Does Every Employee Need Social Media Training?

Make Your Employees Social Media Superheros

Earlier today, Sam Laird of Mashable wrote an article asking “Does Every Employee Need Social Media Training?”

Absolutely. All employees are brand ambassadors whether they want to be or not. There’s no way to stop information from flowing in or out of an organization. Social media policies are, by their very nature, reactive so by the time they come into play the damage is already done.

The only way to get ahead of (and hopefully avoid) the negative consequences of a radically-transparent world is to make sure employees are aware of the dynamics of the new world we live in where Internet connectivity is ubiquitous and everyone has a multimedia studio in their phone.

Focusing myopically on the negative possibilities in social media is like focusing only on the villains in comic books.  They’re only part of the equation (and often easily vanquished).

The flip side of the worry over employees and social media is that most organizations are missing out on POSITIVE opportunities (which are far more numerous than the negatives). Properly-focused and empowered, employees can wield the power of social media for an organization’s benefit (improving workflow, engaging customers, and sharing the stories that build a brand).

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel: there are loads of infographics, charts, checklists, fliers, videos and other resources a simple Google search away and the training can be as simple as an informal jam session that starts with you asking what employees’ questions are and building the conversation from there.

One thought on “Does Every Employee Need Social Media Training?

  1. Dino Baskovic (@ProfessorDino) says:

    Well said, Derek. If I may add three thoughts:

    1. While every employee is, in effect, a brand ambassador, do not think that every employee wants to be one. Many are happy to show up, put in their 8 hours and collect a paycheck. And, provided they understand the social media policy, that is fine. Conversely, some employees may feel a bit too empowered as so-called ambassadors of the brand, which is why a sound listening strategy is critical as part of a larger social media plan.

    2. Adapting existing social media policies and guidelines from other companies (IBM’s was the inspiration for many a brand) is fine, so long as it serves as a guide. Your policy needs to be of your own making, let alone should not plagiarize or infringe on a policy that is not your own.

    3. “Easily” vanquished? Bane, Doomsday, Green Goblin… those were some tough foes, man.



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