How can social media improve your Partner Relationship Management strategy?

Social media can be a very effective tool to improve brand awareness for your business--but did you know it can also help you with your PRM strategy?

Social media offers a unique opportunity to share knowledge and capture feedback from your partners. A solid social media engagement strategy can greatly improve your channel partner program by increasing confidence in your products and alerting your partners to better ways to resell. Here are ways that channel managers are tapping into social media to accelerate learning for their channel partners.

How can social media help you enhance your partner relationship management?
Social media offers many benefits that can go hand-in-hand with other partner engagement efforts. It can be --
  1. Convenient for your partners- Your partners are busy running their own businesses, but social media allows them to find information about your products when and where they need it the most. This makes blogs, articles and videos you provide on your social channels more effective than scheduled meetings and phone calls to answer questions
  2. Educational for account managers and success teams- Using social channels, your account managers can gather related information to improve their understanding of their partner's struggles and business needs. By encouraging your partners to share feedback, you have the opportunity to address their concerns up front and address any issues. You can even save and improve partner relationships before they have a chance to go sour by encouraging your account managers to play an active role on social, outside of the PRM Program.
  3. An effective way to share and promote new opportunities- With an increasingly mobile workforce, you can share new developments with your partners on the fly. By bringing more information directly to them, you can greatly improve their expectations and understandings of your offerings.
  4. A helpful way to gather referrals and reviews for your business- As online reviews become more and more important, tapping your partner base for their feedback can be a great way to increase your market share. As partners are likely to become more educated about your business and product, they have the chance to greatly influence your business reputation and status.
Start with training for your channel managers on how to represent your business on social media. Opening up conversations via social media comes with the responsibility of improving the way your channel managers respond to your partners. Carefully consider how your channel managers handle responding to partner's concerns or complaints. You may uncover holes in their communication skills.

Start by--
  • Keeping careful records of challenges your partners face
  • Working with your managers to ensure that their messaging is consistent--consider automated social media campaigns when sharing resources/articles.
  • Holding training sessions to get your channel managers on the same page when representing your business. For example, remind channel managers that they should not encourage advice or next-steps that could be harmful to your partner's overall experiences or perception of your business.

Above all, ensure that your end-game is always about improving the selling experience for your partners. Create content that answers their selling questions and needs and make good use of partner feedback to improve your channel program.

Before embarking on a partner engagement strategy via social media, think about how you can work towards better partner relationship management. Identify partner engagement goals, such as reducing support ticket numbers, support time on phone, and lost opportunities. Also, consider how you can re-evaluate your progress in 3-4 month cycles with a focus on continuous improvement.

A solid strategy of education and engagement on social media can improve your overall partner  relationship management by boosting activity, engagement, and experience.

About Mindmatrix
Mindmatrix is the only single, fully integrated platform offering complete marketing and sales enablement for direct and indirect sales.
Mindmatrix offers Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software, Channel Marketing Automation, Asset Management software, Sales Enablement software and Marketing Automation software for the complete enablement of your sales and marketing teams.

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