Training Your Employees To Use Social At Work Is Only Half The Battle

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Based on my experience implementing employee engagement programs with our global customers, having a modern social business infrastructure in place allows for the highest ROI of your investment in employee social media training.

-Stephanie Malatesta, Customer Success Lead, PostBeyond

The business world is changing. The millennial mindset has taken over. People use different channels to communicate, digitally.

Your workforce is aging. Your systems are out of date. You need to invest in the professional development of your employees, or you’ll start losing your competitive edge.

There are reasons you want your employees to be more social media savvy and know how to share content strategically:

  • Sales reps using social media as part of their sales techniques outsell 78% of their peers (Source: Forbes)
  • 72.6% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often. (Source: Aberdeen Group)
  • 77% of B2B buyers said they did not talk with a salesperson until after they had performed independent research (Source: CEB)
  • 92% of buyers say they delete emails or voicemail messages when comes from someone that they do not know. (Source: A Sales Guy Consulting)
  • Content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brand channels (Source: Social Media Today)
  • Only 33% of buyers trust the brand whilst 90% of customers trust product or service recommendations from people they know (Source: Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey)
  • Employees of socially engaged companies are… (Source: Altimeter & LinkedIn Relationship Economics 2014)
    • 57% more likely to align social media engagement to more sales leads
    • 20% more likely to stay at their company
    • 27% more likely to feel optimistic about their company’s future
    • 40% more likely to believe their company is more competitive

But training employees at scale can be costly. So how do you maximize your investment?

Training Without Activation Is A Waste Of Your Employees’ Time

Providing knowledge and training to your employees is a good start. But if you’re not giving them the right processes and technologies to put that training to use, you’re just wasting their time and your money.

Part of your investment in training employees on how to strategically share content to their personal networks should be spent on activation. This activation includes a centralized infrastructure built for modern communications.

Without this, you can’t give your employees the right processes and technologies to efficiently apply their new skills to their daily workflow.

Compare it to sponsorships. You can sponsor an event, but unless you’re spending just as much money into the activating your sponsorship, you’re going to get very little results from it.

Even with training, employees are still not 100% comfortable with sharing content. You need a system in place that helps them become more comfortable with content and social media at work.

Technology And Infrastructure Helps With Ongoing Education

So once you’ve trained your team on how to strategically share content to their social networks, you want to make sure they put that knowledge to use. Having the right infrastructure and technologies in place can help.

Your centralized infrastructure should have some of the following to help activate your newly trained employees:

  • Content And Knowledge Library: One of the biggest reasons employees aren’t comfortable with sharing content is that they don’t know what to share, or what to say. Having a content library in place with pre-approved content and suggested messaging helps eliminate the roadblocks of sharing. A knowledge library, where you fill out content specifically for your employees’ learning benefits, helps keep them up to date with the industry and how to develop a better personal brand and thought leadership.
  • Prompts And Email Updates: Sometimes the reason employees don’t share content on social media is because they forget. The system you put in place should have prompts and email updatesthat remind employees that there’s new content to be shared in the content library, and to fill out their schedules/queues.
  • Centralized Access From Multiple Devices: Your employees are on the go. Many of them consume and share content at different times in the day. Some might do it at work, from a desktop app. Some might think about sharing content when reading an article, so they use a browser extension to do it. Some might share content from their mobile during their daily commute. Your system should be accessible from anywhere on multiple device to maximize the chances of employees sharing content.
  • One-click Share And Schedule: In order for your employees to share content on their personal social networks, your system needs to make it dead-simple to share. Your content library should have scheduling or queuing capabilities, as well as a one-click share option for people who want to publish right away.

By having these technologies, processes, and systems in place, you’re making sure that employees are up-to-date, and start including content sharing and social media communications in their daily workflow.

Change Is Already Here. Catch-up, Or Die

Digital communications and content sharing/consumption is no longer a fad. It’s just as much a part of everyday life than email, telephone, and SMS.

Companies that are at the top of their industries knew this 5 years ago, and adapted their internal and external communications and systems to reflect the change that was happening.

If you haven’t done the same, if you haven’t even thought of integrating social business infrastructure in your business stack, you’re at least 5 years behind.

Think about how fast communications, especially in digital channels, has evolved over the last 20 years. Why wait? You’ll be even further behind.

So you’ve invested in training your employees on how to use social media at work. GREAT.

Now go one step further: Invest in infrastructure, technology, systems and processes to activate that training.

It’s time to upgrade to the modern business stack.

How do you activate employee training? What kind of systems do you have in place to keep employees up to date? Please leave a comment below and share with your colleagues.

This post first appeared on PostBeyond.

Daniel Hebert is the Digital Marketing Manager at PostBeyond, and Co-founder at SteamFeed.com. He has a passion for digital marketing and entrepreneurship. If he wasn’t a marketer, he would take his love for food and become a chef.

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