefit partners? Or is relevant and localised content the real Holy Grail?

 

Is it condescending to tell channel partners that social media is all about listening? Or to show them how to grow their Facebook network? Or how to tweet? Instead is what they really want tangible support with publishing new and good content?

 

Increasing value add and improving reach is the main reason channel partners use social media today. It is not just about leads and sales but about generating interest. It’s not about customer service or listening; they have telephones and hotlines for that.

 

The vast majority of channel partners are small and localised, so global social media training is pretty much wasting everyone’s time. True, basic guidance on how to blog, tweet or whatever, along with the importance of concise and relevant messaging has a place, for some partners, but again, this is not rocket science and not worth partners spending hours on training webinars!

 

The truth of the matter is that social media involves time and good content, which channel partners have neither of!

 

But you can fix that.  Spend less time trying to train your channel partners in the obvious, and more time giving them the ammunition – i.e. valuable content – to make a real difference. Using social media content syndication, you can leverage the trust that exists between your channel partners and their contacts… You can turn your rich marketing content into social media leads for your channel partners.

 

By Olivier Choron, CEO and Founder, purechannelapps.

03 July – Channel Partners do not do social! (Social Media and Channel Partners – excuses, excuses! Part 1)

I have heard them all. Every excuse in the book. ‘Our partners don’t even use social media,’ ‘They don’t bother with that new fangled stuff,’ or ‘They have got by without it so far so why bother?’

 

Whilst this sort of reasoning may stem from genuine belief, sadly such excuses are unfounded.

 

Channel partners always have grown their business through their contacts. They are the real ‘networkers’. Very few undertake lead generation campaigns but most focus on meeting and talking to ‘contacts’, be it from using a Rolodex, or attending local networking events. So the only difference today is the vehicle of getting that oh so important message across.

 

In fact the transition from Rolodex to social networking happened a while back and burying your (aka ‘the vendor’) head in the sand will only ensure that is where you will stay. Today channel partners have not just 100s but 1000s or even 10,000s of contacts, locally, nationally or even worldwide. The vast majority have LinkedIn accounts (the most popular network for B2B channel partners) as well as Twitter and Facebook business pages, connecting themselves to virtually every corner of the globe.

 

Every time prospective customers ask us to check how many of their partners have social media accounts, we are always staggered by the huge numbers we encounter… and this is true for whatever part of the world we look at – not only the US or the UK, but also Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, or Australia/ New Zealand. Certainly more contacts than any Rolodex could ever hope to hold.

 

What does all this mean? Channel partners are ‘social’ or are ready to ‘go social’. Social media is where business is done today, this is where contacts are made, fostered and developed; they know that! The question is are you ready to see beyond the excuses, roll up your sleeves and properly commit to it or are you content to continue to act the ostrich?

 

True – the majority of partners are struggling to create and publish good content to share on their social networks. Like most of us busy people, they sadly have little time to spend sifting through content from vendors for valuable tid-bits to pass on.

 

But we can fix that. We can help you leverage the trust that exists between your channel partners and their contacts… We can turn your ‘rich marketing content’ into social media leads for your channel partners. For more information, talk to the experts.

 

By Olivier Choron, CEO and Founder, purechannelapps.