3 Team Events to Bridge the Social Media Generation Gap

Social Media GameIn Why Are Companies Reluctant to Use Social Media for Corporate Events?  I suggested that companies introduce social media through simple yet engaging team activities.

If you have Generation Y team members who have mastered social media, this is an ideal opportunity to hone their leadership and presentation skills. This can be part of a "rotnem" initiative, in which younger team members "reverse mentor" (rotnem) executives and managers to bring them up to speed on social media.

If social media expertise is not available in-house, engage professional facilitators to run these or similar activities.

Before the Team Event

  • Crowdsource content: Send out a short survey. Give participants an opportunity to submit questions, share the technology and social media sites they are using, and identify social media that is of greatest interest.
  • Form teams:  Ensure that each team has a social media savvy coach as well as a team leader. Use external facilitators or members of your internal training or social media teams if there are not enough coaches.
  • Pick platforms: Invite participants to bring technology with which they are comfortable. Conduct tests to ensure that smartphones, tablets and laptops work well in the meeting room.

Getting Started

Set the context so that busy executives and managers don't dismiss the activities as frivolous fluff. Share specific examples of how companies in your industry and other industries are using social media to generate tangible business results. Use a simple card games like Concentration or a customized Trivial Pursuit inspired activity to introduce social media terminology.

  • Executive briefing: Get a member of the executive team to articulate the business benefits of the specific social media tool or application on which you are focusing.
  • Keep it simple: Focus on only one social media tool or application per session. Have the team coaches provide immediate assistance to anyone who needs it.
  • Set-up: Do a live demonstration and guide the team slowly and step-by-step through the registration process.
  • Build networks: Guide the team through the process of following, friending or adding each other to their network.
  • Practice posting: Demonstrate and give the group practice in tweeting or posting updates.

Simple Team Building for Mastering Social Media Basics

Many people are still intimidated by social media. Use no more than one activity per session. It is best to have 2 contestants per team respond to each question so that they can assist each other. Keep it light and fun. Award points for correct answers and bonus points for the first correct answer.

  1. Twitter Trivia
    Demonstrate how to use hashtags. Introduce a custom hashtag. Use a format similar to a Twitter chat to post trivia. In teams, give participants an opportunity to tweet answers.
  2. Facebook Follies
    Use a similar process to Twitter Trivia minus the hashtags. Post questions on the facilitator's account. Teams respond by commenting.
  3. LinkedIn Lab
    Post questions as status updates on the facilitator's account. Team members take turns respond by commenting. When everyone is comfortable, have them join a LinkedIn Group that you have already set up. Continue in one or more group discussions. For one question, Identify industry specific groups and give team members time to join them.

If the group is struggling. Provide additional instruction and coaching. Use fun trivia for practice. End the session on a high note. Pick things up on another day scheduled no later than a week after the first session. If the group is comfortable and everyone is catching on, relaxed and having fun, take a break.

Just before your next session (after the break or in one week), send various trivia questions to team members via private or direct messages. Give team members an opportunity to pick up messages and tweet or post their questions. Demonstrate how to find and respond to questions. If the group is catching on really fast, introduce how to share video, articles, links, etc. in response to bonus pop questions.

Wrap up by debriefing the activity, showing the group 1 - 2 live examples of how companies are using the specific social media tool for business. Award prizes.

To learn more about social media, read 5 Easy Ways to Open Doors Using Social Media and How Mobile Apps Are Changing the Future of Events.

Photo Credits: coyenator

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