3 Ideas for Training Novice Employee Advocates and Social Sellers

Using social media for professional purposes is not innate. It’s a skill that many of us have to learn. Before you launch your social selling and employee advocacy programs, offer your participants some training hours.

It might seem like a hassle, but training will only improve your program. In fact, sales reps who are trained are more likely to stick with their program. And where there is adoption, there are also results.

Here are three ideas that you can use to train your team. These activities are meant to be done in a group setting – either virtually or in person. Adjust them according to your needs.



Employees will be able to:

  • Identify the key components of a Twitter profile.
  • Leverage those key components to promote their professional brand and their affiliation with their company.

The Activity

Show your employees the following Twitter profile (or a similar one):

Have your team list everything that is wrong with this Twitter profile. Sometimes, it’s better to critique a fictional account before employees tackle their own accounts or critique their colleagues’ accounts.

What to Look for

Make sure your employees critique the following items:

  • Twitter username
  • Profile picture
  • Biography
  • Cover photo
  • Tweets


Now that your team has identified the problems, it is time to fix them. Ask your team members to do the following items:

  1. Suggest a new Twitter username.
  2. Find a good profile picture.
  3. Write a bio for the “Muffin Man” who works at your company.
  4. Give ideas for what would be a good cover photo.
  5. Write the Muffin Man’s first tweets.

If you need some help, check out our beginner’s guide to Twitter.


Your team members have found the missteps in a fictional account, and they have built a fictional online presence. Now, it’s time for your advocates and sales reps to create their own accounts.

Give your advocates some time to write their profiles (or adjust their current ones). Then, split the employees into groups, and have other employees provide constructive feedback on their profiles.



Employees will be able to:

  • Apply your company’s social media policy to real-life situations.
  • Develop skills needed to respond to disgruntled customers.

The Activity

Your employee advocates and social selling team are rummaging through LinkedIn groups. They come across the following comment in a thread:

Ask your employees how they would respond to the message.

What to Look for

This is your opportunity to standardize best practices across the company. Have answers to the following questions:

  • What does your social media policy say about these situations?
  • Does your company have a designated resource who should handle these problems? Are your employees aware of that resource?
  • Does your company want its employee advocates and sales reps to engage with these people? If so, how quickly should they respond to such complaints?
  • Do your employees understand when they should stop engaging with unhappy customers?


Split your employees into two groups: company representatives and belligerent customers.

Have your company representatives compose a response to the critical LinkedIn post. Then, have your belligerent customers respond. Continue the back-and-forth.

If you do want your employees to respond to upset customers, use the back-and-forth to show when they should withdraw from such conversations. Additionally, use this opportunity to create sample stock responses that your team can use when they are dealing with upset social media users.

If you do not want your employees to respond in such situations, use this scenario to show why they should not respond. Emphasize the fact that situations with upset buyers can quickly escalate.



Employees will be able to:

  • Practice writing for a variety of audiences and social networks
  • Utilize content to engage their followers

The Activity

Give your employees an article, blog post, video, or infographic. Have them digest it. (You always want to read articles before posting them.)

Then, ask your employees to:

  • Compose a tweet to promote the piece of content.
  • Write a LinkedIn update to promote the piece of content.

Work in groups to workshop the Twitter and LinkedIn updates. What works? What didn’t work?

What to Look for

Check for the following items:

  • Images – Both Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to include images. Does the post include one?
  • Hashtags – LinkedIn doesn’t use hashtags, but Twitter does. Make sure that your employees aren’t hasthag happy. One to two will suffice.
  • @Mentions – You can tag people on both Twitter and LinkedIn. You might want to tag a prospect or a thought leader.
  • Optimal length – The optimal length of a tweet is between 120 and 130 characters (Source), while the optimal length of a LinkedIn status update is 25 words (Source).

Use this opportunity to remind your advocates and sales reps that Twitter and LinkedIn are different networks. They have their own idiosyncrasies. Twitter is a great place for abbreviations like ICYMI, but LinkedIn is not.

Your Training Ideas

What ideas have worked for you? Leave some of your training tips in the comments section below!


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