Successful employee programs empower rather than control people. They motivate employees to bring their best to a collective effort, and encourage them to volunteer for stretch assignments. For some, maybe many, members of your workforce, using social media for branding purposes, probably represents one of these stretch assignments.
So help them. Empower them by teaching them the ins and outs of social media use. By giving them new skills, you not only expand the capability of your branding function, you motivate them to spread your branding messages throughout the organization and externally. (Don’t deny it – you need that help!) Here’s a starter list of topics to present as you train your brand ambassadors:
How to write for social media (you can narrow this to one platform such as Facebook, corporate blogs, Twitter, etc or keep it general and comprehensive)
What social media audiences expect (e.g. timely response, creative content, good visuals, interaction)
The role of social media in media relations (as it applies to your organization)
Media relations in general
Your organization’s social media properties (how you’re using them, why (business purposes) and how it benefits employees and business needs
How to monitor and respond to organization-related issues and topics via social media discussions
How social media is used (in your organization) for issues and crisis response
You and your team can conduct the training, or you can ask a communication professor from a local university to help. You also could tap into the expertise of independent consultants or members of your agency team if you have one. Often, bringing in someone from outside your organization to co-lead the trainings with you is a good idea – you can present corporate strategy and messaging and be the audience expert as well as the liaison regarding culture and history; the outside person can present the tips, techniques and larger world perspective on what others are doing. It’s a great way to keep your audience engaged.
I’ve done these trainings via webinar, or conference call with accompanying slides, as well as live in a room with workbooks and time for practice. All have been received favorably – there is tremendous interest and appetite for learning social media right now – great opportunity for us as communicators.
I encourage you to try some of these activities and when you do, please let me know how it goes – we can all continue to learn from your experiences!