There’s a lot of change happening in social media, but one thing’s certain: It’s still a big deal for your channel partners. A recent BIA/Kelsey survey found that 72% of the surveyed SMBs (or small- to medium-sized businesses) use social media to advertise their business. Of those who use social media, 68% name Facebook and Twitter as their top promotional tools, and they see a good amount of ROI on these efforts. All of this is evidence that your local marketing strategy needs to include social media. But how do you do it in a way that makes you and your partners happy? You do it by automating your social media content.
You can automate your content in two ways. One way is to create a library of co-branded social posts from which your partners can pick content, customize it, and schedule it to post. Another way is to create an automated marketing program (or what we like to call an AMP) with a group of pre-written, pre-scheduled posts. All your partners would have to do is enroll, add a few tidbits of business information, and let it run. Whether you choose one or both of these, automated social media is a great tool for your distributed organization. Here’s why:
1) It keeps your brand voice intact.
If you’re running a compelling promotion for your product or service, your partners will want their customers to know about it. That’s the kind of thing that gets people coming through the door. However, you want to make sure that your partners say the right thing about your promotion in the right way. If you automate your social media, you’ve already written the content with your brand’s tone of voice. Since you can choose how much your partners can customize on each post, you can make sure that your brand’s voice is still the loudest.
2) It builds strong connections between your brand, your local partners, and their customers.
One of the biggest benefits of social media is that it gives companies instant access to their customers. The closer that a business is to its customers, the better chances that the business has of building strong customer relationships. The relationships are even stronger when they’re based on relevant messages, and that’s what automated social content does. Once your partners add their information to the social posts, your brand is now connected to a familiar business in a prospective customer’s neighborhood. That makes the content relevant and more likely to generate a response.
3) It makes marketing easier for your partners.
It doesn’t take much to say the wrong thing on social media. When it happens to large corporations, they have PR firms that clean up the mess. If it happens to local businesses, the owners have -- well, themselves. That’s a lot of stress for SMB owners to take on, especially when they want to reach their customers and still do right by your brand. If you handle the content for them, they don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing. Instead, they simply pick from the library or enroll in a program. It’s that easy.
Social media will only continue to grow, so distributed organizations have to be prepared to navigate the growth while keeping their partners happy. Automating your social content is a great way to maintain that balance while building your brand at the local level.
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