Social Media Syndication – Amplify Your Brand and Generate Leads
The way we go to market to get our messages out to consumers has dramatically changed during the past five years. Social media syndication, in particular, has become a critical tool in getting messages heard by a large network of channel partners. Why the focus on social media? Because the business of marketing is no longer just a function of advertising and public relationship activities. Marketing has evolved into a discipline that integrates technology, processes and people to create and distribute messaging and managing reputation around the core brand promise.
Process and technologies are critical pieces of the puzzle, but with the advent of social media marketing, people (customers, employees, partners, industry watchers, etc.) have moved to the center of this new era of marketing. No longer is there a monologue that supports brand messaging. Instead, marketing it is very much dependent on public dialogue and conversations that dynamically determine the depth and breadth of the brand. And, when it comes to channel marketing automation, social media syndication not only plays a critical role in creating and managing brand presence and promise, but also becomes a critical tool for lead generation via the channel.
Before we delve into how exactly an organization selling through the channel can leverage social media syndication, let’s briefly discuss which components are most important and how they fit into the overall digital marketing puzzle.
As marketers today, we have embraced the fact, and acknowledged the supporting data, that the buying process has fundamentally changed. Gone are the days when a consumer or a business buyer waits for a sales rep to call or buys based on watching an advertisement in mainstream media or visiting a booth at a trade show. Buyers today – consumers or business – all go online to do their research on business issues and the vendors who can potentially help solve their problems. This online search process invariably brings the searcher to social sites such as LinkedIn, SlideShare or Twitter for B2B buying, and Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest or other vertical social sites for consumer purchases. It follows that, if your organization does not have a presence in those media spaces, a significant opportunity to build awareness and engagement is lost.
Social media syndication has the capability to amplify your brand presence via your channel partner network.
Let’s say your organization has a couple of thousand followers on various social media channels. This is a fairly average number for most business organizations selling to B2B buyers. Now, you are incredibly blessed if you have an indirect sales force, aka channel partners (affiliates, agents, value added resellers, system integrators, etc.), because the chances are that they also have at least a few hundred, if not a few thousand followers in their own social networks. So, if you are able to get your messages out to a few dozen partners, and tap into their communities, your reach has just achieved an exponential increase. A good social media syndication tool can enable any organization to reach very effectively into their partners’ networks with relevant, interesting content.
Now let’s talk about what you need in a good social media syndication tool. These are the five core capabilities to look for …
- Single panel to manage social media streams – Your organization probably has multiple social media channels. Whichever social media tool you use – like Hootsuite or SproutSocial – you need a single console from which you can disseminate content to your individual social channels. Your social media syndication tool should allow you to do this seamlessly.
- Managing distribution of content to your channel– Not all company information streams targeted at end-users are relevant for your channel partners. You need either specifically created content that you know for sure that you can auto-stream to your audience, or you’ll have to hand pick other items of general corporate content to feed into the channel distribution network. Again, your social media syndication tool must have the capability to enable deep levels of customization.
- Distributing content by region and partner type– This capability is not available in the majority of direct marketing social media management platforms. However, it is likely that, when you are marketing via the channel, your messaging for markets like China or Japan will be very different from what is appropriate for the US or UK. Messaging must also vary according to your partner type, so you will need to select a social media syndication platform that allows you to apply these criteria to your marketing activities.
- Tracking impression metrics– Once you have most of your channel connected to your social media syndication platform, you need to be able to roll up metrics at a worldwide level, and also to slice and dice the data effectively to understand what is working and what is not. You will very likely see deep variations from one country to another, and further differences in responses to your content according to partner type and, further, to their installed base.
- Managing campaign ROI – Last but not least, one of the most important functions of social media syndication is to allow your partners to keep their installed base informed of changes, improvements and special offers via social streaming. The end goal ultimately is to help the channel achieve new leads from existing customers and potential new prospects. Your social media syndication platform should be able to capture leads and track them in detail too.
It’s easy to see why, in today’s age of digital content marketing, your social media network matters. Crucially you can amplify your reach to your potential target base via a robust social media syndication platform that can tap into your partners’ followers and get your messages out rapidly and in a focused way not only to build your brand value, but also to fill your pipeline. ZINFI’s Partner Marketing Management (PMM) platform includes an integrated social media syndication capability that can enable you to reach your prospects and customers globally and locally with proven ROI techniques from social media marketing.