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Microsoft 'Nurture Butterfly': Helping Dynamics Partners Tame Social Media

Ask a partner marketing professional why he isn't doing social media marketing and you'll likely get two answers:

  1. "Where will I get regular, meaningful content?"
  2. "How will I find the time to manage Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and the blog in addition to my 'day' job?"

But a small, but growing number of partners seem to have found the solution to both issues through a new Microsoft-sponsored program called Nurture Butterfly.

Marcia Nita Doron, director of marketing with Massachusetts-based Altico Advisors, was struggling to figure out how to create content and manage social media when Altico was invited to join a Microsoft-sponsored test program last year. The Nurture Butterfly program gives partners a tool to source and deliver Microsoft-generated, self-created and public content in one place.

"It's an incredible timesaver," Doron said. "I can go out to Butterfly and select content supplied through the service, or I can create my own. It's easy to select and send out."

Peter Joeckel, owner of Dallas-based TurnOn! Dynamics, said, "Being able to manage all your social media for all of the outlets and sources in one place is magnificent. It's a great way to build credibility through content to support your business." As to the process, Joeckel said, "In the morning I go through the sources and if I find an article that is interesting enough, I post it for distribution. The feedback from my followers has been that the information I am sending out is valuable. It's important to be selective."

Integrated Social Media Strategy
One of the primary benefits that Doron sees from the program is that it supports an "integrated strategy." She continued, "I can create content for our blog, then Tweet it and then put it on PRWeb. The different channels play off of each other to build the value and reach of the content."

For Julie Fuller, marketing manager at Pennsylvania-based Dynamics partner Cargas, the Nurture Butterfly program helped her company establish a social media presence. "Without a consistent source of valuable content, we were nervous about adding social media marketing." Fuller said, "Now that we have reliable content and can interconnect the systems with an incredibly simple tool -- it's beyond easy."

The ROI of Social Media
With a monthly investment of $125, the first question from management will be, "What is the ROI?" Joeckel responded, "Every single opportunity that I am in is a result of networking -- from golf, social, LinkedIn, to 'Saw that on your Web site.' Can I quantify the returns of Nurture Butterfly? Probably not. Do I think it's important? I do."

Doron said, "Efforts are paying off -- registration for events have come from social media. Web site traffic is coming from social media sites. It's a process, not an overnight event. We are learning which hashtags to use and monitoring Web site traffic through Google Analytics. Our job postings have gotten hits from places that I hadn't seen before."

As for Cargas, Fuller said, "We've definitely seen interaction on Facebook pages and direct responses from existing customers. We're maintaining the regular contact to keep us top of mind with customers."

Currently, the Nurture Butterfly program is offered to Dynamics CRM and ERP partners, with Microsoft-generated general-interest and product-specific content. The tool also allows users to build their own library of sources to add content diversity. For more information on the Nurture Butterfly program visit Socialize your Stuff.

How are you using social media to build your business? Tell me about it here or leave a comment below, and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 27, 2011


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