IBM Launches Global Boot Camps To Help SME Build Social Media Skills

IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced the expansion of a global skills initiative to educate clients and business partners on social media tools and techniques to showcase expertise and create new business opportunities. To join in the conversation around IBM's Social Media Boot Camps, visit LinkedIn.

With today's news, IBM is further investing in its clients and business partners across the world including emerging markets such as China, Australia and Saudi Arabia to develop the skills that will enable them to sharpen their social networking capabilities to build even stronger and more interactive ties with their clients.

The IBM eight week social media boot camp is available to its business partners to provide the education and skills necessary to successfully engage in social media and begin driving the conversation around their brand. This initiative provides IBM business partners and clients access to one-on-one social media coaches who set measurable goals for building and exercising social acumen.

This customized curriculum is designed for organizations to become more comfortable and effective in their marketing and sales efforts. By using social networking tools and techniques participants learn to integrate social media into their daily business activities.

"Social media and social networking have greatly impacted the way we interact and communicate in our personal lives, how we promote our personal brands," said Ed Abrams, Vice President, IBM Midmarket Business. "But the real power of these concepts are still in its infancy in the business world. There are limitless opportunities for businesses to engage with their employees, business partners and customers over these social channels to help make better business decisions and reach new markets."

Reaching Small and Midsize Businesses via Social

The amount SMBs spend on social media is set to almost double in 2012, according to recent market research. Almost two-thirds (64.4%) of SMBs currently market themselves via social media sites; however many still struggle in navigating the appropriate and relevant tools to harness business value for their organizations.

IBM Business Partner Key Information Systems serves SMBs in a variety of industries, encompassing 80 percent of the organization's client base, and agree that while social media is of profound interest to their clients, it is still posing a significant challenge. With Social Media Boot Camp, Key Information Services has not only better educated itself on how to better utilize social media resources, it is now sharing that knowledge with its clients and prospects.

"We're expanding and diversifying the way we connect with clients and prospects and honing in on what's relevant to SMBs," says Director of Marketing Pete Elliot, Key Information Systems. "We're hosting events where small and mid-sized organizations come together to learn about and collaborate on social media strategy. We're reaching new markets with creative social media marketing techniques. The IBM Social Media Bootcamp has helped take our efforts to a whole new level, further opening our eyes to the world of possibility and extending our ability to tap into new markets that we would have never reached without engaging over social media platforms."

After enrolling in IBM's Social Media Boot Camp, Key Information Systems has now integrated social into the work flow processes of every employee. Social has become a priority whether it's blogging or engaging with key constituents over Twitter, employees are dedicated to listening and interacting where their business partners, clients and prospects are talking.

IBM Business Partner Profitecture has played a leading role in working with IBM to deliver their Social Media Boot Camps for Business Partners and their unique process is helping to extend IBM's prowess in guiding organizations' transformation into social businesses.