By Shawn Cordner, Manager, Strategic Development, PAETEC
You have probably heard the term “Social Media” (SM) being thrown around a lot lately, and if Ashton Kutcher and Oprah are any indication, everyone is doing it and you should be too. The term refers to a number of platforms on the Web where people congregate, communicate and interact with each other, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Its wide acceptance by the mainstream begs the question, should your business be participating?
Like many other businesses, we in PAETEC’s agent channel saw an opportunity to communicate, build and reinforce relationships with our agents, prospective agents and customers. After all, that’s what SM is all about; connecting with people.
We knew the rise in SM popularity was an opportunity for us, but it took some time and creativity to figure out how it applied to our business in the channel. We focus on two platforms. The first is LinkedIn, where we manage a PAETEC Authorized Agents group and are active on the Q&A boards. The second is Twitter, where via a PAETEC Agents account and my personal account, we talk to people about PAETEC, the industry or about issues they may be having with us. These efforts have led to accounts being saved, new leads being distributed to agents and the recruitment of new agents.
You can have similar success. The question is how you, as an agent or master agent, can capitalize on the opportunity that SM presents. Here are some ideas:
Once you decide there is a fit, here are some things to think about before you jump in head first:
Overall, common sense and the fundamentals of traditional marketing prevail when it comes to SM. Once you have your strategy and are ready to execute it, take some time getting used to the nuances of the culture of your platforms of choice.
Editor’s Note: PHONE+ Magazine, in conjunction with Channel Partners Conference & Expo, has created a LinkedIn group exclusively for the Channel. An online extension of the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, this group is dedicated to the indirect sales channel for communications products and services. Please join us on LinkedIn to become part of the network.
Shawn Cordner is manager of strategic development at PAETEC, where he does business development for the channel, including managing the carrier’s efforts in reaching the channel through social media.”
Looking for More? Check out “Sorting Through Social Media” at the Fall 2009 Channel Partners Conference & Expo, Sept. 23-25, in Miami. For more info, visit www.channelpartnersconference.com.