Social Media Etiquette: How To Play Fair In Online Training
When you consider corporate social media practices, there are two elements. One, appropriate behavior within the office, and two, suitable etiquette for training. Similarly, there are two angles for social media in online training. You could focus on teaching your team how to use social media the right way. Or you could be more concerned with guidelines that apply to them during online training sessions. For example, you might not want them using their phones in the middle of an online training module. Or you could be more focused on teaching them how to operate your brand accounts. In this article, I’m focusing on the latter by highlighting 8 social media etiquette rules that apply in online training.
8 Social Media Rules To Follow In Online Training
1. Keep Accounts Separate
Some organizations have a strict policy against social media. They block all platforms in the office because they don’t want their employees distracted. Other times, the blockage is a more practical matter: Social media is sometimes very content-heavy, so all that usage can choke the office bandwidth and slow the network. This prevents other employees from doing their work because the internet isn’t fast enough. Train them to use distinct online tools.
2. Designate Devices
If that’s not a concern at your workplace, then you probably allow, and maybe even encourage social media use. Train your team to separate their personal and brand accounts. They can open the account on different browsers. Or have one account on their phone and the other on the computer tablet. This minimizes chances of cross-posting. It also reduces openings for account hacking, because designated gadgets can be left in the office at night.
3. Teach Them To Use Platform Managers
As you prepare your team for professional social media use, invest in an aggregate app. They allow you to log into multiple accounts simultaneously. It’s helpful if you’re managing more than one brand. It could also be a convenient networking tool. They can have their individual account in one column and the brand account on another. This helps limit the potential for inadvertently cross-posted content.
4. Don’t #FollowBack
Corporate learners should also learn the difference between personal use and professional use. Their personal social media accounts can often inform the brands they manage. This can be a good thing because it generates content and enhances engagement. However, they shouldn’t mimic all their individual usage habits. For example, brand accounts need to be more discerning in how they follow/befriend accounts. There needs to be some strategy involved. Likewise, they shouldn’t make closed social media groups vulnerable to marketing posts by inviting influencers or third-party companies to join. Remember, a closed group should give your employees a place to openly share their thoughts and ideas. Instead of having to worry about being flooded with brand-building posts.
5. Always Attribute
As an individual user, you might frequently grab images off Google, or share/retweet follower content. You might even ‘steal’ tweets. On a professional level, this could get you sued. So make sure that social media etiquette is respected. Train your team to attribute images, content, even quotes. It only takes a few extra minutes. Get them into the habit of making formal requests (preferably in a public digital space) before sharing images. This is crucial if the image isn’t watermarked. Remind them to never post anything without a hat-tip, handle, or mention of its originator. They may think that posting an infographic or resharing a video will benefit their peers. However, they should also give credit where credit is due.
6. Show Your Personality
The most crucial aspect of social media in online training is the character. You don’t want your brand account to sound like a robot. But you don’t want to wade into risky waters either. Design a distinct brand persona and teach your digital team how to embody it. If your corporate account has rotational staff, they can give the account their own touch while they’re on duty. This is a learned skill that adds engagement and wins customer loyalty. But give your team solid PR training, so they know where the line is and can avoid edging too close.
7. Watch The Hashtags
If you use too many, you become annoying and they lose purpose. But as a brand account, you have the ability to own a conversation and make it viral. Stick to one hashtag per campaign, two if you must. Train your team on smart hashtag generation. Get them to double-check for potentially problematic translations, as it could mean something else in another language. They should also check for alternate interpretation or spelling snafus.
8. Play Nice With Others
Every now and then an online dispute is bound to erupt. It might be that an employee shares a resource that is deemed inappropriate by a peer. Or someone provides unsolicited feedback that’s misconstrued. Whatever the case, employees need to play nice with others and respect each other’s opinions and thoughts, according to social media etiquette. This also includes a good amount of diversity and inclusion online training. For example, they need to be aware of the fact that their remote co-workers hail from different backgrounds. As such, they have different ways of wording things to get the point across or may find certain images/phrases offensive.
Social media etiquette in online training involves so much more than choosing the right handle. Average online training courses will focus on how to gain followers, or how to log in and log out. Proper online training goes deeper into brand etiquette. It shows you how to merge PR and customer care, creating a powerful online presence for your brand. Train them to segregate their personal and brand accounts from day one. They should have an assigned device or browser for each account. Familiarize your corporate learners with social media management software. Teach them to choose hashtags wisely and limit their usage. They should also express the brand persona while deftly infusing a little of their own. And they should never post anything without attribution.
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