3 Simple Steps To Boost Partner Networks Using Social Listening
Indirect sales through partner networks are a key part of many industries. Having strong partner networks allow companies to scale business quickly and reach new audiences without losing too much in terms of expertise.
But managing these vast networks of partners on a regional and even global level is understandably difficult. And partners themselves admit to having trouble matching vendor expectations particularly on social channels where they are less experienced.
Our latest How-To guide for the software industry focuses on how major software vendors like IBM, Oracle and SAP can boost their channel partner networks using the Talkwalker platform. We looked at results over the last 6 months for vendors and partners alike to see exactly how these companies can make partnerships more effective using social listening.
1. Keep Control By Monitoring Brand Mentions
Maintaining good oversight of partner activity is a key challenge for brands with extensive partner networks. Powerful social listening technology lets brands and vendors monitor partner social channels to make this task less time consuming and labor intensive. Vendors can quickly keep track of mentions of their brand or product on partner social channels and gauge the level of visibility they are receiving:
Using this data, brands can assess and refine the performance of partner networks and make sure their brand visibility is in line with the strength of their partnership. Such data can also provide some competitive insight into the strength of competitor-partner relations.
2. Improve Performance By Providing Social Media Guidance
"I wish we had a good class to help us with getting people to be social. We do the best we can and teach them blogging and responding to comments, but with people being scared about representing the company on social media, it is a struggle." So says Jim Barnes, Director of Technology Solutions at Asponte, an IBM Partner.
Software vendors, with their established social media and marketing teams are well-placed to provide partners with this knowledge. Using in-depth social media analytics, software brands can quickly delve into best practices for partners on social and give them the insight they need to improve their performance:
(Audience and owner activity peaks for US East coast partners shows discrepancy)
By helping partners optimize performance, vendors will be improving visibility of their products which will, in turn, lead to more potential sales. And by providing partners with useful information, vendors will be able to further strengthen their partner relationships.
3. Measure Results Using Integrated Data
To be able to determine progress you need to be able to measure the results of your activities effectively. Social KPI’s can be measured using social listening but the most effective way to determine ROI is to correlate social media metrics with sales figures or lead generation figures.
(Sample graph showing social media statistics and sales figures on one graph)
By seeing both data sets on one chart, partners and vendor partner leads can begin to see what kind of effect social efforts are having on the bottom line and work towards making these channels more efficient.
Using social listening, software companies - and really any company with an extensive partner network - can keep better control of their brands/products and work more effectively with partners to optimize performance. To get a more in-depth view, visit the Talkwalker Academy and read our report to see how your partner strategy can benefit.