Get Social! New Social Media Enablement Resources Available for IBM Business Partners
Jacqi Levy 270003E0DF JALEVY@US.IBM.COM | | Tags:  ibm software lotusphere social_media partnerworld partner business partners pulse
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It's January -- the beginning of a new year, and we've just held our annual IBM Software Business Partner Kickoff; a global experience comprised of both virtual and face to face events, where IBM Business Partners can join us for an overview of IBM's roadmap for 2011. During the keynote, IBM's Sandy Carter announced that in the coming year, we will be providing expanded social media resources to help business partners understand the value of social media and how they can leverage it to achieve their strategic business objectives. Following this announcement, I wanted to provide a little more detail around exactly what we have planned, so that you can make the most of what IBM has available to you.
Social Media Workshops
One thing we're planning this year is to incorporate social media enablement workshops into major Business Partner events. If you're attending the events below, here's a look at the resources that we will have available for you:
IBM Software Business Partner 2011 Kick-off
As part of this virtual event, IBM hosted a virtual expert pavilion, including a booth where business partners could access social media resources and live chat with IBM subject matter experts about their questions. Over 100 IBM Business Partners took advantage of this opportunity. Although the live chat function is no longer available, you can still access the virtual event until April 25, 2011.
The Business Partner Cafe has moved to the EXPO floor at Lotusphere this year, and with this move comes more space to provide business partners with access to IBM experts. We have added a social media expert table in the cafe, where IBM Business Partners can go to learn more about social media in a one-on-one setting. If you prefer something more structured, you can also attend one of our 30 minute mini-workshops. The Business Partner cafe will be open this coming Monday through Wednesday, January 31 to February 2, 2011, so stop by any time the expo floor is open. For more information, you can also check out my post on the Collaborate for Success blog.
During the Pulse Business Partners Summit, IBM is planning a networking lunch where business partners will be able to interact with subject media experts and learn more about social media. More details about the lunch will be forthcoming as we get closer to Pulse.
Stay tuned for more details!
New Social Media Enablement Resources on PartnerWorld
Another great resource we have planned for IBM business partners this year are an expanded set of social media assets on PartnerWorld. Last year, we gave you a HUGE, one-size-fits-all social media guide. However, based on your feedback, we understand that time constraints are one of the biggest hurdles on your path to social media greatness, so now, we've broken down our Getting Started with Social Media page into more manageable pieces. If you want to get started with social media but are not sure where to start, we've got resources to help teach you the basics of popular networks like Twitter and LinkedIn. But, if you're already using these tools and are just not sure how to make them work in a business context, we've got help for you too, in the form of marketing and lead generation resources. Check out some of our new assets, which are already up on the page, and look for more guides, as well as resources like webinars and training videos, to be added within the next few months.
The Bottom Line
86% of B2B firms are already using social media, according to White Horse, and as Hitwise reports, 2010 was the year that Facebook finally overtook Google as the most visited website on the net. Social media is increasingly one of the preferred tools that people use to communicate with each other and interact with businesses, so a knowledge of social media will be a must have for IBM Business Partners in 2011. If you're not there yet, don't worry; we have plenty planned to help you get up to speed. It's time to get social!