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3 Ways CSMs Can Use Social Media For Customer Education

Written by Sarah E. Brown

Published on October 29, 2014

While leveraging social media for customer education purposes is still a relatively new trend, customer success managers are increasingly realizing the extraordinary potential benefits of incorporating social media into their customer education program. The following are three immediately actionable strategies you can use to kickstart a successful customer education-driven social media campaign.

Strategy #1: Use Social Media Badging To Reward Customer Education Success

Social media should be incorporated within your greater education campaign strategy through badging. In addition to encouraging customers to post about their education milestones across social platforms, creating custom shareable badge designs for customers is an excellent way to  broadcast their achievements.

By creating and sharing badges to recognize education milestones, you’ll enable your customers to spread the word about their success and showcase how you as their CSM/CEM helped them achieve their goals.

Hubspot badge for customer education

Inbound marketing badge from Hubspot

To get started, coordinate with your design and marketing teams to create the badge designs for your customers. These should include badges for adding to LinkedIn profiles and images that can be used by your customers in posts across all social media networks. Both Hubspot and Hootsuite offer social media badges to recognize education achievements that customers can upload to LinkedIn and share on their social media profiles.

Coordinate with the marketing team to regularly schedule social media post updates each week. Note: Upon scale, it’s recommended to brand universities with their own social media presences (ex/ Hootsuite University). With sufficient advance notice, marketing teams are usually amenable to coordinating their social media efforts with CEMs and CSMs.

Strategy #2: Harness social media listening tools to optimize the customer education experience.

Social listening tools like Hootsuite and Buffer are great for discovering relevant  customer education feedback being shared on various social media platforms. For example, if a customer tweets that they laughed while watching one of your education videos that includes some well-delivered humor, you can catch it through listening tools, then effectively engage with the content by responding to it and/or re-posting the share (with permission from the customer, of course).

Sometimes, people tweet that they've had a positive experience with a CEM/CSM and that it's worth retweeting or cross-posting on various platforms. By regularly monitoring relevant conversations through social media listening tools and following up on any potential relevant posts or tweets, you can get valuable feedback that you might otherwise miss. Plus, in addition to catering to your current customers in a personalized way, prospective customers browsing your social media profiles will get a birds-eye view into your commitment to customer success.

It’s important to note that this strategy also applies to discovering negative (or potentially negative) feedback and transforming it into a positive outcome. By addressing their concerns, your customers will really appreciate your dedication to helping them succeed.

Strategy #3: Interface with your digital marketing department to influence and develop ongoing, robust customer education-driven social media campaigns.

Even if they're technically out of his or her scope, product development teams can gain valuable insights from being in regular communication with a customer-facing CSM or CEM. In turn, CEMs have good reason to get involved with their company’s social media strategy and can offer valuable content that will complement existing social media campaigns.

Gainsight's LinkedIn integration

Gainsight recently announced an integration with LinkedIn that alerts their users to a change at their customer’s company that affects the internal champion or sponsor (aka the person who is taking your courses, engaging as the point person, etc.). If your sponsor leaves to work for another company, get in touch with the new rep to ensure the relationship continues with your current customer. Help guide your former customer contact to use your software at their new company, as they’re already likely to be familiar with your product and will likely be very willing to advocate for your product.

Finally, work with your digital marketing teams to highlight the work CEMs and CSMs are doing on a regular basis, including posting photos and blogs highlighting the culture and methods of your success department.

Final Thoughts

Effective use of social media is a crucial component of customer education and success strategy. It’s important to understand your customers and their goals on social media in order to optimize their education experience, and simultaneously help attract your ideal customers. By using the three strategies outlined above, you’ll contribute to best-practice social media campaigns that will elevate your work in customer education above the crowd.  

Originally published Oct 29, 2014 8:24:00 PM, updated Mar 2, 2015