The Power of Partnerships in Your Social Media Content Strategy

by Shannon Paul on December 28, 2011

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.

Better together

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

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 12 comments }

December 28, 2011 Deb Brown

Shannon-
thanks for the link back to http://www.debworks.com I love what you’ve done on this post a lot – it’s something we’ve been working on with our local businesses, the value of partnering up in all arenas.

Happy New Year!
Deb Brown @debworks

December 29, 2011 Shannon Paul

You’re very welcome! I had this post basically written without a headline when I saw a post from Becky McCray on Google+ linking to your post. It’s my way of thanking you for the inspiration for the headline :)

January 12, 2012 Meaghan Drina

Identifying your ideal target audience is the best way to start a social media marketing campaign. It won’t do you much good to market to your existing customers if they are not buying enough of your product. You want to define your ideal target audience then build a social media marketing strategy around that group.

January 23, 2012 Jon Samsel

Shannon, nice post! I plan on quoting you in a report I’m writing that’s going to be published on January 30th titled, “Online Brand Health Benchmark Report Electronics Industry: TEST.” I’ll give you a link to the report when it comes out. UMB Electronics is our publisher.

In a recent blog post titled, “The Power of Partnerships in Your Social Media Content Strategy,” Shannon Paul writes, “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.”

Cheers, -Jon Samsel – CEO, Heardable

January 23, 2012 Jack

I’m wondering Shannon. Do you have experience with attracting customers at large multinational firms?

The top managers there seem not so much involved with social media.

Or is finding a common cause the answer? That seems like a wild shot either?

If you have some inspiring ideas you standout the crowd of social media bloggers :-)

March 22, 2012 Eric

Great article – every partnership formed by even a business “like” has exponential impact for branding. Facebook Fan Page and the new Timeline are great tools for this.

March 23, 2012 advertising agency boca raton

Great read, thanks for sharing these tips!

April 24, 2012 Adaptive Way

Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to know so much approximately this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I think that you can do with some % to pressure the message home a bit, but other than that, that is wonderful blog. A great read. I will definitely be back.

April 25, 2012 Arvind Ravikumar

Great Read! But I somehow feel misuse of Social media prevails, given there is no authentic analytics which can be relied on. I guess that is the case with anything on the internet.

September 12, 2012 affordable naming company

I think, good customer service and support can be an incredible sales tool for connecting with new potential customers. Even a bad situation, when handled well, can be an impressive feat that will garnish the respect and attention of potential customers.
One of the most effective ways to connect with people is to answer a question or provide help in some way. Even if it’s not in your specific area of expertise, if you know how to fix a problem, reach out and help someone.

September 17, 2012 Printing Services

Look, people hire people they already know and TRUST much more frequently than folks they are just “connected” to or folks they don’t know at all. Social Media Marketing and Social Relationships are the name of the game online today for creating the credibility necessary to succeed… great article!

October 19, 2012 customonit

Unfortunately social media strategy is often associated as posting statuses or begging people to like pages. This kind of marketing is more of building relationships with people and one can’t build without trust. Build solid relationships with your customers and make them your future partners. You know what i mean by that!

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