Jeremy Solly

Jeremy Solly on creating a social media training pilot program at Cambia Health Solutions

“We work in between two hurricanes,” says member Jeremy Solly, Cambia's Social Media Manager.

“Social media is an ever-evolving and changing hurricane of a field, and healthcare is currently in a state of major change and disruption,” he says.

One way they're adapting to all of that change is through social media training. But with social media as a fairly new venture at Cambia and for companies in healthcare in general, Jeremy says they're starting slow and setting a foundation.

With a small team of coordinators, Cambia established a social media center of excellence.

Being good at social selling is really about giving.

It follows a hub and spoke model, with social media experts at the center and alliances within different brands and departments as the spokes. Right now, the center of excellence is focused on establishing company-wide training to help get everyone on board with the basics of social media.

They plan on expanding that program to include different levels of training for each team, executives, and an in-depth training for customer service. But before they get there, they've developed a pilot training program.

The pilot program is made up of 15 people from their sales team.

The group actually came to Cambia's social center of excellence first. They knew social selling was important, but their comfort levels with social media were all over the place. So Cambia's social team started with the basics.

In a large group meeting in person and with some people calling in remotely, the social team taught the pilot group about how to optimize their LinkedIn profiles. They also explained why this wasn't just about the brand.

“At the end of the day, they're not just putting forward a brand image, they're sharing their personal image as well. So it's about them first and the brand second. But, as a team, we want to help both. It's a win-win situation there,” Jeremy says.

Afterwards, they scheduled 30-minute one-on-one sessions with each person in the pilot group. Over the course of a month, Jeremy and his team met with members of the pilot group to help them through the process individually.

The next step: Teaching salespeople the ins and outs of engagement.

Social media is an ever-evolving and changing hurricane of a field, and healthcare is currently in a state of major change and disruption.

In another large group meeting, the social center of excellence explained to the group how to turn real-life networking into LinkedIn connections, and met again one-on-one to drive those lessons home. Some advice Jeremy shared: “Being good at social selling is really about giving.”

They explained that building relationships on LinkedIn takes giving information and becoming a source of knowledge. “For example,” Jeremy says, “I tell them that if you hear every week that your clients are worried about the ACA or ‘Obamacare,' you're the experts on it, so just go out and give them answers.”

That takes plenty of content creation.

And while Cambia's social team provides content and ideas on a weekly basis, each sales team member is expected to create their own content. They email the pilot group a list of hot topics, associated blog posts, and some examples for tweets and LinkedIn messages.

How does the center of excellence plan on scaling this model? Training other trainers.

“I'm a big advocate that you really learn when you teach,” Jeremy says.

Cambia's social team is looking to create an internal training course, shoot videos, and develop self-serve lessons. But that can be difficult in an organization where social media still has to prove its value to earn funding.

Jeremy's hopeful that the results they'll see from the pilot program will help show that value.

“Success begets success,” he says. “As we've gotten more people comfortable and gotten content in their hands, it's built momentum.”

Follow Jeremy on Twitter and ask about his favorite spot in Portland. Jeremy's been a member of since 2013.