Social Media for Beginners: 6 Action Items for Your Team

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Social Media for Beginners:  Involve Your Team

6 Social Media Tips for Beginners

By Jan Ashby 

It’s practical, common sense to get your people involved prior to an upcoming training. You can create a Facebook group and invite participants to become involved ahead of time. You can gain feedback as to what people would want included in the training, and also members of the group can get acquainted with one another. Or you might want to hold a Tweetchat and involve participants in a discussion.     attend-a-Twitter-chat


The sky’s the limit, when it comes to social media. Anything you can do to spark discussion is worthwhile – you could do a survey before the official training event, to discover what the trainees would most like to have covered. If it’s LinkedIn, you could have the participants perform a task within LinkedIn prior to your training; have them get connected with ten new people, or add new skills to their profile.

It will be useful to find out the strengths of your team; then you can determine where, and how, their assets can best be utilized. Why not have each team member fill out a survey or form, to list down talents and abilities?

Try to have your trainees complete a task at one or two of the main social media outlets. Here are some examples of things your students can do:

1.Tweet Chats

Tweet chats can keep you abreast of current trends – they are quite informative and are not a waste of your time (contrary to hanging out on Twitter). You can find pre-scheduled tweet chats to attend. A lot of useful information is provided at these events, as an expert guest speaker is normally present. So you can LEARN a lot about your niche – especially if you compile a list of questions to ask ahead of time.

There are certain guidelines to follow. For one, you should set up a stream in Hootsuite ahead of time – so you can follow the conversation and won’t be distracted by the usual noise of the Twitter stream. Ok, once you have set up Hootsuite you will be able to join the discussion at TweetChat. Simply enter a hashtag (#) along with the keyword, and you’re set.

Now you can click on the hashtag on a tweet to view all of the recent tweets surrounding that hashtag. You may want to prepare a few questions to pose, as well.


Twitter Etiquette and Procedure – Important Points

You may want to follow the chat host(s) and guests to browse their posts on previous chats.

You may want to inform people (your Network) that you’ll be attending a tweetchat – it’s supportive of the host, and informs your followers too.

At the tweet chat, a  moderator is usually assigned to welcome the guests, and to keep the conversation on track. Tweet Chats and discussion

When you enter the chat, SCAN the tweets surrounding the hashtag. Find out who is currently speaking. Find out what the “theme” of the chat is.

When asking a question, use the hashtag so everybody can see the question at hand. This is good Twitter Etiquette.    Tweet Chats and Social Media

You can greet friends as you see them – but don’t use a hashtag unless it’s something that’s relevant to the topic.

You can share tweets from within the chat with your people, but when you do a re-tweet don’t forget to use the hashtag.

If you want to mute a tweeter, it’s possible to do this within TweetChat.  :mrgreen:   Use the “User Control” area to invoke this function.

You really shouldn’t use a Tweet chat for marketing purposes. Stay on topic.

Social Media for Beginners:  Tips to Enhance Your Tweet Chat

Tip: There is Smart pause within TweetChat – this feature is useful as it keeps one from replying to the wrong person

Tip: Some twitter chats have a Facebook group, as well

Tweet chats are usually once a week (or bi-weekly); you can find a list of them at

Read more on Twitter Chats:



LinkedIn  and Networking    LinkedIn Networking

To get acquainted with LinkedIn, have your students create a profile there. Then why not have them JOIN some groups?  It’s best to select a group that is relevant – i.e, an area that interests your student.  You can find groups at the top of your LinkedIn home page, btw

Technology: LinkedIn Networking

Activity: Ask participants to set up a LinkedIn account, and give them each a specific task to do.  For instance, ask them to find 5 contacts on LinkedIn that they were already acquainted with (via another social platform).

Have the student provide some feedback to several of these people – that is, have them examine each person’s individual Linked In page, and score it for professionalism, level of detail, etc.  Finally,  ask your pupil to record (via screenshot or paper) what their experience was, and if they had any interaction or feedback from the business person at LinkedIn etc.

