Social media represents your business to the online world. With an ever-growing percentage of the population using and engaging in social media, these websites and platforms give you a way to showcase your business’s services, goods, and principles. The last term on this list is especially important. Think of social media as an extension of your business that allows your customers to see the “real” you. What we mean is this: whatever posts are associated with your company will be seen as a reflection on your brand’s character. This has a direct influence on your sales, revenue, likeability, and profit.
Because of this, it’s important that you establish mandatory social media training for all of your employees. Though you cannot hope to know what your employees will post on social media, if you don’t have a proper social media training program in place, you may be held responsible by the general public for the posts of your employees. To offset this and the damaging effects it can have on business, every employee should be trained in proper social media conduct.
The other option is to outsource your company’s social media management so that your posts are managed by a separate company. While this may be viable, it costs more than having your employees trained to manage it for you. One such marketing business, Social Frequency, charges over $650 a month to help you manage your business’s social media. The costs of doing this can quickly add up, making effective employee training a more cost-efficient way to have your social media reflect the positive values of your business.
Because conducting training can be daunting at first, we have outlined seven of the essential steps your business must take in order to reach its social media marketing goals.
Step 1: Establish a Certification Program
This is the overarching goal that you should aim for when training your employees to manage social media. Money should be invested in establishing a real program that will help train employees on how to manage social media posts and what type of posts are acceptable. There are multiple considerations you should make when undertaking a fully-fledged program, and we will discuss them in detail below. For now, however, it’s important to talk about the structure of the program so that you can achieve the results that you need.
The program should be just that: a real program. This means that employees should not only progress through different lessons and units about social media, but their understanding and comprehension of the topic should be evaluated in order to ensure they grasp the content. Only after completing all coursework – and you are sure that they are ready – should they receive certification to manage your social media.
You should make sure that there are real benefits to receiving certification – a raise, special privileges, granting of social media access – so that employees are motivated to actually undergo training. If they lack motivation, not only will they not want to undergo the program, they will also likely not perform as well.
Though it may seem costly to add a new program that you must manage to your business, you must realise that it’s cheaper than the alternative of hiring a marketing company to do it for you. The social media climate of today makes proper social media management an important part of every company’s success.
Step 2: Competition
Once you establish your program, you should work on ways to ensure that your employees are motivated to complete it. One such way is to make the program competitive. Competition helps boost performance and motivation, increasing employee engagement and making the program more effective overall.
There are multiple ways of making your program more competitive. You can add extra incentives for doing well. For example, you can add “certification with honors” or other titles to the program, each with different perks or more prestige and advantages earned through your company.
Another thing to do is keep strict scores of what employees are doing and by rewarding those who score well. These perks can be of your choosing and fit the individual needs of your business. By personalising your program to your business’s specific needs, you can make sure that employees can link the important concepts of social media management to your business.
A great competitive idea is to have your employees design sample social media posts that could represent your company or run a mock social media campaign and then evaluate who did the job best. This gives you the ability to not only assess how well your employees are understanding the key concepts but also to see which employees are best at using this information to help your business. Not only that, your employees also get the chance to show off what they have learned, giving them an incentive to work harder and do better in front of others.
Step 3: Group Learning
Making sure that you are training your employees in a fun and engaging manner helps make the program more successful. By engaging your employees in group projects, you can give them the opportunity to work on exciting projects and also bounce ideas off one another. This furthers their understanding of the concept and gives them a way to learn to work together to manage your company’s social media.
Just as importantly, group projects allow your employees to share their concerns with one another and raise questions. Because you are training them together, you can see which areas of training are particularly ineffective and see where your employees struggle the most. This gives you the opportunity to get more useful feedback to help improve your training as time goes by. And, for employees who don’t understand some parts of training, they can then talk to colleagues and work out another way to learn the material from one another. This makes group learning an effective means of improving your social media management program.
Step 4: Set Specific Goals
This is one of the most important factors when it comes to implementing a successful social media management campaign. If you expect your employees to be able to use social media to the maximum benefit of the company, you will need to set specific goals.
Setting specific goals will allow employees to know exactly what you want from them. This is essential in communicating your expectations and desires for your staff.
Furthermore, setting specific goals will show your employees that you know what to expect. Employees look to you for leadership, and if you appear unconfident or unsure of your own expectations, your employees may be less responsive to the goals you set.
Step 5: Keep It Updated
This one may seem obvious, but you need to keep your social media campaign and staff updated. This means knowing what social media platforms are most popular and which ones can be used to the maximum benefit of your company.
It also means that you should be aware of the current social media etiquette. Some concepts and ideas that were appropriate for social media in the past are no longer considered proper or politically correct. You do not want to find yourself in a tight situation because you are unable to keep up with the current social climate.
You can help your employees stay updated about all of this by requiring them to update their certification and training on an annual basis. This will ensure that all of your employees understand what is acceptable and what is not, and it will give your business a leg up in the current social media climate. It will also show that you are a business dedicated to high standards and committed to excellence.
Step 6: Use Engaging Learning Material
None of us likes to learn from boring materials. This means that it is probably not a good idea to make all of your certification or training programs a series of boring lectures. This will only leave your employees bored, tired, and possibly still not fully aware of all that is expected of them.
Instead, you should focus on investing in such learning materials as videos. Videos can be a fun way for your employees to learn about social media etiquette, and though you will spend a little bit more money, you will notice that the results will be better.
Having a fun learning environment will also show your employees that you not only care about the company, but you also care about them. They will respect you more if you show them that you can go out of your way for them.
Using engaging training materials will help ensure that your employees remember and follow the rules and guidelines you expect when it comes to social media and your business. There is nothing more important than this in your social media campaign. As noted, if your employees are not in touch with your expectations, they will not be able to properly represent your company on a social media platform.
Step 7: Add Positions
You can even create positions, such as “social media specialist” or “social media coordinator” for your most qualified employees or even create a whole department tasked with monitoring and updating social media. These positions and mandate will help ensure quality and continued success, and they will also take some of the burden off your shoulders.
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