Some B2B technology and consulting companies are beginning to see the power of social marketing, not as a means to an end (the social networks) but as the end itself (positive customer engagement).
They realize that it all began with the power of the “customer testimonial”. And they understand that when that testimonial went from “static” to “interactive” (via social networks) that it became much more credible, because it was so much more genuine coming from customers themselves, in a real-time format.
For many companies, it stops there, and becomes a never-ending effort to keep up with the social network’s ability to monetize their use of the means … while never quite realizing the end.
THAT is what customers are buying: a cost-justifiable end result, like revenue growth, or positive investor relations, or enhanced recruiting power. Providers are just the means to those types of “ends”.
It’s Not About YOU – Social Marketing is About The Successful Outcomes You Enable.
While searching for social marketing or customer success programs you’ll find collaboration and customer care apps, even online community builders which are designed to help you refine customer engagement.
But if you’re already a successful solution provider, then you’ve already enabled customer successes. Social marketing can be used very effectively to “co-market” those successes.
While most companies praise their own “Unprecedented 3rd Quarter Growth”, or their “100% Migration Success Rate” or their “100% Customer Satisfaction Ratings” , some companies are engaging with their customers post acquisition and asking, “What did we help you to successfully accomplish?”
Of those companies, some are busy growing and nurturing their own proprietary customer communities and inviting their prospects to join in the conversation. In so doing, they won’t have to risk having their own customer’s voices “throttled back” by a third-party social network, monetizing their “fan feed”.
Those companies won’t run dry on their blog post or PR wire or newsletter content, as long as they find ways to reward customer’s for authoring the best marketing content they could ever hope for – true life testimonials coming from their own customers about the successes they’ve helped to enable.
Are YOU ready to be THAT company?
If so, then your next press release is all about your customer’s incredible 3rd Quarter Growth, or 100% Success Rate (and of course the byline shows it’s coming from you).
You have all that great content, coming directly from your customers, through your own CUSTOMER SUCCESS PROGRAM, which rewards them for many things – among them, the best article submitted to you each month about what they accomplished by being your customer. And of course they’ll agree to make that story public, because you’re co-marketing their success, which positively reflects back on you.
And that’s just good marketing: subtle, humble, social, and all about your customer’s success – not your own, even though you’re showing (not saying) that your own success is measured by that.
Have you started your CUSTOMER SUCCESS PROGRAM YET?
(This article covers one of 4 core concepts from a consultative review of a global platform modernization company’s marketing plan. To implement a Customer Success Program for your organization, feel free to contact me)