Our second article in the marketing best practices blog series will focus on the power of social media to boost demand.

Today, 76% of technology marketers use social media in their marketing strategy, which means your competitors, and buyers are likely there. To bolster that thought, a recent IDC study revealed that 75% of B2B buyers utilize social media to make buying decisions – but that’s not all. It also showed that the greater the influence over purchasing decisions, the more likely they are to be using social during the buying process; and thanks to how easy it is to ask for opinions online, social platforms are now considered instrumental in closing deals.

Fortunately, using social media as a strategy to drive demand doesn’t have to be an enormous time commitment for VMware partners. The following tips will help you get started quickly:

Build Out Profiles

Think of social profiles as online first impressions. What image are you portraying; friendly and knowledgeable or disheveled – building trust or intimidating? If you are not sure, ask peers for honest feedback.

  • Images: For business pages use logos images, and on personal but professional profiles invest in a headshot. Hint: be consistent to build recognition.
  • Language: Include keywords used to find your solutions in profiles and keep descriptions focused on the buyer and your expertise in solving their business challenges.
  • Complete all sections: Customers want information that builds trust and signals potential for a positive experience. The more complete your social media profiles are, the more customers will take you seriously. Hint: LinkedIn recommendations from satisfied customers are particularly helpful.
  • Update regularly: Profiles are not “set-it-and-forget-it.” They change over time. Set a calendar reminder and analyze them for accuracy every six months to a year.

Keys to Success

  • Engagement: Thanks to ever-changing social media algorithms, if you are not actively engaging (likes, shares, comments), there is a good chance your content will not be seen. Log into accounts daily and remember to:
    • Follow back relevant accounts that followed you (Twitter)
    • Respond to connection requests (LinkedIn)
    • Make new connections (like and share relevant content from others)
    • Respond to notifications and messages
    • Find and comment on conversations where you can add value
  • Curate relevant articles: You likely come across industry relevant content regularly. Keep a list throughout the week to socialize later. Alternatively, if using a social post scheduler, most have applets for creating and scheduling while viewing the article’s URL. Hint: Do not be too self-promotional. Publish a mixture of your content plus industry relevant articles from other sources.
  • Hashtags: Posts with hashtags receive over twice the engagement, which translates to more visibility and connections. Concentrate on being specific and relevant to your prospects – think #Cloud, #IT, #DigitalTransformation coupled with product specific tags such as #HCI, #VMwareNSX or #SDDC. Hint: 1 – 3 hashtags per post is the sweet spot.

Social Media Syndication via the Partner Demand Center

Another time saver is social syndication available in the VMware Partner Demand Center.  Utilize social media syndication to jump start your social media efforts in just three simple steps:

  • Connect social accounts
  • Approve or edit pre-made posts created by the VMware partner team
  • Schedule as you see fit

Creating a daily routine for social media is akin to a regular exercise regimen. The more you commit, the better the results. If you are not actively on social media now, start small, pick one platform, build your presence over time and remember – consistency is key.