November 19, 2010
As brands adopt and implement more social media marketing in house, so the demand for enhancing social skills and capabilities is growing.
But building social capabilities takes more than a one day training course. Perfecting your social media skills means doing it. Social media is a vocational discipline – it is best learnt with action. Simply because social is, well, social. It is about people and the nuances in behaviours, conversations and etiquette that can only be picked up by living and breathing the communication.
A chat the other day with our insights analyst, Melissa, is a case in point. We were talking about unearthing conversation trends for a client. “It’s about instinct”, she said. And went on to explain how she reads the chatter to get a ‘feel’ for the direction of conversations, as much as she analyses the data.
Adopting a social approach to communication requires ongoing immersion. It needs a proper internal programme of mentoring, support and leadership. It needs knowledge drivers and they fall into three core areas:
Social People are Mr (or Mrs) Motivators
It suffices to say that social media is all about people. And never more so than internally where you need champions to help make the change. In any organisation you need at least two types of motivators to ensure social media uptake. The evangelist, or better still the change catalyst (thank you @andismit), that drives momentum and inspires change. And the leaders. The senior executives who want the business to change and are prepared to lead by example.
Process at the heart of social
The social media leader also plays a significant role in ensuring business and marketing processes are evolved to meet social communication. It is the changes in practices that create the biggest differences. People want to learn how to do things better, and processes can facilitate and liberate exploration and innovation.
Social Media Enablers
Social media needs technology enablers. Even in its most basic form, companies wanting to develop social skills need to have monitoring tools. Whether they are paid or free, someone needs to choose and someone needs to understand how to maximise them. Then there is social CRM, workflow and productivity tools and simply new and emerging platforms.
We have been delivering social media training for a few years now on the certificate and diploma for the Institute of Direct Marketing; with the Chartered Institute of Marketing; and in our work with many brands. It is clear that those students that get support – so they can go and practice and play with social media – go on to execute successful social media initiatives.