Channel Marketer Report

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ChannelViews: Social Media Strategy Helps VAR Gain Traction in Web 2.0 World

By John Pruban, President, tekservePOS

BtoB companies are researching and evaluating prospective solution providers in a whole new way due to the collaborative environment fostered by Web 2.0 technologies. Although sophisticated social media strategies are typically reserved for larger businesses looking to increase mindshare among consumers, the need for consistent social media content and expertise can be a driver for even small BtoB firms looking to make their mark within verticals.

According to a recent survey conducted by DemandGen Report, 36% of BtoB buyers tap into social media to research a solution prior to purchase, and turn to social networking groups to solicit suggestions and advice from peers. Nearly half of those respondents said that, prior to purchase, they followed discussions on social networking threads to learn more about a solution.

 With more and more businesses entering social media portals to gather information, tekservePOS decided to jump-start its own social media campaign in January 2011. Our goal was to provide our customers and partners with a platform where they could give and receive valuable feedback on the latest trends and best practices in retail IT. As a result, we have spent the last year working to build collaborative online communities that are helping buyers navigate their way through important purchase decisions and add more value for our industry partners.

Content: King Of All Social Media

After establishing a social media calendar and determining the best path to reach our audience, we began conducting monthly LinkedIn (LI) polls that helped generate lively discussions in our LI group, Retail tekSPERTS. Topics have ranged from Help Desk solutions to the advent of widespread retail/hospitality technologies, such as near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID) and quick response (QR) codes. We also have launched a variety of talking points for our bi-monthly tekBLOG.

As new technology continues to enter the retail/hospitality space, we are proud that more than 600 members are logging on daily to share advice and provide feedback for fellow members. Since LinkedIn has surpassed 100 million users, we are looking forward to more professionals joining the group over the coming months.

Aside from growing our LinkedIn community, we felt that it was equally important to create collaborative portals through other popular social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Our dedication to delivering the most relevant information to our Twitter followers has helped us expand our social outreach by 880 followers at a rate of approximately 22% per month since we started our campaign back in January. In addition, our continued efforts have driven up our Klout score to 28, which provides a solid foundation to deliver the most effective communication.

Through a consistent and active online presence, we also have indicated a notable increase in site traffic. In a year-over-year comparison, there has been a remarkable 33% increase in unique visitors and a 43% increase in unique page views. What’s more, the steady stream of engaging content has kept visitors on site longer, with a nearly 50% increase in average time spent on a page.

While all of these numbers provide proof that our social media efforts have made an impact on the web, the truest measure of a successful campaign is the impact we have made within our industry. That is why, as social networks continue to grow, we are constantly renewing our commitment to providing optimal content that will secure our position as a trusted resource. Moreover, we opt to grow and develop our social presence to display a consistency that will distinguish tekservePOS as a dedicated partner within the retail/hospitality industry.

 

About tekservePOS
tekservePOS provides complete POS technology and IT solutions for Retail and Hospitality including POS and IT managed services, POS hardware and software solutions. With an experienced staff and field technician force, tekservePOS handles all technical and field needs from asset management, asset disposal, staging and integration, wiring, maintenance and repair services. With the recent launch of tekRETAIL Suite, 24/7 Help Desk offering and partnerships with top hardware providers, tekservePOS can help you realize lower costs and greater efficiencies by leveraging our complete, customizable solutions across your IT operations. Visit us at www.tekservePOS.com.


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About Alicia Fiorletta

Alicia Fiorletta is Senior Editor for Channel Marketer Report. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry.

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