You don’t need to look very far to see a brand, a business or a businessperson integrating social media into their marketing and communications efforts. The numbers alone speak volumes. As of September, LinkedIn counted more than 187 million members in more than 200 countries. And what’s really exciting is that those people are growing their networks with the connections they’re making and that those connections are leading to business opportunities.
Let’s face it. We’re searchers and we’re making decisions—major purchasing decisions based, in part, on information we’re finding online. So, it’s smart to be out front, upfront and visible and with a clear point of differentiation. It’s not what you know or who you know anymore. It’s more about who knows you and what you are known for.
What are your company’s core competencies? And how about your personal tagline? Give it some thought and then consider signing up for one of three options for education to help you get quickly up-to-speed on best practices for meaningful participation in the major social media networks.
Choose from a self-paced Social Media Boot Camp, where you work online to advance through the eight-week course on your schedule or a more personal IBM Hosted where your weekly lessons are delivered by a coach via phone and webinar (available to Premier and Advanced Business Partners). Or, if you’re looking for something in between, opt for the IBM Guided, where your lessons arrive weekly via email and you’re responsible for checking your own homework. With all three options you always have access to coaches for guidance and advice via email or phone.
After graduation you don’t get a cap and gown, but you do get invited to groups like the IBM Midmarket Social Exchange for Business Partners and easy access to all the great multimedia content IBM has to offer. You also get a chance to participate in social media activities and events to gain even greater exposure for yourself and your organization.
Social media is the ideal platform for brand building and personal reputation management. Assess your needs and then make a plan for educating yourself on the best way to leverage social media for business success.
P.S.: If you’ll be attending the IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas February 25-28, we’ll be offering a condensed session “Social Enterprise: Boot Camp and Beyond” at the conference. Conference registration is open now with more details on the social session coming soon.