Training is essential when organizations distribute the execution of social media among staff members. Skilled marketers and subject matter experts (SMEs) who have little trouble communicating to customers and prospects via email or in person often haven’t the slightest idea how to build an engaged social network or respond to comments on a blog; as a result, B2B organizations must provide guidance and best practices.
A prerequisite for the launch of a social media training curriculum is the identification of social contributors, including SMEs and others who have expressed interest in becoming involved. In many cases, organizations will need to solicit appropriate individuals; while a carrot-and-stick approach may work initially, engaged and consistent social media participation will come only from motivated individuals who recognize the value of leveraging it to build (and protect) the corporate brand.
We've placed responsibility for developing and implementing social media training under social operations, although this can also be done in conjunction with the organization’s training department. Whether conducting the training internally or relying on an outside firm, enabling employees and channel partners to take advantage of social tools and sites for their roles means training them in a wide range of areas.
Jonathan Block is Vice President and Practice Director, Technology, at SiriusDecisions. He has developed key models and frameworks that enable b-to-b organizations to understand, evaluate and implement appropriate marketing and sales technologies, as well as advised executive clients on the role of technology to help drive sales and marketing integration and enterprise alignment. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jblock.