Your biggest advocate is your own team. Despite having your best asset at your own disposal, social media and communications is so often considered the role of the marketer and companies fail to realise the benefits of getting employees across the company to promote the business message.
What are the benefits of getting all employees involved in social media?
Too often marketers are focussing on ‘pushing’ the message and news but where does the true personality and interaction for the company come from? Some social media channels are targeted for customer complaints, so why not have someone from customer services handle the account or get their input? Why should only one person’s point of view be heard? Surely to know the brand, customers would be interested in better understanding the company at all levels? Therefore surely when blogging – involve the whole team? Social media should become a part of the business.
However just emailing your staff and asking for them to start posting on social media or write a blog post, is probably not going to get you anywhere – they need to understand “why” before they can take action and get involved.
Without being properly trained, employees won’t understand the power and potential of social media and how they can get involved.
By getting everyone involved or getting their input, will not only provide valuable insights into the various areas of the business but will also give you support and buy-in from the whole company and more content for your marketing, which is great if you are struggling to find enough content to post or blog about. Also who knows … that person in the sales team may be a really good videographer or the director may be a budding writer!
What about online security or what if an employee says the wrong thing on social media?
Whoever is responsible for looking after your social media channels, it is important that they are trained to know how to carry out this role effectively and responsibly if they are, at any point, representing the company.
You need to have policies in place to manage your online reputation and you also need someone to oversee everything – perhaps a community manager or someone who can motivate everyone and co-ordinate the content and then ensure the message and tone of voice is right before it is put online or ensure the right keywords are included to help with your SEO strategy.
There are also social media management tools which allow for team members to add and schedule posts for review. The manager can then check them and edit them if need be before posting it live.
What if I train my staff and they leave and take that knowledge and resource with them?
Too often the excuses in lack of training are brought down to three core reasons:
- budget or budget cuts
- being able to identify the value in training and how it truly impacts on the business
- the fear that staff will leave with the knowledge, paid for by the company
To be brutally honest – it’s a narrow minded view which is only detrimental to the company’s long term success. Instead there are ways to approach training which ensures you’re engaging staff, encouraging genuine and authentic conversation and building brand loyalty. Fear that training will be wasted and staff will leave, should not be the deciding factor in how you want to grow your business.
How do I evaluate what social media training will be best?
If one of the factors in evaluating training is cost, ensure you choose a company which specifically tailors their training to your company and business so you get the best ROI (return on investment) on your spend. Some training offered by companies can be very generic and scrape the surface only, but if you chose the right company who will dig a little deeper into the industry you serve, they’ll be able to provide the best insights and tips which will benefit your business more.
Make sure you have an ongoing training plan in place as it is a fast-paced digital world out there and social media is continually changing and evolving.
Also training is an ongoing process – there will always be questions which will arise when theory is put into practice and your chosen agency should include a follow up session up to a month after training to see what has been implemented and where feedback and advice can be provided or questions answered. That way staff don’t feel overwhelmed by their new role and know where to start or at least avoid hitting a brick wall because of the first hurdle.
Why should I invest in training my employees?
The simple answer is that we can’t do everything ourselves! We are only human and need to acknowledge that our weakness can be someone else’s strength and by relinquishing control we may even find a better solution. It also ensures they have the right tools to do the job better.
By sharing the responsibility you’re empowering your employees to be part of business growth, thus developing a much stronger and motivated team.
You can often tell a company who doesn’t believe in training by looking at their staff turnover. Often it’s these same companies who adopt that ‘tick box’ attitude without really looking to see what would be truly beneficial for their staff, for example:
- they won’t provide training and tell them they should just learn on the job
- sending them on training which is too generic or not applicable to their role
- not asking them what specific areas they need training on so it can be more beneficial and effective
I saw a great quote from Michael J Fox “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn” – which is also true of training and the style and method chosen to help each member of staff.
Training should be a part of everyday business, continually learning and keeping up with the latest trends and technology to not only keep ahead of your competitors, but also to ensure you know which channels and solutions work best for your own business. By investing in the right training, you’re going to see the results.
Share the same vision of success and your business will grow
Imagine your company is a garden. You have to regularly tend to that garden to make sure it is in its best condition. Likewise you have to water the plants to make them grow and bloom and when they do, not only will their spectacular display wow you, but in return their roots dig further into the ground.
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