What if the success of your company depends largely on the success of your dealers and sales partners? Then you will probably work hard to support your dealers in their marketing and sales efforts. For most brands offering point of sales materials, brochures and exhibition support is part of the services they offer to dealers. It is now time to include social media education in this service package as well. A strong online presence of your dealers will positively impact your brand, both in terms of awareness, engagement and turnover.
What can you do to educate your dealers on social media without having to take care of all social media activities yourself?
1. Create ready-to-publish content
Creating inspiring and relevant content is one of the biggest challenges small companies face in their social media marketing efforts. People find it difficult to create blogs or videos and often lack time for this. If you start developing content that your dealers can share in their network, like blogs, videos and infographics, you will get more exposure for your brand online and your dealers will build expert status amongst their network.
2. Publish a monthly social media newsletter
For most companies starting an account on a social media platform is an easy thing to do. Maintaining these accounts is more challenging. To motivate your dealers to post updates on a regular basis you could publish a monthly newsletter with ready-to-implement social media tips (all focussed on your specific industry). In this newsletter you can also share best practices from dealers to inspire the others to keep up the good work as well.
3. Build a social media community
Facebook and LinkedIn offer you the possibility to build a closed online community where your dealers can ask questions and where information and ideas can be shared. This could stimulate your network to keep on expanding their presence, try out new things and to stay focussed on their social media marketing. The community does not necessarily have to be dedicated to social media only. You could use it to discuss other business issues as well.
4. Offer face-to-face social media training
Are you organizing a yearly event for your dealer network? Is there a conference or event that most of your dealers attend? That might be a good moment to organize a one-day or half day social media training. Be aware that not all your dealers will be on the same level in their understanding of social media marketing. Consider organizing a basic training and a more advanced one, or one focussing on a specific topic, e,g, advertising on social media.
5. Develop social media training videos
If your brand is sold internationally it could be useful to develop short training videos in which the basics of social media marketing are explained. This enables your dealers to consume and apply the information on a time that suits them. The online community addressed above could be used to answer questions related to the videos.
6. Create a “Getting-started” Guide
For dealers who haven’t started on social media yet, it could be helpful to create a small guide in which you explain, for example, how to set up a profile on Facebook or LinkedIn.
7. Offer one-on-one consultation via Skype
Some dealers might experience a big barrier to get started on social media. Then it can help to offer a one or two-hour consultation with your marketing communication manager to help setting up the pages and get the first posts going.
Would you like to know how you can build a social media education programme for your dealer network? Feel free to get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org