Recently my colleague, Carden Calder - BlueChip Communication founder and social media aficionado - posted a blog about social learning. It looked at the benefits of sharing knowledge and experiences in and out of social media, with a special focus on financial services firms.
Rather than give you the complete low-down on the post, you can read it for yourself here, but I did want to expand on one of the points it contained.
Top ways to kick off social learning...
Get started on social learning by running your own internal social media conference...
Five steps to hosting an internal social media conference
- Decide on the topic and develop some guidelines for content
- Be very specific about topics you want covered. Choose, say, a social media channel, concept or service.
- Choose a topic that is directly relevant to your staff and your social media goals - if you're not going to use Facebook, don't go there, but if you are launching a Twitter handle at a conference, you need to get your staff across the who, what, when, why and how of this before you launch it.
- Invite staff to send questions ahead of time so speakers can tailor their presentations or run Q&A sessions if appropriate.
- A quick search online for social media buzz words will show you a number of people who purport to be, or in fact are, experts in social and digital communication. Ask around, check references and other bona fides to be sure you get the real deal.
- Use your conference topics as starting points in your search and look for an external speaker with direct capabilities or experience in this area.
- Yes, engage the speaker, but don't overlook the capabilities of your own staff.
- Do you have someone already on staff who can share their knowledge and experience? If so, do what you can to encourage peer-to-peer, or social learning - for example, appoint that person as a champion or ambassador of your social media campaign. This is a great way to fast track results and keep the all-important conversation alive in the office once the internal conference has finished!
- Ask your staff and any external speakers to rate the conference so you can improve or build on its lessons. A quick Survey Monkey questionnaire (incentivised if you are serious about getting a response) will allow you to get this information quickly and easily.
- Once you have the feedback - use it! Book in another session (perhaps aim for one a quarter) to discuss a different topic and to hear from different 'experts'. With social and digital media changing constantly, you'd be unwise to believe you have heard or learnt it all before.