Christine Yoshida Head ShotAt Comms Multilingual, we are very interested in the latest developments within the assessment and certification industries. To that end, we are asking industry experts to provide guest contributions to our blog, which we hope will be of interest to our community.

This post is the third in a series from Christine Yoshida, President & Principal Consultant of Enlitefy, Inc.

With over 20 years’ experience with some of the largest program sponsors in IT, Christine has in-depth expertise in creating, launching, and managing successful certification programs that benefit millions of IT workers around the world for Apple, Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Blue Jeans Network. Christine also offers training and certification consulting services through Enlitefy, Inc.

In my last post I offered tips on how to build content with your customer involved throughout the process. This month, let’s look at ways you can launch your program using social media, with your customer as your biggest champion.

Enlitefy Process

Enlitefy Process

Go Social

In the third, “launching” phase, take your closest customers with you as you announce your program. If you’ve involved customers in your Strategy and Building phases, by now you’ve been able to nurture a loyal group of evangelist customers to help spread the word about your program. You can now invite them to join you in launch activities such as an informational webinar about your program, a panel discussion at an industry conference, a PR interview, or providing direct quotes to amplify your message. In addition to live events, email blasts, advertising, and PR, I highly recommend integrating a social media approach to your launch activities. Not only does it offer a low- or no-cost solution, but it offers the potential to reach many more people. My go-to’s for social media are blogging and LinkedIn.

Blogging

Leverage your organization’s blog to announce your program, highlighting the benefits and value. Include a clear call to action (CTA) for your target audience with actionable next steps such as registering for a webinar or signing up for an exam.  Ask close customers to blog about your program either as a guest blogger on your organization’s blog, or on their own blog.

LinkedIn

Use LinkedIn’s long-form Post feature to announce your program. You can also ask a close customer to do so. As with your blog, include a clear CTA and actionable links. Most importantly, ask colleagues and customers with many LinkedIn connections (such as your CEO) to “share” the post. This increases the possibility of your post “going viral.” You can also use LinkedIn to share blog posts on other sites and any of your other online assets.

Additional LinkedIn features I recommend using at launch include creating a private LinkedIn group for those who participate in or complete your program, as well as a Showcase page dedicated to your program. You can even create a digital badge on LinkedIn that makes it easy for individuals who have earned your certification to display your logo within their profiles. Your closest customers can become the first to join the group or display the digital badge. All of these no-cost activities result in amplification of your message and raise awareness to potentially millions of LinkedIn users.

Next Blog Post

Next month I’ll be sharing my tips for the fourth phase in the process: growing the reach of your program.

Other posts in this series

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Developing a Certification Program (Part 1): Defining Your Strategy

In this post we look at the first in a series of steps to be addressed when developing a certification program: strategy.
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Developing a Certification Program (Part 2): Build Content

In the second phase, and in this post Christine focuses in on the next phase of the process: building learning content.
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