One of the biggest small business challenges with social media is scaling efforts. There are only so many hours in a day for business owners to engage with their customers through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging. The best way to scale social media is to leverage employees and to provide them with social media training on best practices, content development, measuring return on investment, community management, among other items.
Here are 6 tips to provide an excellent social media training experience to your employees:
1. Share Knowledge
In many businesses, knowledge sharing is lacking for the fact that no systems are set up to disseminate information in a central place. For the budget conscious, the easiest way to get started with knowledge sharing is to set up a free Wikispaces account.
Wikispaces provides a space for employees to share articles, reports, guidelines, pictures, video, and many other pieces of content. The website provides multiple permissions for viewing and editing content, so you will not have to worry about employees changing information without control.
Another site that is great for real time knowledge sharing is Yammer. It functions like Twitter, where short updates can be seen in a newsfeed. This is a site for sharing quick articles or last minute updates to projects or events.
2. Hold Monthly Forums
In order to keep everyone engaged and on-track with your small business’s social media training program, try holding monthly forums where employees can present their latest social media projects. This is a great way for recognizing the successes. In addition, failures should be presented as well, so people can get a sense of what doesn’t work in social media. Overall, this can provide a huge morale boost to the organization.
Within these forums, small business owners will get a chance to communicate the vision of the company’s social media program. If everyone shares the same vision, efforts will be more focused, which will lead to increased productivity amongst employees.
3. Share Monthly Reports with all Key Stakeholders
Reporting is a key activity within social media, and it serves as an effective piece of the training program. If more employees understand the key performance indicators, there will be a sense of ownership for the results. Not only is this a motivator, it will increase employees’ analytical skills. This can be as simple as attaching the reports to a company-wide e-mail or sharing them in Wikispaces.
4. Have Employees Attend Webinars
Today, webinars are one of the most effective ways to share content with a large audience. Many companies offer them for free in exchange for contact information.
Gather a small group of employees, and offer to block out 1 hour of their time each week to attend a webinar. This will get them interested in subjects that are presented, and it might even inspire them to experiment with their newly gained knowledge.
5. Send Employees to Conferences
The experts say that in order to be good at business due to social media, you need to develop meaningful relationships. The best way to form relationships online is to bridge the digital gap by meeting colleagues in real life. This will increase the reach of your employees’ networks, which will turn into increased reach for your business’s content.
Conferences are an open forum for knowledge sharing between colleagues. It would be surprising if your employees didn’t return with one or two new ideas for your social media program.
6. Allow Employees to Experiment with Content Development
Finally, you should not be afraid to allow your employees to experiment with different forms of content. Let them try shooting video or writing e-books. You will be fostering skill development as well as building content assets for your company’s future.
Has your small business implemented any of these tips into your social media training? What worked and what didn’t? Leave your comments below.
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