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9 min read | February 10, 2023

5 Tips to Establish Strategic Social Media Marketing Partnerships for Your Brand

Social media marketing partnerships are social networking alliances between brands with similar audiences, goals, and values. By forming a collaboration, these brands strive to promote each other and harness the power of each other’s audiences

But what are these collaborations exactly and what are the benefits of forming a partnership of this type? How do they differ from traditional influencer marketing collaborations? What do you need to keep in mind when you establish a strategic social media marketing partnership?

Let’s find out.

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What Are Social Media Marketing Partnerships?

Social media marketing partnerships, also known as brand collaborations, occur when two businesses work together to promote each other's brand. This might involve sharing each other’s influencer marketing campaigns or entering into short-term co-branding agreements. Other examples of social media marketing strategies used for these collaborations include social profile takeovers, competitions, giveaways, guest posts, and shoutouts

Because social media marketing partnerships are mutually beneficial relationships, these Social Media Marketing (SMM) collaborations are often unpaid, provided both partners are on equal footing and able to provide each other with similar levels of exposure. 

5 Tips to Establish Strategic Social Media Marketing Partnerships for Your Brand 

Partnering with the right brand can provide you with many benefits, as long as you plan the collaboration carefully and follow the right strategies. Firstly, your brand can gain exposure and reach a new, relevant audience. Secondly, you can gain new perspectives from an outsider on what you’re doing well and what you need to work on. Plus, working with someone new can be a great way to fire up those creative cogs and come up with fresh and inspiring content for your own campaigns.

Provided you follow the right strategies, of course.

Let’s take a look at 5 top tips to help you establish a strategic social media marketing partnership

Make Sure the Partnership is a Good Fit

When it comes to social media marketing partnerships, you can’t just collaborate with anyone. You need to be a good fit for each other, and the relationship must be mutually beneficial for it to work.

Although identifying a good social media marketing partner depend on many factors, generally speaking, it means finding a business, brand, or individual who:

  • Has the same type of audience as you, including demographics, interests, and online habits and behaviors. (For example, a copywriter partnering with a graphic designer)
  • Shares a similar vision, similar marketing goals, and similar values as your brand.
  • Works in a related industry and sells products or services that complement your own
  • Is, ideally, regarded as an industry expert with the ability to influence their audience.

Think About the Type of Partnership You Want to Form

It’s also important to consider the type of social media marketing partnership that you want to develop. In other words, what types of projects are you looking to collaborate with someone on?

Here are a few examples of different types of SSM partnerships:

  • Strategic Instagram partnerships using the Instagram collab feature (where a single, co-created post or reel is published on two profiles at the same time).
  • Co-branding agreements with shared rewards such as revenue or leads.
  • A basic influencer marketing strategy, where you tag each other in your campaign posts and share each other’s content through your own stories and feeds.
  • Sponsored posts where you showcase each other’s products.
  • Live stream panel discussions or interviews.
  • Social media takeovers, where you take control of each other’s accounts for a limited period of time. 
  • Contests and giveaways.
  • Guest posts on each other’s blogs.
  • Brand or product shoutouts.
  • Referrals and reviews.

Establish Two-Way Trust

Trust is vital when you develop a social media marketing partnership. You need to believe that you will both be promoting each other in a positive light and that there is no ulterior motive behind the collaboration. Integrity and confidentiality are just as important as expertise, so make sure that the partner you pick is open and transparent about who they are and what they want to achieve, especially if you are going to be temporarily handing over control of your social media accounts

Once you are sure that someone can be trusted, do what you can to show them that you are trustworthy, too. The more you trust each other, the more creative and effective the partnership will be

Define Clear Communication Channels

Following on from trust, make sure you sign a written agreement before launching your social media marketing partnership and identify clear communication channels for your collaboration. For example, will you meet regularly through Slack or Zoom? Will you exchange email updates every day? 

It’s important to check in regularly with each other in order to build a solid and transparent relationship. However, it’s equally important to establish clear boundaries so that there is no risk of misunderstanding or miscommunication. The clearer you are about this from the start, the easier it will be to develop a mutually beneficial partnership.  

Define Strategic Objectives and Align Metrics

Finally, before you publicly announce your social media marketing partnership, make sure you provide your new partner with as much information as possible about who you are, what your brand offers, and what you want to achieve with the partnership. The best way to do this is by defining strategic objectives for the collaboration and aligning performance-tracking metrics in advance.  

Ultimately, the best social media marketing partnerships are founded on clarity, communication, transparency, and clear and structured guidance. If you both share the same goals and you understand what you want from each other, then it will be much easier to develop a profitable, long-term partnership.

 Influencer Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to Campaign Planning, Execution, and ROI

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