“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn,” said Ben Franklin about social media training never. But his message holds true anyway.
Most organizations use social media channels in some way as part of their daily business. Most often, it’s in sales, marketing or customer service. The use of social media technologies and practices is restricted to those who have the word ‘social’ in their job title.
But, if a company is to realize fully the benefits of social media, it’s not enough to have a small team of experts carrying the baton.[bctt tweet=” Social touches every part of the organization and each employee should know and understand how it fits into his or her own role.” username=”Sherrilynne”]
Not every employee has the same learning requirements however. Depending on the job, training might focus on the basics, technology, best practices or business strategy.
Every single employee from the new intern to the CEO needs to know about the social media policy; they must understand how it works, what sanctions are applied and how to comply.
Basic training should position the social media policy as a framework for employees to make appropriate and smart decisions. What to do if your boss sends you a Facebook friend request? What if a customer starts to follow you on Instagram? The goal is to equip employees with the knowledge, and judgement, to make the right choices.
Social Media Ambassadors
Taking this a step further can help individuals transition from being just employees to being social media ambassadors. Providing deeper knowledge of the use of tools and platforms, or providing training in context of the business objectives, can empower staff members to use their own social networks on behalf of the employer. For example, a major fashion brand might provide specific training on Pinterest or a museum might train staff to take excellent quality digital photographs for Instagram.
Many employees, especially those in the front lines with customers, need training in how to use social media in performing their duties. Subject matter experts could benefit from social media training too. For example, getting product experts tweeting about new innovations and researchers blogging about their work will expand a company’s digital footprint. The goal is not only to provide these individuals with knowledge of social media tools and how to use the platforms, but to provide them with a level of skill and knowledge which will inform business and operational strategies going forward.
Executives will need training too if they are going to buy in. Often trained one-on-one, it’s important to educate executives about the business benefits of social media. The focus should be on social media’s role in the achievement of specific business outcomes. Are Facebook friends become paying customers? Does social media be attract top candidates? How could a tweet impact share value?
Will this be the year your organization realizes the full potential of social media? Make it so by giving the whole team, staff, management and company executives, the knowledge and skills they need.
Umm, my absurd sense of paranoia has me thinking that was a little dig at the end, the please read and learn the “20 stages of social media integration”.
Then again I am thinking you are far to tolerant, smart and nice to throw out a chestnut like that.
Anyway, I guess we have concluded out discussion, shame no one else chipped in for a little more perspective as we seem to view your post quite differently (or the strategy within said post)
Best of luck going forward
John, I agree the companies need help with social media as they do with all marketing and communications. Otherwise I’d have to roll up the carpets and go home! But, I think you might benefit from reading up on the 20 stages of social media integration (PS, all organizations will become social — resistance is futile). 🙂 http://www.briansolis.com/2010/01/the-10-stages-of-social-media-integration-in-business/
While I accept your point to a degree, a lot of what you say is almost “idealistic”.
While you say why would a client outsource something so crucial, this practice is repeated within every aspect of business today, I really don’t want to get down to semantics here, but a company specialising in Pharmaceutical product production (as an example) specialise in that very field, the company probably don’t have an in-house legal team (its outsourced to a legal firm), they don’t deliver their products themselves (is outsourced to a logistics firm), I am sure you can see where I am going. Of course within their company they would have a logistics manager ,probably even a legal expert, but its their job and mandate to communicate with senior management on how aspects of their particular business is developing.
And to keep with the theme of a Pharmaceutical company (obviously this could be any industry or niche market), why do you think something like “Social Media”, or indeed any form of marketing should be any different. Once again, yes in most cases their may be a team championed to deal with this aspect of their business, generally this is who we would communicate with, be it a team or in smaller companies a person.
And yes its imperative that a company is to scope with a plan of action, but unless they decide to hire a team of experts internally within their organisation to mange all aspects of their social presence, why else would they partner with a company to manage that aspect of their business, its no more crucial to a company that for example the logistics company who deliver their products to their customers. Its all relative. (and yes, as you have probably seen from my email, we work within this market and pro-actively work with a variety of client of all different business sizes)
I respect your opinion and of course I am entitled to disagree to a certain level with what you say, maybe ideally your scenario is correct, specifically in certain business segments, but realistically, its not practical or viable (in my opinion)
I respectfully disagree. I would never advise a client to outsource social media lock, stock and barrel. This important channel is a lifeline to customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders. Why would any smart organization outsources something so crucial? In terms of training a CEO, of course no one expects a senior executive to be responsible for manning the Twitter feed, but getting executives onside, understanding the full benefit that social brings to the business, is crucial in its adoption.
Good article, but glaringly it does not take into consideration that many companies, particularly larger firms outsource their Social needs, so while its imperative that both the agencies and companies immediately involved staff are “well adverse with the social policy”, filtering it down to the staff, or indeed to a CEO who probably has a business to manage,is neither reality, or applicable.