The channel needs to be informed and educated about how social media can deliver business benefits, claims Cloud security vendor, Trend Micro.
It said that the reseller community is confused about how to utilise social media, but is eager to learn more about the opportunities.
It attributed research by Channel Dynamics (commissioned by Trend Micro), which showed social media is in its infancy among the channel, with few having a social media strategy and general confusion about the subject area.
According to Channel Dynamics director and co-founder, Cam Wayland, little had changed since the survey was conducted at the end of 2011.
“Many resellers are still struggling with the questions of how social media is relevant to their business and how to fully utilise it. It’s important they understand the differences between applying social media to the B2B and B2C sectors,” Wayland said.
Wayland claimed the broad spectrum of social media has a strong role to play in increasing brand awareness, building customer loyalty, and thought leadership positioning.
“Twitter, however, does appear to be taking off. I’m now seeing new businesses in IT globally starting new accounts to collect, review and disseminate information. If you are selective about who you follow, you can actually get quality information, rather than the superficial traffic of 12 months ago,” Wayland added.
Other highlights from the study include:
- LinkedIn was the predominant social media platform, with 81 per cent of respondents using the platform.
- Of these LinkedIn users, only 10 per cent thought the platform was of little importance to them in their role.
- 30 per cent of the respondents had an account that used Facebook for business, but only 22 per cent of them actively use it
- 40 per cent of respondents used a Twitter account for business purposes, primarily because neither the vendors nor their customers were using the platform widely at that point in time. However, respondents mentioned they were considering Twitter as a means of updating their clients in real time.
In educating the channel about the benefits of social media, Trend Micro has launched a webinar series where resellers will learn how to integrate social media into day-to-day activities to recruit new customers, and drive more engagement and loyalty with existing ones.
“There’s a lot of hype about this topic and people need to fully understand the pros and cons before they commit themselves. Executed properly, these new forms of communications deliver undeniable benefits in terms of creating relationships and building profiles,” Trend Micro A/NZ senior manager strategic products, Adam Biviano, said.