Lee Odden

Social Media Workshops & Training – A Journey, Not a Destination

AudienceIn a past life during my career in the business world, I was a corporate trainer. Interestingly, I received training on becoming an instructor from the Army (Reserves) and the corporate world at the same time. Many of the core principles were very similar (understand your audience, clear learning objectives, inform and interact, evaluate for competence), although the subject matter was clearly different.

One of the key lessons I learned after developing various training programs and running hundreds of people through them is that skills development is never finished for a company. The temptation to create a certification program and then consider your staff “trained” is simply not realistic. This is especially true when it comes to the multi-dimensional aspects of social media and what it means for improving business.

Along those lines, I’ll be giving a workshop next week on social media marketing for a group of business professionals in Moscow, Russia. While I’ll include data and examples specific to the region, the core principles will be similar to social media marketing instruction I’ve given in Western Europe, APAC and in the United States.

The key to corporate social media training in my opinion, is to create the framework for participants (yes, participants, not “attendees”) to build on so that they can achieve competency on some core concepts and at the same time be prepared for an ongoing learning experience that will continue indefinitely.

Lee Odden

What that means is, a focus on core social media behavioral skills as well as the mechanics of specific social media platforms. Below is the general outline of what I’ll be discussing in Moscow. Keep in mind, this is only a 3 hour workshop.

  • Audience Survey
  • Core Social Media Marketing Principles
  • Social Media Planning: Audit, Listening, Customer Goals, Business Goals, Community, Integration, Strategy, Tools, Benchmarking Measurement
  • Planning Exercise
  • Social Media Marketing Implementation: Applications, Tactics, Key Platforms, Staff Roles & Organization, Tools
  • Tactics Exercise
  • Optimization:  Tools, Data Collection, Analysis, Applications for Social Content, Engagement, Networking, Performance Improvement
  • Social Measurement & Optimization Exercise
  • General Q/A

Compared to the DMA’s first social media marketing training that I created a few years ago (2 days of 7 hours each) this workshop format is abbreviated. But it will certainly be high impact and interactive with an emphasis on core principles and personalized application.  Of course, that could change after I ask my first audience survey question: Who knows any English?

There are many online training programs on just about every aspect of social media marketing from Market Motive to classes on Udemy and Lynda.  There are also numerous first rate conferences like Social Media Marketing World and New Media Expo (I’ll be speaking or keynoting at both).

I think it’s worth companies to have their staff try those kinds of programs out. When it comes time to have someone create a customized training program that can do a bit of homework and interviews in advance to really understand the objectives and unique situation of your business and create a framework that can scale, then I’d recommend a social media marketing practitioner with training experience. Hmm, I wonder where you could find one of those??? [wink wink]

Have you implemented formal social media marketing workshops or training within your company? What resources did you find most useful? Online? In-Person? Both?


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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


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