The above is a graph from EMarketer listing the top areas that corporate social media strategists will be investing in 2011. Note that the most important investment area for these strategists, behind only measuring SM ROI, was internal education and training. I think there are 3 reasons why social media training is so critical for companies, especially larger ones, in 2011.
1 – Social media for companies has evolved, teams are now in place. Larger companies are no longer experimenting with social media, they’ve now committed and staffs have been hired. It’s very important for companies to invest in training these teams and not only that, but that they get the same training. And that open interaction and collaboration is facilitated. In many cases, the people that spearheaded a company’s social media efforts a couple of years ago, are now training all areas of the company on using these same tools.
2 – Social media training is cost-efficient. I’ve seen this far too often over the past 2-3 years. A company sends an employee to a social media conference, then that person takes copious notes all day in every session, then goes back to her office and tries to explain to her team what she learned. So the end result is the company paid $1,500-$2,000 to send one person to a conference, and all they get is a notepad full of hastily scribbled notes that no one can really explain.
This is exactly why last year I shifted the focus of my consulting to providing on-site social media training for companies. I realized that for about the same amount that a company could send an employee or 2 to a social media conference, I could give them on-site social media training for an entire day, to their entire team. This is a huge cost-savings to the company, and helps the entire team be more efficient in its social media efforts, meaning the investment in social media training easily pays for itself several times over. Please check out my Social Media Training and Workshops page to see exactly how this service works.
3 – Social media training helps get everyone on the same page. Instead of having ‘the blogging guy’ and ‘the Facebook gal’, your entire team can be up to speed on how your company is using these tools, and more importantly, what you are trying to accomplish. That means that the efforts of the individuals will be more effective, and as a result, the output of the entire team will increase dramatically.
So if your company now has an organized social media team, there’s three reasons why I think it’s critical for you to invest in social media training in 2011. If your company has started a social media training program, either internally, or by bringing in external consultants or agencies, how has that worked for you?
And if your company would like to hire me to either provide on-site social media training to your team, and/or to help your company organize an internal social media training program for your employees, please email me.