Keys to Delivering Essential Social Media Training

Keys to Delivering Essential Social Media Training
August 12, 2011

If social media is becoming (or already is) a large component of your marketing strategy, it’s important to approach it holistically. I’m a big believer in the idea that a strong and actionable social presence can only be achieved through a company-wide effort. So if you’re getting serious about seeing a return on your social media and are looking to get more colleagues involved, then social media training needs to be an important piece of your marketing plan.

Depending on the size of your business, the level of involvement you can realistically expect will vary. It may very well be impossible for everyone to take part in a large company, while a small business may require everyone’s participation. Regardless of how many people you will potentially have onboard, everyone should know what’s going on with the company’s social initiatives, at the very least.

Here are several solutions I’ve come across which should be of use to developing your own training program:

Go to them (don’t expect them to come to you)

                Reaching out is important. Again, depending on the makeup of your company, employees’ familiarity with specific social channels, as well as the concept of social media, may be lacking. Get out there and see what people need help with. Get a good sense of the range of experience your organization has and plan your counseling around that. I would personally recommend working at the level of your least experienced co-workers, who show interest, so as to not leave potentially valuable contributors behind.   

Understand which aspects make sense

                Not every single channel or digital strategy will be useful to your marketing efforts. In the interest of respecting peoples’ time and keeping from overwhelming them, be judicious about what it is you really want to teach them. If you’re B2B, LinkedIn will probably be an important channel to generally overview as well as what your company is doing on it, while Facebook, not so much. If you’re looking to ramp up your content marketing efforts, then blogging and Twitter may be better avenues to highlight. Just make sure that your training actually aligns with your marketing goals and is only as broad as it needs to be.

Training Sessions

                The Lunch & Learn is a powerful tool. Have a 45 minute walkthrough of a particular social media facet, where people can ask questions, make comments, and share ideas. For those who can’t make it, be sure to create on demand supplements of your training. Here is a high-level video for Getting Started on Twitter I recently created for the office. Notice that it’s pretty basic, but everyone can always go back and reference this for a steady foundation:

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Communicate value…and deliver it

                Getting an understanding for social media is becoming a proven benefit in the workplace. Make sure your co-workers understand that this extra effort will pay dividends in their own marketability and business effectiveness. Be sure to include into your trainings tips and tricks on how to utilize social media for a personal benefit as well and point out which channels, resources, and use cases of social are worthy of their personal time. As I said, social media training should be aligned with marketing goals but make sure you cater enough of it to establish a buy-in. 

Training for every organization will be a unique process but nevertheless, an important one. Do you have any social media training stories? Please share in the comments!