The PR people have always recognized value of partnerships between companies in press releases and stories pitched to the media, but brands rarely think to champion strategic partners via social media the way they might champion consumers. Why is this?
Many folks in the B2B space often blame the lack of social media content opportunities on the fact that what they do doesn’t directly impact consumers, but I don’t buy it. Every company touches people in some way; as an employer, and a community stakeholder. Every business sells something to another company that touches consumers in some way, and every business sponsors a charity, a big community event or some other cause that involves people and issues that are of importance to the company. These partnerships are chock full of opportunities for social media content.
Other companies with a social media presence are also publishers
Treat them like there is value in their audience and the social media engagement they have built with their brand. Build processes for social media teams inside your partner organizations to stay on top of positive news about your company and other events you may need help promoting — ask them for advice on how to make your content more relevant to their followers. Offer to do the same with their good news and make conversation with them via social channels. Promoting others’ activities via social media is a best practice anyway. Engage in best practices with a strategic perspective that aligns with other business goals. Strengthening stakeholder relationships is always something that provides value to any business.
Go behind the scenes by developing content that explains how your company’s sausage is made and how what you do is better/different from others and how this makes for a better sandwich (sticking with the sausage metaphor) than using a different sausage. Ask your business customers for advice in developing this type of content and position their social media team to publish this content in a way that benefits them.
Get social with your favorite cause
Social media activity makes for great event sponsorship activation, but just like everything else involved in social media, it will be up to you to make sure you’re participating in the success — paying someone else to Tweet about you only works for so long, you must be ready to sustain any social media momentum the old-fashioned way.
Lots of companies are already engaged in philanthropic activities, look for ways to support fundraising and community events with your social media presence — send someone to take photos and video of community events and ask that the organization’s web team attribute your company with a link each time they use any of the items you share with them. Whether you’re providing the files or sharing links to items you post on your own social media profile, make sure you specify how you would like to get attribution. This is a big part of making sure you are bringing the value of this activity back to your company.
Post pictures, short videos, updates about the event and quotes from speakers on Twitter and make sure to use relevant hashtags to keep up and respond to others in attendance at the event. Profile others involved with the cause on your company blog and talk about why this issue is important to your company. Most of the time there is a strategic reason for companies to select causes to champion, get your social media presence aligned with helping that cause along.
Let others know why this particular issue is of importance to your company and your future on your company blog. No one will naturally connect the dots between your company’s logo appearance and the charitable activity on their own, it’s up to you to look for ways to share that story.
How are you working with partners to improve your social media presence? What are some of the roadblocks you experience in taking your company’s strategic partnerships to the social web?
Photo credit: Adam Foster | Codefor