For Discussion: What did they like about LinkedIn? Is it a social medium they would like to participate with in the future? What did they like BEST about the platform? Can they see any advantages of using LinkedIn?  If so, what?


3.  Create a Map of Our Team 

Objective: For virtual teams to build up a stronger sense of team unity

Technology:  Use a map service such as Google Maps or Bing Maps. If your small business group wants to use a custom or branded map, OpenStreetMap is a good way to go  😕

Activity: Assign each member of your group a unique marker or pushpin.  Each team member can place the pushpins onto the map, in order to identify landmarks near them, as well as their hometown   Map Services: Tracking Your Team

Examples of relevant locations are where a person currently works, the location of corporate headquarters or regional offices and the locations of key customers or vendors. You could also include the city or campus where a participant went to college, the farthest place you’ve ever traveled or the location of your first job.

Action Item for Discussion: Ask the group about how sharing information helps to build team spirit and unity, and how geography may play a role in a person’s work style.

Source: The Big Book of Virtual Team Building Games by Mary Scannell, Michael Abrams and Mike Mulvihill. Published by McGraw Hill.

4.  Role Play at Twitter: Resolve a Customer Complaint

Objective:   Resolve customer service situations      Social Media Basics - Have fun with Twitter

Activity: Create a Twitter account that simulates a dissatisfied (even angry) customer. Each member of this group should have a specific ROLE to play – have one person be the customer/client, and another be the  manager, and another individual perform the role of sales rep.  Have all members in your group complete an assignment. That is, the team should try to work as one, in order to come up with a satisfactory solution .

If a solution is not fast enough to make the consumer happy, then a discount should be given on future services, or equipment.  And your team should probably design a “customer satisfaction” exit survey, as well.

For Discussion Have the group report as to HOW they resolved the issue, and what level of satisfaction was ultimately achieved?  This can be a great opportunity to discuss communication issues and challenges, and what further measures might have been taken – to IMPROVE upon the customer’s experience.  Brainstorm; keep a record of the outcome for your team, and once you’ve completed your tweet chat discussion.. why not add some useful blogs/forums/resources to the record.


5. Tweet Your Training   –   Hashtag for Twitter Training and Tweet Chats

Another action item is to make a hashtag for your training session – this is so that attendees can see ALL of the tweets; then, at the close of the training session, the hashtag can be used to list noteworthy blogs, videos, or articles that are helpful (and pertinent to the subject).


6. Discover the strengths each of your team members will bring to the table – if one individual is good with Twitter, have this person write down all the specifics. How many followers he has, how often he tweets, what kind of success is achieved (in terms of CTR or optins or profits); same thing with the next person, who maybe uses Facebook a lot –  the team member will record how many friends he has, how many groups, optins etc.

Same thing with the other team members – perhaps someone else is really good with Pinterest, and another is great with Tumblr or Posterous. Posterous Skills By the way, did you know that with Posterous (micro-blogging platform) you can connect to  Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress & Picasa?

Indeed, if you are one who is technically challenged you might opt for Posterous; a person can actually send their post through email to the team at Posterous, and it’ll be done automatically. (All you have to do is send it to [email protected])

Social Media is a Great Way to Share, Learn, and Get Organized with Your Team

Adding social media to training is a great way to get others’ input; it’s effective to brainstorm new ideas, or simply to get caught up as to what other members of the team have been accomplishing. And facebook groups, or tweet chats, can be wonderful for morale – these are tools that inspire, and shed LIGHT on issues or accomplishments – so how can that be a BAD thing?

I really like the idea of doing #5 Tweet Your Training.  And do you know about Twitter cards ?

Once you have yr #twitter cards set up, you should validate .   Once your meta tags are live, the Twitter Card Validator ensures everything is running smoothly.


Sources: The Big Book of Virtual Team Building Games by Mary Scannell, Michael Abrams and Mike Mulvihill

Further Reading:  Social Skills Activities – Improve Your Team’s Communication

Social Media for Beginners: Top Tips for Your Home Business


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