The Lloyds Bank Digital Index Report 2019 was released last week
And these were the key findings
– 22% of people in the UK do not have the essential Digital Skills needed for day-to-day life
– 53% of UK employees lack the digital skills needed for work
– Nearly 12m people lack ESSENTIAL digital skills
– Half of everyone who’s offline in the UK is under 60
– 75% of offline people lack interest to being online – and are fearful of cybercrime
So many people are saying they’re shocked by these stats and I wanted to truly tackle how we improve the digital skills of the nation
I can only speak from a social media perspective
– But the amount of employees who are handed social media accounts for a business with zero training is a lot more than those who get training
– I know people in Sales / Marketing / Business Development roles who have been doing a job for 2-3 years before they get any training
From my perspective I understand how digital can have a positive impact on my life. I wouldn’t have a business, be able to pay off the mortgage or be able to enjoy the things I love in life without digital
I try and spread joy to others on Social Media and positively impact others. Tech can be used for good
This is what I believe should be the suggested minimum requirements for digital skills and social media in the workplace
Induction Week: The Social Media Induction
I truly believe that every single member of staff should receive social media training as part of their weekly induction
Social Media for the workplace is as important as First Aid, Customer Service, the businesses mission statement and so on
And by every single member of staff, I literally do mean every single member of staff should be inducted, whether that be someone connected directly with sales or marketing functions or not
As I said before, the amount of employees who are handed social media accounts for a business with zero training is a lot more than those who get training
The reason I believe this is so important is because social media and marketing is not just something that sits in the marketing Department. Social media is something that sits throughout the whole organisation including members of staff who are customer facing. So that is retail staff, restaurant waiting on staff, customer service staff on the phone / email department and so on. Every department from Accounts to HR to Finance should have some form of social media training. Think about every single online review or comment you’ve ever read – positive or negative all reviews mention the people in the organisation they’ve dealt with
Now of course because the training should be across the whole organisation, different people will have different requirements and there is not a one size fits all level of training that is suitable for all. To some members of staff a 1 hour induction to social media may be enough, for other members of staff it may mean two days full in-depth training.
But truly that is absolutely bare minimum that companies should be looking to offer new members of staff as part of their social media marketing induction
Upskilling Long Serving Members of Staff
Some of the best stories and some of the best social media content will come out of your longest serving members of staff
It is a common misconception that the youngest person in the office is the person that should be managing your social media, but in 10 years of social media training I’ve often found it is the older more mature experienced members of staff that once they understand how to use social media they truly represent the voice, message and the ethos of the business.
If someone has been at the company for 20 years they have so much valuable experience with the company; are in tune with the customers needs, wants and desires; And have the relationships across the whole company to make things happen quicker if the customer has an query. They are the ones that suggest improvements in meetings that looking back are the reason behind the companies long term success
Importantly they are loyal to the company that have stuck by them for 20 years rather than having one eye on the next career move to another company
Simply translating their day-to-day and rich life experience to the modern world of tech is something all companies should aim to do
Training Update Every 12 Months
I’ll be honest with you from the outset, this last point is like when the government lie to you about your five a day fruit and veg intake for a healthy life. I’m telling you that you need to refresh your social media training for all
members of staff every 12 months, simply because that sounds palatable and doable for most companies.
The reality is that five a day for your fruit and veg should really be 10 to 12 piece of fruit and veg a day, but the government understand that most people would say that is unachievable and therefore would never even try. So when I say training for all members of staff should be every 12 months for a refresh on social media, what I really mean is it should be every six months
Training is not a one off activity and in the UK we’ve come to think that one off training is enough. It’s a tick box exercise. If we are based in the US, members of staff would have sales training every six months and that is why we are lacking the skill set and the business acumen in the UK in terms of social media. Social Media changes more rapidly than any other area of business – it moves so fast that from the point I started writing this blog till the point I publish it, it is likely that changes will have happened on at least one of the social media platforms.
Let’s aim big. Let’s give our staff the skills to do the job and let’s truly embrace the phrase marketing matters, because it does. Everything is marketing, Marketing is everything
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Alex McCann is owner of Altrincham HQ – a social media management and training company based in Altrincham, Cheshire that has worked with 100s of local business developing their social media strategy. Alex has 400+ LinkedIn testimonials and is ranked number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK via independent customer reviews on Freeindex.