Marketo launched a company wide initiative to train employees on all things social media last month by declaring December as Social Media Month. A series of workshops and luncheons open to all employees interested in participating and learning more about social media was put together and celebrated throughout the month. The response was fantastic and every one of our sessions were packed to the gills with enthusiastic employees eager to learn the ins and outs of social media and how they can participate.
All employees are trained on the Marketo social media policy from day one as it is part of our new hire orientation. Our policy clearly outlines the types of activities allowed and defines appropriate behavior. It is important to set a tone for the conversations that will take place. Maintaining a respectful and ethical rapport is the cornerstone of our policy. Here is a great article from Entrepreneur on creating a policy for you company.
We believe that every employee has a unique voice and perspective when it comes to blogging and social media. Encouraging our staff to write a blog posts on a industry topics or their individual expertise broadens Marketo’s voice brings about a “humanzing” effect. Referencing Ann Handley’s Content Rules sample blog template, we found this to be a fantastic tool in eliminating barriers that employees might have to writing a post. When combined with Ann’s 12 Point Blogging Checksheet, it’s a perfect way to jump-start this initiative.
Working with Top Rank Online Marketing, we developed a “Blogging 101” slide presentation for the first of our social media workshops. This slide deck was the perfect companion piece to our training as it offered a comprehensive overview for any solid blogging strategy. We wanted to share this slide presentation with other B2B companies who were interested in hosting their own Social Media Month, so feel free to download it and customize for your company to use as a foundation.
We didn’t stop there. Beyond blogging there are so many more ways that our employees could participate as Marketo brand champions in the social sphere. Now that they were armed with our social media policy and an understanding of blogging, we opened the doors to the other social platforms.
Here are some of the ways that we encourage participation:
- Participation in LinkedIn groups and Linkedin Today. This can be a tremendous opportunity to share expertise, gain valuable insight, and keep abreast of the latest trends.
- Engaging in Facebook and Twitter conversations. Sharing valuable insights, company news, and relevant industry posts can help spread the buzz on Marketo and our partners. Just make sure employees know where to turn for guidance in the case of a questionable post.
- Social aggregators such as Digg and Stumble Upon are also great social platforms for employee participation. Sharing and commenting on relevant articles in addition to your own can really boost content marketing efforts while it also show two way participation, which is critical to these sites.
Your employees’ voices can be a very powerful medium across the various social platforms and it’s vital to train them to do so with guidelines set by your organization. Empowering them to speak on behalf of your brand can be a fruitful endeavor for both your company synergy efforts as well as your social strategy. Just be sure you have policies in place and equally as important, discipline measures for those who fail to comply. Stay tuned for part two of our Social Media Month recap coming shortly.
Does your company have a social media policy in place? Do you encourage employee participation on your corporate blog or other social platforms?