The adage, it’s easier to accomplish more with others certainly holds true across business, especially in social media campaign planning and implementation. The social media professional is working alone or as part of a larger internal team to craft messages about the company or organization. Building an external alliance, a group of engaged partner social media brands, can be a challenging, but worthwhile effort. Partnerships can remove barriers and open the social media airwaves to create meaningful connections with consumers and influence additional alliances. This allows social media experts access to organic larger-scale support for their campaigns.
How does a social ally help with your work? How do you support your partner’s social media goals? The intent of a social media campaigns is to share content with others to create a discussion with the goal of a short-term or long-term relationship. Here are three basic ideas for making strategic connections on social media channels:
- Developing a relationship with other social outlets including audiences interested in similar content leads to conversations in support of each other’s work.
- Content can be a common thread between you and the other party. Be sure to curate and share it with your followers and partners.
- If a partner or follower tags you in a Tweet or a post it’s important to respond back as quickly as possible in order to not lose the momentum of the online conversation.
Is there opportunity to collaborate in other ways outside of social media plans and tactics? If so, this is a mutually beneficial relationship with the likelihood of strategic impact. One example of a unique marketing content partnership was Converse and Guitar Center’s 2013-2014 Get Out of the Garage campaign. It supported artists, an important business goal for each brand. Social media platforms were highlighted for each band involved in the competition. (http://getoutofthegarage.amplifiertv.com/)
Social Media Content Builds Relationships.
It’s true, great content captures the attention of both social media professionals and social followers. An ongoing conversation can develop into a long-time customer or better yet, an engaged brand advocate or brand partner. Most of the content sharing will happen behind the scenes. Send emails or private messages on social platforms to your partner contacts with pertinent events and news and ask that they help you spread the word by posting on their social platforms.
Know Your Audiences.
While having a partnership is powerful, knowing the audience members you will reach is critical. Determine which audiences are a part of the formula for effective audience growth as you bring together your site alongside your partner sites. Is there overlap in demographics? Are there common interests, habits or lifestyle criteria that can engage the segments in a personalized way? Or are there gaps to fill?
It’s About Both Parties.
Co-marketing is a partnership including the sharing of content/product information, promotional campaigns and results with another company. The goal, as with any relationship, is to find out how well you complement or help one another. How can you be sure there’s not an imbalance of messaging for one of your partners over another partner? Keep track of content in your social media editorial plan.
Thank your partners and followers for their support of your brand by providing them with value. This includes helpful information, tips and a friendly voice across social media platforms. Social alliances take work, but the end result is more rewarding than you could ever imagine.
Author: Melissa Goodson
Melissa Goodson, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Business and Technology at The College of St. Scholastica, St. Paul campus where she teaches and develops courses for the MBA in Leadership & Change program. For over 12 years, she has worked in leadership roles in marketing communications, product management and strategic planning for media companies. She serves as a board member and Marketing & Communications Director for the Minnesota Organization Development Organization. Her professional interests include brand management, leadership development and organizational culture.