Are you, or have you considered using the likes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media platforms as a part of your organization’s learning strategies? If you said “Yes!” congratulations! You’ve joined the next generation of learning!
If you are not yet on the bandwagon, let me ask this: Did you know 80% of Americans use social media? And they spend 700 Billion minutes per month on Facebook alone?
Social media can complement just about ANY learning strategy! By regularly sharing posts with your audience, you can get them excited about what’s to come in training, you can reinforce key concepts presented in class, you can ask for participant feedback and much, much more!
Consider what you might be missing if you’re not tapping into social media BEFORE, DURING and AFTER training:
- Social media is FREE and in most cases, your audience is already tapping into social media at least once per day. Capitalize and get YOUR learning messages out there! Not all learners will participate, but those who do will have a leg up! Your L&D will also benefit because you can gain valuable feedback, quickly.
Social media is VERSITLE! There are SO MANY WAYS to use social media! Get creative! Consider using:
- Polls Example: I would prefer: A) An afternoon training session, B) An evening training session, C) A weekend training session, or D) I love training at any time.
- Fill-in-the blank questions Example: The number one thing I liked about today’s XYZ class was _________.
- Posts/Tweets with compelling facts Examples: For a sales class: The number one reason people object to your recommendation is they don’t understand how the product will benefit them.
- Links to cool articles that link to your content Example: link to your company newsletter article about the upcoming system conversion.
- Post pictures that will get people thinking Example: An Iceberg picture with a thought provoking question linked to your content will get people thinking about what lies beneath the most obvious issues.
- Insert your idea here to support your program’s end in mind.
Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, with more than 250 million tweets per day and 500,000 new users per day.
Tweets are short and sweet (have to be less than 140 characters), and your learners will access information when THEY want. Adults like to direct their own learning, and Twitter will let them do just this! Twitter tips:
- ASK your staff to follow you on Twitter and give them the “What’s in it for me”. Consider hosting random drawings for small prizes for new followers to give a bit of added incentive.
- Establish a hashtag for your program(s). What’s a hashtag? It’s a tool that will allow your learners to search for your posts quickly and for you to tap into Twitter conversations about your program. To establish a hashtag, think of an easy to remember word or phrase, put a # sign in front of it and let people know! Ex: #trainingrocks, #yourclassname, #becreative, #anythinggoes!
- Use your hashtag any time you make a post related to your program and make the posts count! If you tweet useless information, your followers will loose interest quickly.
Use social media for pre-work or reinforcement exercises! Learning is one of the number one reasons I love using social media. In a matter of moments, I can see what’s hot in the world of training, leadership, music, sports, entertainment, you name it! Tap into the fact you can find just about anything, any time, about any subject by giving your learners an activity to search for content related to a topic in your program.
For example, if you’re hosting a sales class, assign pre-work which asks your students to bring one example of how to sell effectively (or pitfalls to avoid) using social media. They might bring a short video clip of a sales technique they found on YouTube, they might find an effective tweet from their favorite retailer about a new product, they might bring a post found on Pinterest that displays a great quote about working with people, who knows!
No matter what each person brings, each will be a conversation starter and you will be able to link the concepts presented into your content. It’s engaging, it’s fun and it allows the learners to drive the conversation.
You can assign these types of assignments before, during or after class. Be creative, be open and ready for a wide variety of feedback and have FUN!
Once the training is over, don't forget to use a course evaluation survey to measure the impact of incorporating social media into your training & development efforts. You might be surprised with some of the insights you gather!
These are just a few ideas about how organizations can leverage the power of social media in their learning programs. What examples can you share?