A Partner Lesson on the Value of a Strong Social Presence

Written By: Barb Levisay

Source: http://bit.ly/rcparticle

CuttingEdgeEngineersBilled as the northeast’s largest business trade show, the New York Business Expo (NYXPO), held  last week in New York City, attracted 8,826 business owners, executives and  entrepreneurs. Landing an invitation to lead a session at such an event is a coveted  engagement for any business owner. For one Microsoft partner, attendance-driving  clout through a loyal social community earns him a regular place in front of  big audiences.

Carl Mazzanti, CEO of eMazzanti  Technologies, is in the enviable position of being able to choose speaking  venues that will reach broad audiences like the NYXPO. He attributes the  success to the social community that his 39-person IT services company has  built. “Because eMazzanti has a lot of followers, I get these speaking  opportunities,”  Mazzanti explained. “When we send a message out about  an event, people sign up.”

Of course, building that social following is the hard part. Mazzanti  sees that being especially hard for technology companies. “Computer people  don’t like to talk about what they do. They don’t like to toot their own horn,”   Mazzanti said. “My firm is susceptible to that same behavior.”

But build it, the company has. eMazzanti’s Facebook page has 5,683 likes. It has 1,414 followers on its LinkedIn page   and 2,079 on Spiceworks. “It’s a slow, arduous process to build  your reputation,”  Mazzanti admitted. “Each follower is a person who has  had a good experience with you. But once it starts to happen, it builds. Millennials  care a lot about your ‘crew’ — those people who follow you becomes an important  component in selecting your organization.”

“Every firm has raving fans. The dollars spent by customers are  votes. You just need them to take it the extra step and do something publicly,”   Mazzanti added. “A follow or a post is your customer’s way of saying thank  you.”

For eMazzanti, Hurricane Sandy in 2013 was a pivotal social moment. “We  worked very hard to get our customers up and running within 24 hours, and we  got a lot of posts thanking us,”  Mazzanti said. “We genuinely tried  to help out the region, that’s our culture, and we got raving fans as a result.”

One of the lessons that eMazzanti has learned is that social networks  are not static. “You have to be where your customers engage. In our public  venues, LinkedIn has taken off, Facebook has dropped off and Spiceworks has  been a rocket ship this year,”  Mazzanti said. “Spiceworks is a  community of givers.”

Building on the Presentation  Opportunity   At NYXPO, several hundred attended Mazzanti’s “Your All-Access  Pass to the Industry’s Most Stylish and Sophisticated Technology Yet”  session. Mazzanti focused his message on how small and midsize businesses can use  enterprise-class systems for a small amount of money. Mazzanti spent a third of  the time explaining the latest technology, a third interpreting what that  technology means to a smaller business and ended with how to get started. Mazzanti  tries to deliver something for everyone in the audience, from those with no  idea how to get started to those who have done extensive research.

To capitalize on any speaking engagement, eMazzanti also exhibits at  the event. At NYXPO, the eMazzanti team scanned over 1,000 badges at its  booth and will spend the next weeks  following up. Leads are prioritized and  split up among the sales team, with Mazzanti personally following up with top  prospects.

While Mazzanti is quick to give the credit for his success to his customers  and staff, it’s clear that he takes a hands-on approach. The monthly eMazzanti  newsletter is sent from Mazzanti’s direct e-mail. A client can hit reply and  connect directly with the CEO — a personal connection point that more business  leaders should try.

As eMazzanti has found, a strong social presence makes a statement that  you have a voice that is valued by your community. When you build a following  of raving fans, they can do far more than just provide “likes.” Your  social community validates that there is an audience for your message — which  can open some pretty big doors.

How do you capitalize on your social community? Add a comment below or send  me an e-mail and let’s share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on November 05, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Carl Mazzanti is Co-Founder and President of eMazzanti Technologies, Microsoft’s four time Partner of the Year and one of the premier IT consulting services for businesses throughout the New York metropolitan area and internationally. Carl and his company manage over 400 active accounts ranging from professional services firms to high-end global retailers.

eMazzanti is all about delivering powerful, efficient outsourced IT services, such as computer network management and troubleshooting, managed print, PCI DSS compliance, green computing, mobile workforce technology, information security, cloud computing, and business continuity and disaster recovery.  

Carl Mazzanti is also a frequent business conference speaker and technology talk show guest and contributor at Microsoft-focused events, including frequent prominent roles at the Microsoft Inspire (Worldwide Partner Conference / WPC).

Carl, a serial Entrepreneur, gives back to the community through Entrepreneur teaching engagements at Georgetown University, the company’s ocean wildlife conservation effort, the Blue Project, and Tree Mazzanti.



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