It’s supposed to be the Arment Dietrich Facebook question of the week via video, but I’m fighting some kind of flu and would rather write today than record something. Sorry. Writing is more comfortable for me…but I’ll be back next week!

But that doesn’t mean I can’t answer a question and today’s comes from Carmen Krushas. Carmen and I met several years ago when she was the director of marketing for a prospective client. Though we didn’t end up getting to work together, she quickly became a friend. Since that first meeting, she’s gone out on her own to start Fetch Plus and now travels the world as she splits her time between the U.S. and Singapore. I still have trouble figuring out where she is and what she’s doing.

She asks, “What types of training programs can companies institute to help establish proper social media programs for their company? As we know social media isn’t left for just one or two in a company, but is integrated in all areas.”

Other than hire Arment Dietrich, Carmen?!?

There are a few steps I recommend a company taking when creating a social media training program. You can do one or all of these…it’s not necessary to do all of it to have success.

1. Create a social media policy. There are plenty of examples available on the web and we’ve compiled some in Delicious that you can check out.

2. Communicate what you want to achieve by using the social tools. Do you want to engage with customers? Do you want to prospect for new customers? Do you want to find talent? Whatever it is, communicate it at all levels so everyone knows how to use the tools to help achieve the goal.

3. Consider creating a community team that includes one person from legal, HR, communications, marketing, sales, customer service, and the executive team.

4. Designate a community manager to lead that community team. This person is responsible for monitoring the web and making sure the appropriate person/people are alerted when the good, the bad, and the ugly happen. This person also is responsible for weekly meetings with the community team and for constantly communicating what’s happening on the social web and how internal employees are using the tools correctly or inappropriately.

5. Send one or two people to social media boot camps to learn how to use the tools to meet your goals (not just to use them for the sake of using them).

6. Create an internal digital training program like Intel has done and was covered in Harvard Business Review.

7. Actually use the tools. The more you use them, the better you’ll understand how they work best for you.

8. Did I mention communicate the goals? Yeah…do that again and again and again.

What tips do you have for Carmen?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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