“According to a recent Altimeter survey, 62% of companies report having no social media education programs in place.” source
If you own a business and use social media to connect with your customers, share news and events or listen to feedback, then you need to invest in educating your employees. Now I know that not every business is the same and not everyone can afford/want to bring in an outside agency to train staff but that shouldn’t stand in the way of creating a program to educate your employees.
Over the years I have seen businesses flounder online and yes, even fail due in part to the lack of social media education and also a lack of commitment from owners and employees to learn to use the tools and remain consistent with their efforts. Whether it is you that says “it’s not my job” or your employees/vendors/partners that don’t support or even deride your online efforts – it IS your job to educate yourself and your staff on how to best represent your company, connect with your community online and help you keep your doors open. If you personally don’t believe in and/or appreciate what social media can do for your business, how can you expect your employees to?
Now I am not saying that social media will solve all of your problems. It won’t.
Social Media is one tool in your shed to help you communicate with the very people that support your business. People you see, speak to and work with everyday. Social media is a way to share your excitement and passion for what you do and listen to the feedback of and engage with your customers. The key words here are communicate with NOT broadcast to. Having sporadic, half assed or hollow online efforts, not listening to and engaging with your online community and doing all of it without owner/employee support (photos, blog posts, likes, shares, RTs) is a sure fire way for you to miss out on an amazing opportunity to grow your business.
Social media isn’t just for sharing funny cat photos with your friends, or telling them what you had for breakfast. In the right hands, it’s a powerful tool — in the job hunt and on the job. – Ryan Holmes, CEO at Hootsuite
I’m sure your’ve heard this before (and probably rolled your eyes) but if you are the owner, partner or in the C suite – knowing how and actually using social media is will only strengthen your brand’s online efforts. Condsider yourself the biggest cheerleader. . . and if you aren’t willing to ‘walk the walk’ and cheer the cheer so to speak don’t expect your employees to support your brand online. You may also want to read this.
Are you an employee who thinks that all this social media stuff is bunk? Well, you may enjoy this piece written by CEO at Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes:
Wondering where to start creating your own education program?
- ASK your employees if they want to be more involved online – you may be surprised.
- Before you expect your employees to help you with social media – you should think about how you intend to compensate your employees for their added social media responsibilities. Don’t ask them to work for free or add social media to their existing responsibilities without compensation, education, training and direction.
- If you have employees, you may want to create your own social media policy for FREE. Not sure why a social media policy is important? Read this.
- Talk to an agency or consultant (like me) and discuss where you and your employees need help. Whom ever you hire can set up a schedule to train you and your staff that basics of the social media tools your brand should use, give you tips on best practices, keep you up to date on the latest news and tools you need to stay competitive, and be there for you when you have questions.
- Not everyone has a budget for consultation or training. This is why I have gathered FAQs, added relevant links from industry leaders, added walk throughs from the social media sites themselves and even added my own two cents to help you learn on your own. I have a ton of FREE RESOURCES* but they won’t do you any good unless you understand that social media takes time and is NOT an instant fix. You have to do the work.
- Social Media Management and monitoring tool Hootsuite offers a great resource with Hootsuite University.
“In today’s rapidly-evolving media landscape, social media has not only become a fundamental tool for communication, but a must-have skill in a multitude of industries.”
- Subscribe to Hootsuite University YouTube Channel – THIS IS GOLD. each video is about 3 min. or less and covers more than just Hootsuite. Tips, best practices – it’s all there!