Social media training is quickly becoming mandatory for an ever-growing range of companies, far surpassing the first wave of IT firms that rolled it out two years ago, like¬†Dell,¬†Intel¬†and¬†IBM. While it began as an added ‘bonus’ in the arsenal of the marketing spokesperson, now companies ranging from¬†Unisys,¬†PepsiCo,¬†Adidas,¬†HP¬†and¬†Sprint¬†are making social not only part of the company‚Äôs core training curriculum, but also a key element in their recruiting message, stressing the employee benefit of receiving social media literacy training.¬†Because everyone attending these social media courses belongs to the same company it means that each session can be tailored to the company needs ‚Äď not generic content that may not be applicable to your business.¬†Google for Education Directory: This means that schools and organizations can find you and seek you out to deliver training!

Companies need a social media literacy program, which offers a certification so that employees can share their progress and practices both on their employee directory as well as on LinkedIn, Facebook and even their Twitter profile. Companies like Unisys, Sprint and HP are creating social media training programs to avoid these types of social media crises, but also, just as importantly, to show employees how using social media can be a valuable business tool which can increase performance and productivity.

offering social media training creates a team of advocates who are equipped to represent their employer online. This empowers employees to not only share news about your company but also feel confident they know how to do this in a safe and responsible manner while building their personal brand.¬†Sprint¬†employees who complete for the¬†Sprint Social Media Ninjas¬†program (thus far, 2,400 volunteers have done so) complete a two-hour workshop to receive their Ninja certificate, but the training doesn’t end there. They then become part of a community that is continuously engaged in discussion about how best to use social media to advocate for the company. What‚Äôs next?¬†Sprint¬†is working to develop an online version of this training and offer it within Sprint University of Excellence.

Companies must consider how gamification ‚Äst the addition of game-like mechanics ‚Äď can be used to engage, recognize, and reward the achievements of those who complete ‚Äď and then use ‚Äď their social media training.¬†Badgeville¬†and¬†BunchBall¬†are two examples of firms that help companies achieve that end by applying gamification to learning & development. Badgeville‚Äôs client¬†Deloitte, profiled in my post on¬†Gamification¬†earlier this year, believes the ability to have employees sharing their badges on¬†LinkedIn¬†and in their company directory is a huge motivator to engagement and a personal brand builder for them as well.¬†Alex Flagg, Social Media & Digital Content Lead at¬†HP, believes the success of HP’s social media training is owed in large part to its use of gamification.‚ÄúThe addictive nature of gamification, with badges, points, a leaderboard and ways to share all of this inside and outside the company, is highly motivating and quite honestly needed

Module One: Getting Started

  • Icebreaker games
  • Housekeeping Items
  • Workshop Objectives

Module Two: What is Social Media?

  • Social Media Networks
  • Social Media Tools
  • Case Study
  • Review Questions

Module Three: Defining Your Social Media Policy (I)

  • Choosing an Information Officer
  • What Can and Cannot Be Shared
  • Legal and Ethical Specifications
  • New Hire Orientation
  • Case Study
  • Review Questions


Module Four: Rules to Follow When Posting (I)

  • Always Show Respect
  • Stop and Think Before You Post
  • Always be Honest
  • Never Discredit or Talk Ill of Competitors
  • Case Study
  • Review Questions
  • Be Transparent
  • Grammar and Spelling Still Counts
  • Never Post When You Are Angry
  • Case Study
  • Review Questions

Module Five: Benefits of Social media

  • From Audience to Author
  • Builds Customer Loyalty
  • Speed and Flexibility in Communication
  • Two Way Communications
  • Case Study
  • Review Questions

Module Six: The Pitfalls of Social Media

  • Bullying
  • Group Think
  • Trolling
  • Remember, It Is Out There Forever
  • Case Study
  • Module Ten: Review Questions

Module Seven: Listen to Your Customers

  • They Provide Great Feedback
  • It Makes Them Happy
  • Improves Your Brand
  • Improves Product Development
  • Case Study
  • Review Questions

Module Eight: Wrapping Up

  • Future of Social Media
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Review of Parking Lot
  • Lessons Learned
  • Completion of Action Plans and Evaluations

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