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The Social Media Rally Station™ Gets a Makeover!

by channelmaven on February 12, 2015

In the past at Partner Summits or IT events, the Social Media Rally Station™  offered attendees complementary headshots and consultations to update their professional social profiles. For our third year at VMware PEX we wanted to change things up a bit.  To meet attendees current needs and continue to improve their marketing efforts, we added two new exciting consulting offerings to help Partners and attendees drive social content and track their competitors on social.

So how does it work?

Step 1: Attendees check in with our Coordinator

Welcoming Partners into the Social Media Rally Station™ is our coordinator. After assessing the attendee’s needs the coordinator sends them to the photographer or ideal consultant.

 Claire-PEX

Step 2:  Their professional headshot is taken

In a few short minutes Partners receive a complimentary photo shoot that could cost up to $1,000 elsewhere. Steve takes multiple shots and the Partner chooses their favorite photo that is then prepared and emailed in less than 72 hours. This professional headshot can be used in a number of ways: social media profiles, press releases, webinars, company website, and more!

steve-pex

Step 3:  One-2-One Stop

This original component of the Social Media Rally Station™ helps Partners use social to drive demand. The Partner logged into their personal LinkedIn profile and is consulted on ways to take their social and online profiles to the next level and start engaging their audience. The consultant, an expert on all things social, evaluates the Partner’s presence across all social platforms and each Partner leaves with a Channel Maven checklist reiterating everything discussed during the consultation.

carson-pex

Step 4:  Partners Create Social Content

Partners meet with a Social Media Rally Station™ consultant who evaluates their marketing objectives and helps them master content creation. Our consultants help identify their target audience through targeted questions and Partners walk away with their prospect’s pain points defined and outlined for a related blog post, video script and/or case study.

 jenn-pex

 

Step 5:  Channel Maven Social Intelligence

This year we also gave Partners an opportunity to see where they stack up against competition through Channel Maven Social Intelligence™ reports. We analyze how they compare with their competition on all social platforms and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. These reports help our consultants provide suggestions and recommendations for where and how Partners can improve their online presence. The report shows Partners how many social media posts they have compared to their competitors and how their posts compare on engagement and reach.  The search engine optimization (SEO) component of the report gives insights on keywords, meta descriptions and other factors that we use to help improve their search engine rankings.

SI-pex

Partners can do all stops or just one. Whatever the Partner needs help with, the Social Media Rally Station™ is there to help!  VMware PEX was another successful Social Media Rally Station™ for the books and the new format was a big hit. We had a great turn out of Partners and already see a number of them practicing pointers they received from our consultations. A huge thank you to VMware for inviting Channel Maven Consulting to participate in this wonderful event for a third year in a row. We look forward to sharing the new offerings with more Partners in the future, and continue to look for ways we can reinvent our Social Media Rally Station™.

 SMRS-Pex

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2015 Channel Marketing Trends and Predictions

by channelmaven on February 4, 2015

New Year’s predictions are fun. But what’s the best part? Looking at future possibilities through the eyes of others or looking back at last year’s thoughts in hindsight?

Happy New Year 2015

We say both! And each year we wait, with anticipation, for the release of Channel Marketer Report’s Channel Marketing trends and predictions for that very reason. It’s fun!

2014’s predictions included:

  • An increase in social media engagement and social selling
  • Vendors would create social communities and content for Partners
  • Vendor provided content, content and more content both written and visual
  • Email automation and syndicated web content would be on the rise
  • Significant uptick in the number of hybrid service providers

Sure enough, many of those predictions were spot on.  More on-premise Partners moved to the cloud or at least a cloud model and social is well past “trend” status and even some are past “how do I do it status” and moving into “how do I help my Partners do it.”

So what’s in store for 2015?

Read the full article here if you wish, but in a nutshell the over arching themes are:

  • An increase in automation tools and Vendor supplied Partner marketing platforms
  • Bigger focus on ROI
  • More local level marketing
  • Integrated tactics across all marketing channels

Of course we’re always interested in hearing other perspectives. What do you think will trend in the Channel this year and why?

