Facebook, Twitter: Citrix Shares Its Social Media Secrets
Managed services providers (MSPs) leverage social media channels for lead generation, marketing, and customer service, and vendors do, too. Which social networking sites should IT vendors focus their time on? Should one person manage all social accounts or should vendors direct management to a social media team? We reached out to virtualization and cloud computing software vendor Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) to gather some best practices in this MSPmentor exclusive interview.
Citrix Social Media and Community Director Kelly Ripley Feller (pictured) provided MSPmentor with an inside look at the company's social media strategy to assist vendors and MSPs in the channel with their social media marketing (SMM) efforts.
CJ Arlotta: Is Citrix aware of how many of its customers are using social media actively?
Kelly Ripley Feller: Since Citrix has so many customers — from consumers to enterprise customers — there is no way to tell which of those engages in social media. But it’s probably safe to speculate that the majority of enterprise customers leverage social tools and growing numbers of small and midsize business (SMB) customers as well.
CJA: Which social networking sites can customers find Citrix on, and why did the company choose those platforms?
KRF: Most of the larger networks. The types of engagement we see in each channel often depend on the types of customers who spend time there. On Facebook we tend to experience more engagement with end customers and consumers — folks who want to leverage Citrix tools to work from anywhere. But in LinkedIn we tend to see more discussions with business customers. In Twitter there is a much wider variety of audiences who engage. Some of the other platforms include Google+, Slideshare, YouTube, Pinterest, and community forums.
CJA: Which types of social media platforms does the company leverage as tools?
KRF: We use Radian6/Salesforce (monitoring), WordPress (corporate blog), Jive (community), and Badgeville (gamification). Each platform provides something unique.
CJA: Who controls the company’s social media platforms? Does one person handle all of the company’s accounts or is it a team?
KRF: The social media team in corporate marketing tends to invest in platforms and tools that can be leveraged by various teams. The corporate social media team manages the @Citrix Twitter account and other corporate social channels. However, many other teams, product groups, business units, and individuals also have their own accounts that they leverage to engage socially on the company’s behalf.
CJA: What plans (if any) does Citrix have for its social media strategy in the near future?
KRF: One of our biggest priorities going forward is to invest in an online community platform for engaging with customers, prospects, partners, and peers. We also have plans to evolve our corporate blog site and continue to help social media practitioners at the company effectively leverage social tools.
CJA: What three tips could Citrix give to an MSP looking for advice on how to leverage social media?
KRF: Just because social tools exist, don’t fall prey to the “checklist social marketing” mentality. It’s fine to experiment, but don’t simply create a Twitter account or Facebook page because the tools exist and everyone else has one. The trick is to do the right things right. So many people think social media is difficult because it takes up too much time. That’s because most folks are trying to do too much. I’d say pick a channel, research best practices, develop a solid strategy with the business outcomes you’d like to see, and focus.