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Successful Social Media Strategies for Microsoft Partners

As with any business activity, strategy comes first and execution second. Social media, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and blogs, are tools in your marketing toolbox that can be used to build connections with your audience. If you are going to invest time in social media, those connections need to support your strategic goals and build your business.

The primary strategies that Microsoft partners cite for their social media efforts fall into three categories:

  1. Increase traffic to Web site.
  2. Build brand awareness and reputation.
  3. Develop relationships with potential partners.

An additional level of definition that is critical to success is defining the community that you are going to address. Strong communities with a common interest where you can add value through your expertise will deliver far better results for your time invested.

Partner Success Through Strategic Focus
Liza Sisler is the National Sales and Marketing Director, Microsoft, for Perficient, a national system integrator partner headquartered in Missouri. She spoke at this year's Worldwide Partner Conference about her success with social media in the health care and SharePoint communities. In a follow-up interview, Liza said, "The health care industry has an engaged social community. By interacting with that community, I was able to lend my personal brand to the organization to grow the followers. Social media elevates the brand, putting people and the company together."

Industry-specific blogs written by their consultants provide a strong content foundation for Perficient's marketing and industry teams to offer through multiple social media channels. Erin Eschen, Perficient's online and social media marketing manager, said, "We focus on industries that are growth areas with lots of buzz. Then we make sure that we have the team members within our company who can commit to keep the content fresh."

"Perficient uses social media to demonstrate thought leadership in the industries we serve. We see a tremendous lift in Web site traffic as a result of increase in brand recognition and the content value that we deliver."

Building the Strategy for Your business
Most partners don't have the resources of Perficient, but the lessons are the same. Find the community where you can add value and then decide how you can best engage. Interest groups on LinkedIn are a great place to find engaged communities and learn about common interests and challenges. Think about what content that you can consistently create that could benefit that audience.

What is your social media strategy? Send me a note or comment below and let's share the knowledge.

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Posted by Barb Levisay on August 03, 2011 at 11:57 AM


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