How to Train Employees to Excel on Social Media

August 3, 2017

Woman Training

Engaged employees are more likely to participate on social media in ways that benefit your brand. So it pays to nurture these internal advocates. Though nurturing can take many forms, it should include formal training that provides employees with clear guidance and instills confidence. Here are the essential elements of a solid employee advocacy training program.

Call upon HR and social media

Start by establishing a partnership between your HR and your social media teams. While the social media team knows all things social, the HR group understands training and employee engagement best practices. Combine these forces and you’ll establish a solid foundation for covering all the training essentials.   

Build it into onboarding

If you want employee advocacy to become part of your company culture, introduce it to employees from day one. The onboarding process – when new employees are learning about your organization’s brand, values, culture and goals – is the perfect time to outline your employee advocacy program. By explaining expectations, guidelines, and tools, you help new employees move seamlessly into their advocate roles.

Address the public vs. personal persona

It’s important to explain to employees that what they share via social media – in any capacity – becomes part of their public persona. They need to consider how their statements and interactions on social media might ultimately reflect on their professional personas and, in turn, on your organization.

Provide guidance on representing the brand

While you want your employees to be their authentic selves on social media, you also want to make sure they don’t sully your brand reputation in any way. We all know a single tweet or Facebook photo can cause problems. Sharing basic guidelines around your brand voice and social media etiquette can help prevent wayward comments and poor sharing choices.

Teach how to use privacy settings

Because it’s essential to maintain a polished, professional reputation, your employees need to understand how to keep their personal and work lives separate on social media.  On LinkedIn, this isn’t an issue—employees should only be sharing professional updates and content.

On less formal platforms, though, many people invite their work connections to join their personal network. Most social media tools allow users to select which audiences see which messages and posts. Make sure your employees know how to apply these settings in every social media tool they use.

Cover relevant regulations

It’s quite possible that certain regulations apply to your company when it comes to sharing on social media. Perhaps your organization and its employees are required by law to disclose your company’s relation to a client or sponsor when mentioning them in a post. Maybe it’s against policy to mention competitors in any public forums.

Perhaps your business must follow strict guidelines when it comes to securing its clients’ information and assets. In these cases, you likely need to document additional do’s and don’ts and make sure that employees are aware of the policies, and where to go with questions.

Explain how to handle negative brand mentions

Though time is of the essence when responding to negative comments about your brand, you may want certain people to handle these situations – or at least guide your employees in how to respond. To that end, clearly define what constitutes a negative brand mention and outline the proper course of action.

Walk them through program goals and tools

Training is the perfect time to remind employees why their advocacy matters – to both them and the organization. Explain the potential benefits to their professional brand and to your marketing, sales and talent acquisition efforts. The training wouldn’t be complete unless you teach them best practices and processes for sharing quality content with their networks.

Like any formal business program, employee advocacy will flourish when nourished with a solid plan and proper support. Social media training is an essential part of that plan and support. With it, you boost the likelihood that your employees participate in your program – and that their participation pays off for them and your brand.

LinkedIn Elevate is the smarter employee advocacy solution that leverages LinkedIn data to maximize program success. Learn more about LinkedIn Elevate.