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Talk About a Revolution: Alliances and Social Media

Posted By Administration, Friday, June 20, 2014
Originally posted on 3/6/2013

Social media: What is it? How can it be used to promote alliances? And where to start and how to do it? Those questions and more were addressed this afternoon on day two of the 2013 ASAP Global Alliance Summit, as presenters Kim Tremblay, senior director of global strategic alliance marketing at Schneider Electric, and Candice Kyzer, marketing manager for global strategic alliances at Schneider Electric, laid out the social media landscape for alliance managers in “What’s the Buzz: How the Smart Use of Social Media Can Accelerate Alliance Culture.”

“There are some amazing things that can be done with social media,” said Tremblay, pointing to the emergence in world politics of the Arab Spring—a revolution, as she observed, that was started and accelerated by social media. And while alliance managers may not think of themselves as fomenting revolution in their companies, even their internal and external marketing efforts can be radically transformed by the deployment of a concerted social media strategy—if done properly.

Along with a survey of some of the more popular social media platforms—such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest—Tremblay and Kyzer proceeded to give their six steps for planning and executing a social media effort:
  1. Objectives: What are you trying to do?
  2. Determine platforms: Choose and agree on which media to use (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.).
  3. Establish measurement tools: Whether free or paid software products measuring sentiment, message amplification, geographic penetration, gender distribution, popularity peaks.
  4. Response management: Need to respond in a timely manner and respectfully.
  5. Execute: “Put on your hard hat and dig in!” exhorted Kyzer.
  6. Monitor and measure: An ongoing process.
Corporate blogging, and collaboration between partners on same, is another key social media platform. Schneider Electric started doing it two years ago, according to Tremblay. Bloggion can deliver content in digestible bits, build blogger “personalities,” and allow the use of a more relaxed style than other corporate communications, including more personal opinions—all in the service of motivating people, copromoting content with partners, and delivering business value.

Regular social media communication helps increase and foster alliance awareness and contributes to alliance culture, according to Tremblay and Kyzer. Schneider Electric does trainings with guidelines for bloggers on writing a good blog, including links, writing to the appropriate length, and avoiding misrepresentation.

But in the final analysis, with all the caveats and steps to follow, Tremblay advised attendees that in social media, alliance managers should just “get out of your comfort zone and take the plunge.” Revolution, anybody?

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