When it comes to engaging with and converting ideal partners, are you using social media as effectively as you could be?
In our recent live webinar, we learned key insights and top tips from Dr. Ashlyn Szilva, Director of Social Media & Digital Marketing at JS Group and Mark Troy, Founder & CEO of Union Resolute in an engaging discussion facilitated by Laura Steward.
First, the speakers defined social intent. “Social intent” means having a clear goal for the audience you are trying to reach. Social intent means targeting partner prospects that are already showing they’re in the market for what you’re selling and mapping out the specific goal you’d like to achieve.
It’s also important to know how potential partners want to be engaged. Research conducted by JS Group has shown that 91% of partners prefer to engage with an expert recommended by their connections, and 67% of B2B tech partners prefer to be engaged digitally vs. an in-person phone call or meeting. With this information in mind, it’s important to be strategic with the digital content you’re putting in front of your audience.
Here are some key tips on how to use social media to engage partners:
TOP STEPS FOR USING SOCIAL TO ENGAGE PARTNERS
1. Keep your profiles current: This may sound simple, but make sure your LinkedIn profile or other professional profiles are up to date. You’d be surprised at how many people have outdated profiles with old positions, no photos, or they don’t keep their page engaging. One of the first things a partner prospect will do is look at your LinkedIn profile, so use it to your advantage. Use a professional photo, add a cover image, interact with other people’s posts, and share content regularly to stay relevant.
2. Have a plan: What are your goals and what are you trying to accomplish with social media? Take time to be strategic before throwing posts and messages out on social media willy nilly. Actually have a cadence and marketing plan and act it out. Post content regularly and have a schedule and be consistent with it.
3. Don’t be afraid of “NO”: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there when it comes to selling and sharing content on social platforms. Not everyone will say “yes” or engage with you, and that’s OK. Even if a partner prospect seems like the best fit or looks like the ideal profile you’re targeting, sometimes “no” just means “no.” As Mark shared, “If you’re going to build a partner program and actually hone it in, you can’t be afraid. Use your content. Go after it, and don’t be afraid when you get a ‘no.’ You’ll get the yeses eventually.” Also, don’t be afraid to follow up on an initial “no” to ask the reason why a potential partner declined your offer. They may have a valuable lesson to teach you.
4. Create quality content: Quality content is key. Create content consistently to engage with your audience. Videos are a great way to add a personal touch, and they don’t have to be complicated or long. People appreciate the face-to-face connection, and sending someone a personalized video message is a simple and personal way to connect. Blogs are also a great way to share information with your audience by tackling topics that are relevant to them. And always, keep it brief! People are busy and won’t read overly verbose messages or posts.
5. Build a rapport: Finally, but perhaps most importantly: build a rapport. People want to work with people they like on a personal level. Relate to them and pay attention to their posts and what they are interested in. Interact with them and “behave like a normal human.” Make your direct messages a short and sweet “cocktail party” message. Show interest in them. Don’t just let it be about you.
For more tips and insights, listen to the full recording here.