As a Value-Added Reseller or a Solution Provider, you’re constantly looking for ways to market the products you sell to existing and potential customers--to grow your brand. Social media can be a powerful tool in helping you achieve this, but there are a few rules you have to keep in mind if your social media marketing strategy is going to be successful.
1. Content is King
Good content is the currency of social media. What is good content? Generally speaking, it’s content that is relevant, useful, and engaging for your customers. Of course, all of these terms are relative and depend on which customers you are targeting. Chances are if you are like most VARs, you simply don’t have the time to create original content for this purpose—you’re too busy hustling. The good news is that all of the manufacturers and vendors you partner with have vast libraries filled with rich content (videos, product reviews, blog posts, demos, etc.) ready to be shared. Take advantage of the work they’ve already done for you, and regularly share new content on a consistent schedule. It takes time to build an audience through social media. It’s time to take full control and become your own brand advocate in this new era of smart!
2. Social Media is a Conversation, Not a Monologue
One of the key benefits of social media is that it’s a direct channel for you to interact with your customers. What customers value most is knowing that their opinion matters; that someone’s listening to them. It used to be difficult for Value-Added Resellers to connect with customers on a one-on-one basis. Social media has changed all that. Be sure to use social media on your mobile device so you can quickly respond to any feedback your customers give you. If they have a question about a particular product or promotion and you don’t respond quickly enough, chances are they’ll move on to someone who will.
3. Let Analytics be your Guide
While it’s great to see you received more “Likes” on your Facebook page or new followers on Twitter, those metrics don’t tell you much. Certain content will resonate with some customers while others will be completely disinterested. Be sure to segment your customers based on geography, size, purchase history, etc. This will help you come up with a content strategy for whatever business goal you hope to achieve. In depth analytics tell a powerful story, and they’ll inform you what content is the most powerful and interesting for each particular customer segment. As Peter Drucker once said, "The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself."
It’s time for Value-Added Resellers to embrace social media for the powerful tool it is. Become your own brand advocate! Develop the skills to master content discovery, mixing, and sharing to engage your prospects and grow your business.