Congratulations, it’s time to hire a new person to the team! This is always an exciting time as it signifies that you’re headed in the right direction. You’re doing enough things right and you need to hand certain tasks off to other people.
That’s when it hits you – you have to train this new person. Hopefully they know at least the basics of how to run social media campaigns. But when it comes to specific practices, well, that’s a different game entirely.
You undoubtedly have a very specific way of doing things and any disruption in that can throw you off your game – and confuse your customers and fans. You’ll want to integrate the newbie into your best practices – at the same time, though, you want to give them the creative freedom to find their own patterns.
Develop a Style Guide
Before you begin even the first day of training, write up (or update) a social media style guide. This isn’t really a step by step guide so much as defining what your company’s “voice” is. Without this simple guide a new representative might head down the right path.
For example, if you’re a financial company, the new person may be under the impression they have to stick to a serious tone. However, your company is a little more relaxed and social on various networks. If you have a wide social media presence the new employee may not realize this and keep it solemn even when they don’t need to.
A style guide outlines all this for everyone involved. Try to keep your goals in mind: what is the ultimate aim of your social media efforts? Is it to get people talking or get customers to share content? Are you trying to build numbers or send customers from Twitter to Facebook in order to increase presence?
Slowly Decrease Monitoring
Naturally at first you’ll be pretty skeptical of everything they’re doing. Even if they’re self-professed social media experts they still need to take time to learn your ways. There will likely be little adjustments and tweaks you’ll tell them about for months.
However, the whole idea was for you to relinquish some of your responsibilities so you can do more elsewhere. Eventually you’ll want to dial down how closely you monitor your employee and let them off the hook to do the job alone.
This also comes with a degree of freedom. They’ll naturally want to play around a little bit with the various accounts. As long as they stick to the style guide you drafted, they’ll be fine! Their new voice could just be what the account needed to really take off, so you shouldn’t stifle their creativity.
Teach Them About the Worst Parts
Over time you’ve seen the highs and lows of running a social media campaign. You may want to gloss over the really rough parts of doing this but try not to shelter them. After all, if they’re going to work in social media they should be prepared for the really dirty parts.
For example, if your company is routinely on the news, you should expect a lot more visitors. When this happens, you can also expect a portion of these new visitors to act rudely. Telling the new hire about these rude people ahead of time can better prepare them for when it happens. This way they don’t have an adverse reaction or say something rude back because they felt defensive.
What’s one of the most important things to teach a new social media employee?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three free ebooks, including the Big Press Release Book and Twitter Tactics, here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/freebooks.html