Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are rapidly growing, and roughly 73 percent of all Americans have at least one social media profile – up 48 percent from just five years ago. As social media becomes a part of your customers’ everyday activities, social selling is becoming increasingly relevant.
The Social Media Landscape
Social media has the power to increase brand awareness and support the development of a unified voice, proactively engaging potential buyers in your target market. According to IDC, 57 percent of U.S. workers use social media for business at least once a week, meaning that a tweet or LinkedIn post could be the first introduction potential customers have to your brand.
With 85 percent of B2B buyers believing that companies should present information via social networks, it’s no surprise that social media presents a huge opportunity to shape current and potential customers’ perceptions of your offerings and brand. Finding, attracting, and educating your clients on social media is an important part of continuing and expanding your business pipeline.
Getting Started on Social: Tips and Resources for Brocade Partners
Launching your social media presence may feel like an intimidating process, but a few tips and resources can help get your social selling efforts on the right path. Here are suggestions to address a few common questions:
What types of content should I include?
Relevant news, compelling research and statistics, content about offerings you provide and event leadership and business related posts create an interesting and compelling content stream. If you’re not sure how to divide up your content stream, follow the rule of thirds – one third of your content can be related to your company’s offerings, one third should be industry-relevant content and one third can be personal to humanize you and your brand.
Where can I find relevant content?
Brocade offers a number of resources to help boost our partners' social selling capabilities. Through Brocade Channel Gaggle on our Brocade Partner Network Resource Center, Brocade helps you streamline the process of gathering content. The tool offers a broad range of content including compiled IT industry and federal government news, specially developed graphics designed for social media, compelling research and statistics and valuable content for your customers on the benefits of working with a Brocade partner. Looking for something you don’t see on Brocade Channel Gaggle? I’d like to hear your suggestions. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I keep my audience engaged?
Consistent, regular posts are critical to maintain and grow an engaged following. For a platform like Twitter, which is updated frequently, we recommend posting 2-3 times daily. On LinkedIn, 3-5 posts a week is a good place to start, although more frequent postings on groups can be valuable to extend engagement. Regular engagement with influencers, contacts and potential customers is equally important. This can be in the form of a retweet, mention, group posting or direct LinkedIn message.
The value of social selling is clear – and its influence is growing. According to an IDG B2B study reported in Fast Company, IT buyers will soon look to social media as the single most important content source to inform buying decisions. Are you ready?