Social media training for your company

Time to learn!

Today, Radian6 published their new eBook called “Training your company for social media.” I just finished reading it and I can honestly recommend it to anyone who is working towards implementation of social media within their organisation. It is concise and to the point. Reading it will not take you more than half an hour and at the end you will have a really smart framework to plan a social media training program.

Download the ebook from here!

In a previous post I’ve written about the importance of educating and integrating social media within the organisation and with the knowledge that Radian6 are providing it is now much easier to start working on these objectives. I took a few notes while reading the book and here I will present you some of my takeaways. Of course, I encourage you to download the full document and read in depth how you can design a social media training course.

Here are my notes:

– Hiring a “digital native” intern won’t solve your problems – even the most skilled social networkers require training

– Employees can be divided in several categories based on technological adoption and probably there are at least two of these groups within your organisation:
– digital native
– savvy technologist
– reluctant user
– digital contrarian
– digital newbie
It is necessary to educate all your employees – Victory loves preparation!

– Track and report results on a regular basis; social media monitoring tools are essential and require training

– Train employees to be aware of the brand’s digital footprint

– Designing your training program will require a clear understanding of the expectations and needs of your different departments – holding conversations about the objectives of social media with the different teams is a must before actual training begins

– Current employees can form your social media training team or if you have the resources you can choose an external advice

– Your training framework should include topics from the very basic concepts of social media to the more complex fields of social media measurement and influence

– It is essential that you trust your employees and give them freedom of expression – as long as it is in line with the social media guidelines you have put in place already

– Mistakes will happen – do not panic, deal with it quickly and in a transparent way

– Be human and provide excellent customer service through your social media channels

– “Keep engagement natural, effective, and … human.”

Do you understand all of these?

I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I did. I am also curious about your experience with social media training. Have you participated in similar programs or designed a course like this? What can you add? Let me know in the comments!

3 PR lessons from the Charlie Sheen saga

Picture from @charliesheen 's Twitter stream

Charlie Sheen. Over the last couple of days you’ve heard a lot about him. The stories have been everywhere – press, TV, internet, radio. Putting aside the players and issues in this story, I’d like to focus your attention on three communication practices which I believe the actor’s public relations team has been doing really well.

Express clearly your side of the story and stick with it!

First, and most important of all, over the last week the actor and his team of publicists have been openly sharing their side of the story. Charlie Sheen, being a spokesperson for himself, tells his story in a transparent, honest and direct way, in a language that is easy to understand by everyone. The message he wants to communicate is very clear, he sticks with it all the time, and repeats it confidently over and over again – he is clean, ready to get back to work, and the twitter hashtags #winning and #tigerblood are well-known nowadays.

In contrast, there has been almost no word from the camps of Chuck Lorre and CBS. Those two parties have missed on the opportunity to present to the wider audience their own side of the story. As a result of that, the public might turn against them in the near future and take the side of Sheen later. Hearing only statements like “no comment” will most certainly not help their cause.

Increase exposure to your message!

Second, the actor’s camp has generated enormous level of exposure for their message. Charlie Sheen interviews have been broadcasted, published and streamed all over the place. And all of them happened in the time frame of 48 hours! Moreover, various different media have been utilised to help increase the exposure levels. You open a newspaper and you read about the actor. You switch on the TV and you can see an interview with him. You tun on the radio and you can immediately recognise his husky voice. You go online and you are overwhelmed by the amount of material streaming across various social networks, blogs and other sites. You simply can’t avoid it – you’ve been exposed to the message. Job well done PR Team Charlie!

Pay attention to new technologies!

Third, Charlie Sheen’s communications team did not ignore the importance of new technologies. In this particular case, the actor’s team acted quickly to get him on Twitter and start spreading the message on the social network. And what a result that was! His account (@charliesheen) has become the fastest growing twitter account ever. In two days the actor accumulated more than 900 000 followers. At the time I am writing this post he has more than 1,3 million followers! No one has ever done that in such amount of time. By starting a Twitter account, the actor quickly expanded his network and was presented with a great platform where he can express all his thoughts. Using this medium, the actor can easily share his side of the story and continue to increase the exposure to his message.

To sum up, going in front of the public with a clear, honest and easy to understand message, using various media to increase the exposure to this message, and adopting new communication technologies has allowed Charlie Sheen to present his side of the story surrounding his personal life to a broad and influential audience.

This is what I find most interesting from this whole story. What about you? Can you infer any other good communication practices from this case study? Let me know in the comments!