10 Facts Channel Companies Should Know About Social Networks

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-03-28 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Facts Channel Companies Should Know About Social Networks
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    10 Facts Channel Companies Should Know About Social Networks

    The channel should stay abreast of constant changes in social networking, from the announcement of surprise acquisitions to advances in messaging technology.
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    Understanding What Social Networks Really Are
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    Understanding What Social Networks Really Are

    The definition of “social networks” has changed dramatically in recent years. Social networks were once places where individuals would post photos and what they did that day. Now, social networks can include everything from messaging apps to productivity tools.
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    How Will LinkedIn Change the Office World?
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    How Will LinkedIn Change the Office World?

    Now that Microsoft plans to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, the company has already said it might integrate the professional social network into Office 365 and Dynamics, among other platforms. Microsoft also gains access to LinkedIn's vast database. The Microsoft-LinkedIn tie-up is one the channel will want to watch.
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    A Great Way to Work With Partners and Customers
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    A Great Way to Work With Partners and Customers

    Social networks offer opportunities to work with partners and customers. Many services, like Slack, allow for collaboration between companies, partners and customers. Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration.
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    Believe in the Value of Slack
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    Believe in the Value of Slack

    Slack has come on the scene in a big way and has already attracted a million companies. The service is one-part productivity tool and one-party collaboration tool. It also allows for communication with clients, phone calling, messaging and much more. And its third-party app support is stellar.
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    Facebook Is a Multi-Functional Tool
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    Facebook Is a Multi-Functional Tool

    Having Facebook expertise is critical. The social network can offer search engine boosts for channel companies, allow them to communicate their expertise to clients, and act as an advertising vehicle. Leveraging Facebook and its features is exceedingly important.
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    Don’t Underestimate the Power of Social Bots
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    Don’t Underestimate the Power of Social Bots

    Whether it’s Facebook Messenger or Slack, it’s important that the channel embrace bots. With bots, channel members can effectively communicate with customers and partners, set up slick user interactions and much more. Don’t underestimate the power of bots and how they can improve business.
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    Share Your Knowledge With the World
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    Share Your Knowledge With the World

    Social networks offer an opportunity to share knowledge with the world. They should be used to convey expertise in a field, show what employees are achieving and much more. CIOs are using social networks, and they want to know about their channel partners' accomplishments.
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    Instagram Is Becoming Business-Friendly
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    Instagram Is Becoming Business-Friendly

    This might come as a surprise, but Instagram could potentially be useful to companies. For one, it’s rolling out business pages, which will allow companies to share images and videos online. In addition, Instagram is improving its advertising services and making its features more useful to companies. Simply put, Instagram could be a great way to convey—visually—the value of a channel partner's service.
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    Twitter Is Still a PR Tool
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    Twitter Is Still a PR Tool

    Getting in touch with the media and promoting a company through the press is critical to many channel partners. One of the best ways to do that is to share wisdom on Twitter, a medium that’s still used by many journalists to see what’s happening in the world. Be sure to have an active Twitter timeline that conveys the company’s message.
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    Remember the Sales
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    Remember the Sales

    Becoming an expert at leveraging social networks can help make sales pitches even more appealing. In addition to selling clients or partners on products or services, you can educate them on how they could use social networks to enhance their value proposition to their own clients with those offerings.
 

UPDATED JUNE 27, 2016: The social networking world has gone through dramatic changes in just a few years. Some key players have been or will be acquired, including Instagram, now part of Facebook, and LinkedIn, which Microsoft plans to buy. Some startups, like Snapchat, have made a major impact while messaging apps have been able to cross over to become social networks in their own right. Along the way, business users have been forced to adapt. After all, many companies still believe that social networking is more of a hindrance to productivity than a tool that can enhance their ability to do business. Others, however, have embraced the power of social services and have incorporated them into their own product and service ecosystem. There is no one-size-fits-all policy on how the channel should address social networks and services, but it's certainly an important media for communication. Read on to learn more about what companies across the channel should consider about social networks and why they should use them as a future vehicle for growth.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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