Tag Archives: social Media guidelines.

How to Run an Internal Social Media Training Workshop

So, you want to make your organization more social? Congratulations. It’s a smart move given that social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail, or PPC according to a recent study by Hubspot this year.

If you cannot budget funding for a social media strategist to come in, how can you run an internal social media workshop? Couple of things you need to realize and do in order to be successful.

Step 1: Not Everyone Will Participate

Accept this now. Not everyone in your organization with jump on the social media bandwagon. I learned this the hard way. Even after running multiple workshops on how you can sell, engage, and network more there are still people who will throw their hands up and say, “I don’t have time for this.” Leverage the folks who already using social media to influence others. If you can get even 10 percent more people involved in your companies social media efforts it is a win. Not everyone will be an adopter to this new medium, so plan for it.

Step 2: Create a Playbook

Single best advice I every received was from Wendy, director of digital strategy from the Red Cross. I attended her session at DC’s Social Media Week in 2012 in which she shared with the audience this nugget, “you need to provide people with guidelines.” So simply, but this step is often overlooked.

Embracing this concept, my social media specialist and I developed a social media playbook. Best thing I did because it outlined the foundation of what I was expecting from employees, social media tips, best practices when engaging online. Don’t assume people will understand how social media works. The playbook is key in training.  I outlined what should be included in a social media playbook in a post last year titled Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch. Here is my personal example to use as a reference on how you can build a playbook.

 

 

Step 3: Practice What Your Preach

Most likely if you are running this workshop, you are already using social media. If you are not active using social media, then get active. You can’t expect people in your company to take you seriously if you are not actually using social media.  You don’t have to be a social media ninja, guru, or change agent to convey the best practices. You just need to be enthusiastic and passionate. I got involved in social media back in 2008 when I figured out how that word of mouth marketing was going digital.  This doesn’t mean you can’t get there; just don’t think you need some fancy title to deliver a quality program. Answer these questions and you will be well on your way, “Why Should I Care?” and “What’s In It For Me?”

Step 4: Build Your Workshop for Beginners

For the most part, if you are kicking off a workshop, you need to design it with the beginner in mind.  Why? Most folks are using social media for personal connections (hello, most people have a Facebook account and think just having an account is what social media is about). Think of this presentation as a selling your team on the concept. Don’t assume they know anything. When I developed my social media workshop I tried to create a presentation that was interactive and informative. It was filled with plenty of best practices and examples for folks to us. Here is an excerpt.

Step 5: Repetition is Learning

Perhaps my experience teaching was a great primer for teaching adults to use social media. Don’t think you will do this workshop and that is the end. “One and Done” it is not. Plan on folks to ask questions and follow up with you. For people who were generally confused or didn’t know how to do something on Twitter or LinkedIn, I organized meetings to review.  We also created an internal social media group on our intranet to upload articles and tips to help folks along. Essentially, I never stopped teaching. Whether it was by example or direct meetings with folks, I had an open door policy for folks to ask questions. Best thing you can do to create internal advocates for social media is to be a teacher. Be accessible and open.

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Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch (Part 4)

In my past entries I explained the four things I learning while implementing a corporate social media strategy.

4)    Social Media Needs to Involve Others, but There’s a Catch

My final point or tip I learn is that everyone needs to participate in social media, otherwise your efforts will be 1) minimized and 2) only seen as a marketing or communications “thing.” Let’s be clear that I am not advocating that everyone in your organization needs to “tweet” or post your company’s business on their Facebook. Rather instead of focusing on the 100 percent, focus on those who are interested and want to participate. If they “raise their hand” make sure your provide them with social media guidelines or a playbook. This doesn’t need to be the length of War and Peace, however, should provide your employees with guidance on what not to do and what is considered acceptable.

A good example is Red Cross Social Media Playbook.

If that’s too in-depth, here is what I focused on with our company (outline):

  • FAQ
  • When You Engage
  • Procedures ( essentially, what you should and should not be doing)
  • Our style guide on social media
  • How we response to flagrant or negative comments (response)

The above may be too much or too little, but ultimately you want to give your people some guidance before letting them loose. While social media may be free, the impact on your brand is forever. Anything that lives on Twitter or LinkedIn is for everyone to not only see, but also make an impression.

Ultimately, while it is create to have hundreds of your employees be your brand ambassadors (think Zappos), you still need to tread with caution. Not because your folks will do the unthinkable, but because if you do not set the expectation of what you expect from them, you will be disappointed or worse embarrassed. Not everyone thinks before before they post. You would be surprise on the number of inappropriate or ridiculous posts I have seen with folks who thought they were living the brand.

It is worth a conversation with your HR team too. Make sure you work with your internal stakeholders to ensure everyone is on the same page.