- On August 10, 2021
In the world of partner enablement, there are so many missed opportunities to streamline and raise the bar when it comes to marketing practices. In our capacity as a channel marketing agency we notice vendors often forget that marketing know-how and resources they possess are frequently not something readily available to every partner in their program. One of the main missed opportunities: Combining Search and Social marketing to form a promotion powerhouse.
The real problem is many businesses, especially SMEs like a lot of your partners, view search marketing and social media marketing from different angles. This is why some of them have separate strategies for both and others choose to go with one or the other. This approach is not the best. Using your marketing strategy to combine search and social marketing is far preferred and as a vendor always on the lookout for a great route to partner enablement, heres where you can help!
It’s common knowledge that apart from the search engines (basically Google), social media platforms are where most consumers spend their decision-making time. The interplay between search and social, therefore, can’t be ignored. When looking at marketing you simply cannot afford to go with one or the other. The best strategies view search and social holistically to yield better results. Relying on one side of the divide increases the chances of missing out on an aspect of a customer’s buying journey, a huge red flag. Consumers’ varying preferences for information consumption also highlights the fact that a combination of the two phases of marketing will yield better results than a singular focus.
Here are two statistics to get you thinking: 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites. 76% of people who conduct local search visit a physical business within 24 hours. Combine these statistics and you can see why you should start paying more attention to both social and search marketing.
How can your partners increase their social-search marketing results? Here are some top tips you can quickly pass on to help them succeed:
Use brand names for partner social media accounts
“If you don’t have social media accounts for your business, make sure the names you use ultimately rhyme with your brand or domain name” says Brendan Wilde at www.freeparking.co.nz/domain-names/, we can extend this to include your role as the vendor where relevant, especially good for partner to partner marketing. “Uniformity gives off the feeling of professionalism and rules out the possibility of losing your customers across the different platforms” by unifying as much as possible under a brand or emblematic coalition partners will not only maintain their prevalence across all channels but be see as an advocate of your business.
Diversify presence within reason
This means using as many social media platforms as possible depending on the target audience. If your services are targeting young adults, the social networks partners should maintain presence on include Instagram, Twitter possibly TikTok, with the majority of Gen Z moving away from Facebook. This should be in addition to a potential YouTube channel. Although Snapchat is catching on, most users seem to agree with its founder, Evan Spiegel, that it is not meant for brand interactions. If partners are seeking to attract female customers on the other hand, having a presence on Pinterest or Etsy are excellent as 80% of users are female. LinkedIn comes in handy when targeting professional clients, partner to partner marketing or recruiting new staff. The platforms your parters should use may also change with your offerings, seasonal offerings, and any other demographic specific information you are both aware of.
Post at the right intervals
If partners are inattentive about posting times, they are likely not reaching the largest audience possible. There is no one-size fits all approach to this as users are most active at different times and different social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter posts for instance see the most engagement in the evenings and towards the weekend. LinkedIn posts on the other hand get more traffic in the mornings and midweek. Offering partners the chance to use a post scheduling approach, usually offered by any channel marketing automation platforms, allows for easy scheduling and consistent posting on the most relevant platforms to help leverage their advantage at pace.
Stay in Tune with the Trends
Content that goes viral on social media is the dream of many businesses. However, there is no way to know which content will go viral and which one would be a dud. A good bet is to keep in tune with the trends on social media. Political issues are a no-go most of the time so partners should watch out for worthy trends or stunts that provide an opportunity for brand promotion. Make sure these challenges fit you and your partners brand and offerings and avoid making them into selling opportunities, they should only ever be used for brand awareness via organic/#hashtag searching or general social media promotion.
Get Professional Help
Just as with search marketing, social media marketing requires time and expertise. This is even true when you have hundreds of partners with a presence on two or more platforms. Understanding each platform takes time and creating posts peculiar to the platform can be challenging. Thats where partner enablement and support are key.
It is not enough to have in-house staff attempting to manage partner social media pages as it could lead to inconsistency in quality. Guidelines, strategies and clear planning should be communicated with all partners as much as possible, as well as metrics and reporting coming back via your PRM where possible. Partners, and sometimes by extension you, need to include social media marketing in the overall marketing budget as it is the only way to maintain consistency, grow your brands overall follower base, and see results.
Can We Help With Your Partner Enablement via Search and Social? Let Us Know!
Social media is a such a prevalent source of online engagement, but it can be tricky to navigate and new forms of social media are consistently appearing. If your partners are new to social media or your social channel marketing automation needs a boost to grab social media engagement and audience, click here to learn more about our digital services.