*photo credit: Channel Marketer Report

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Fishing for B2B Connections in the Sea of Twitter

by channelmaven on January 28, 2015

Nowadays, in order to reach your target audience and amplify the existing one, it is all but required you have a Twitter account. However, simply being on social media is not enough. If you want to get noticed, you need a strategy for reaching your audience and then know what to do once you catch their attention.

When you compare it to other social media sites, Twitter is more impersonal. To find someone on, say, Facebook or LinkedIn, you know who they are and at least (most of the time) have met. Once you add or connect with them and they accept, you immediately have access to lots of personal and professional information: where they are from, where they went to school, where they work, etc. With Twitter, one can find themselves clicking through hundreds of profiles based on keywords, topics or hashtags yet not know a single tidbit of personal information about the person whose profile they are visiting. To you, these profiles are the fish in the Sea of Twitter.

Fishing_CartoonPhoto Credit: bizlocallistings.com

 

While Twitter is less personal, it still serves as a fantastic means of expressing a pain point and when users post about pain points, they use hashtags and keywords as breadcrumbs to lead you to them. From there, dip your pole in the water to show them you have a solution. And when they bite, you reel them in. However, this is much easier said than done.

In order to attract attention to your profile, you need to make people interested in it. This can be done through posting content. It is important to post links to articles and stories that meet certain requirements. They need to be interesting, engaging and relevant. Sure you could post something about the newest season of Game of Thrones because it’s interesting and engaging, but how does that help your potential clients? You could post an article about an internal company event. It’s certainly relevant, but to a Twitter user scrolling through tons of stories in their feed, it is not interesting enough. Plus nobody likes the person who is always tooting his or her own horn (though it’s acceptable on occasion). By posting content that others will look at and start to look forward to, you will build your followers (audience).

Once you attract attention, start interacting. In the Sea of Twitter, it’s important to make as many connections as possible. Think of it as micro-networking. When networking in person, you introduce yourself to potential clients as a Solution Provider, then probably make small talk about interesting ideas and stories. On Twitter, it’s no different except the small talk is already done for you in the form of posts. Once someone has read it and acknowledged it through a retweet or favorite, thank them. Eventually questions and comments will start to form around your posts as your audience becomes more engaged. This is when you can really engage by responding to comments, asking questions and promoting discussions. By making followers more comfortable over Twitter, you can bring them around to the idea of working together. Again, Twitter is the same as in-person networking only less verbal and more textual.

 

Twitter-bird-megaphone
Photo Credit: hedgy.com

 

One last thing to keep in mind when working on your Twitter strategy is to not only create relationships, but also maintain them. Don’t come out guns blazing, posting every few days then stop abruptly. Continue to post a few times a week and continue to promote and mention and comment, but don’t fade away. It looks unprofessional to have an account where nothing happens and consistent interactions keep your audience engaged and works in your favor in the long run.

Overall, this is a solid foundation with which to base your strategy. It is different for everyone and needs to be tailored to fit your specific needs. Take this and fill in the details for your situation and over time it will certainly help. To get more ideas for specific tactical (instead of strategic) Twitter methods, look at some of our other blog posts like “5 Simple Tips for Growing Your Twitterverse” and “Twitter Newbie? @Mentions and #Hashtags and Tweets – Oh My!” Now get to fishin’!

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[Webinar] Drive Social Media Success within the Channel

by channelmaven on January 21, 2015

Help your channel partners better execute social! It’s more than just having them repurpose your corporate social content. Moving the marketing mix to predominantly digital mediums has brought more opportunity, when used correctly.

Join Heather K. Margolis, President of Channel Maven Consulting in a joint webinar with Olivier Choron, CEO and Founder of Pure Channel Apps as they discuss the tools to get the most out of your social media efforts in the channel. Tune in to the webinar on January  29th at 10 AM MT (17:00 GMT). Register here: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/8977/137099

purechannelapps-hires-300x225

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