Harness the real value of social media training & don’t leave it all to your social media bods!

By if-admin | September 3, 2013

training, social media, social business

As social media carries on evolving at lightning speed, the knowledge and skill set divide continues to widen.  To be able to fully unlock the power of social media for your business, you need to think beyond the team who manages your branded social media presence and look at the bigger picture. You need to mobilise your own army – the people in your business. They are your best advocates.

And you can’t rely on your employees to do this all by themselves – someone needs to take responsibility for helping them to grow their social media expertise. This is where training comes in to play.

What’s the value of training, you ask?

  • Boosted employee confidence in using social media
  • Consistency across employee social media activity
  • Wider employee understanding of the business value offered by social media
  • Increased employee social media activity levels, leading to wider reach and improved brand awareness

And finally, but perhaps most importantly, peace of mind that your employees have been educated as to what they can and cannot do or say on social media. Through training, you are essentially providing a level of protection for your business by covering all your bases.

So, how do you know if social media training is something your business needs to consider?

  • Do your research: You might want to conduct a survey to gauge employee social media skills, confidence levels and understanding of social media. Alternatively, ask them directly if they feel training in social media would be useful – a quick and easy way to get your answer.
  • Look to the top: Your senior level employees are likely to be the most influential within your business, but does this influence currently extend to their social media profiles and networks? If not, perhaps they may need support firstly in understanding the value of social media, and secondly in knowing the best way to go about it.
  • Think about what you are trying to achieve: Are you looking to use social media to boost brand awareness? Drive sales? Or position your business as a thought leader? Then, ask yourself how training of employees might help you to achieve these goals.
  • Encourage strategic thinking: Even if employees are comfortable with using and engaging in social media on a personal level, they might not be thinking about how they can use it from a business perspective. Do you need to promote your social strategy to get their buy-in, and subsequent participation? Don’t let social media sit in a silo.
  • Promote your social media policy: Having a social media policy in place is imperative – without one your business is exposed. Besides having one in place, you need to visibly make efforts to drive awareness of its existence within the business.

Once you’ve decided that training is a necessary step, make sure you spend enough time with those involved to fully understand WHAT exactly they would like to learn and achieve. Given the wide-ranging ability levels in social media, you need to take the time to fully understand your audience, before diving head first into the content!

Lastly, once training is completed, ask employees for their feedback and make sure they have someone they can turn to if they need to float social media questions or queries.

For more information on social media training, drop us a line @iftweeter or kate.eglinton@immediatefuture.co.uk

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