2016 Partner Marketing Guide: How Should Solution Providers Leverage Social Media?

A Sound Social Strategy

In the new era of the strategic service provider, marketing support from vendor partners is a crucial part of success. And at the forefront of any effective marketing campaign in 2016 must be an impactful social media presence.

In addition to taking control of your business' online presence, a successful social strategy can enable solution providers to take control of their online presence, boosting engagement with customers and increasing demand.

As part of CRN's 2016 Partner Marketing Guide, we asked the participants to share their best social strategies for solution providers.

Here, we provide a sample of these responses. For a look at all of the programs highlighted in this year's project, check out the Partner Marketing Guide database.

APC by Schneider Electric

Jamie Bourassa

VP, Channel Marketing

Every marketer has an opinion about social strategy. But in the end social is a tool, not the only tool in the marketing chest. Because of its nature, social provides the biggest and best return if you have the ability to leverage a social platform regularly and consistently. So if you're going to do it, do it right or don't do it until you are ready!


Patricia Atchison

VP, Global Partner Marketing

Social media is a great way to connect with your customers. My advice would be to use social media in a consistent way to interact and engage with your customers and prospects instead of just as a platform to push out information. Social media has evolved as a way to have two-way interaction with your customers, keep the pulse on their business and stay relevant with your customers and prospects.


Alisa Frye

Marketing Coordinator

Don't forget to be human! Stray away from sounding like a robot and only posting "advertisements" about your partners or services. Show your audience members who you are and talk to them the way humans talk. Keep posts light and simple to represent your company's culture.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Chris Ogburn

VP, Worldwide Channel Marketing

Integrate your social media activity with additional elements of the marketing mix. Align it and integrate it into your campaigns and your customer events. Many of the partners I speak with who are seeing a positive social media impact are executing this approach.


Brian Leonard

Director of Marketing

Great marketing is all about leverage. Leverage tools to make it easy for your sales reps and employees to get involved and engage with as little effort as possible. Intelisys began using several social media tools in 2015 that increased the spread of our message by a minimum of 10 times. We now have higher Klout scores than any competitor in our market, and even many media companies in our space.

The right social media message is important, and combined with the right tools to leverage key influencers in the company, the results can be explosive. Social media management, amplification and analytics tools are not "one-size-fits-all," but we're happy to share with our sales partners which tools have made the biggest impact for us.


Catherine Ramos

Director of Marketing

Resellers and ISV partners have very strong relationships with customers, and using social media to strengthen those relationships is extremely fruitful. Sometimes resellers overlook their technology vendors' social media influence, however. Developers and technology vendors often have large reaches, and resellers can leverage those followings by sharing the same blog posts, press releases or other announcements on Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social media platform. Technology vendors will often reciprocate and share news about resellers' customers or achievements, enabling resellers to grow their influence and credibility. This joint effort sends a stronger message than one solution provider's singular efforts.

Palo Alto Networks

Melissa Nacerino

Director Channel Marketing

First and foremost is to use it, plain and simple. Social Media can be a powerful tool in building your brand and establishing your company as a trusted technology advisor. Done right, it requires a commitment and a cadence. The basic social strategy we recommend is to empower the most knowledgeable people in your organization to share their insights and practical knowledge with no spin attached. Our partners can also take advantage of Palo Alto Networks' own experts, like the Unit 42 Threat Research team, using a social syndication platform called SocialWave.

Resilient, an IBM Company

Brian DePamphilis

Director of Global Channel Marketing

Work closely alongside your vendors to garner content to share socially. Vendors usually have great content, but solution providers often have the connections with the right people who want the content. Bringing these together is a win for everyone.

Tripp Lite

Michelle Wang

Director of Marketing - US Channel

Know your audience and tailor your social media content so it's interesting or educational to your audience. There is no point to have a presence on social media unless your audience is reading your content and finding value in it.


Thomas Tan

VP, Global Integrated Marketing

Many tend to treat social media as an afterthought or "nice-to-have" in marketing. Successful vendors and solution providers are shifting their marketing and communications towards a social media centric approach; it's the most effective way of staying connected with your customers.

Make sure that social media is an integral part of your overall digital strategy to drive holistic engagement with your customers. Don't forget to leverage the social media programs your partners offer to maximize your exposure.