4 Reasons Online Social Media Training Outperforms Live Sessions

2012-12-12_22-08-39

Online social media training is emerging as not just the most cost effective way of making social media courses available to employees.

As digital leaders in all categories continue to outperform their peers, beginners and conservative organziations are realizing that the promise of social media is much more than just social marketing.

Social media is, as other technological innovations have been, another productivity windfall.  A way to do more with less. And a way to extend the visibility of organization as a byproduct of doing your job.

Pre-Facebook and Twitter, when external communication could be contained to marketing or PR department, official company spokespersons were media trained.

Today, the entire organization needs to be social media trained.  For these 4 reasons, the Internet is the best pace to get it done.

  1. Speed – Forget about the cost of travel and lodging.  “Time off the job is the number one cost of professional training,” says Mark Lambertson of Certilearn.  The problem with instructor-led training is it’s linear. Everyone brings different knowledge with them to the seminar. They have to sit through what they know already to get to the good stuff.  Online social media training can be chunked up into bite sized nuggets and employees can focus on what they don’t know, and avoid sitting through what they know already. “A six-hour class can be delivered online in as little as three hours, and with better retention rates,” says Jim Recker, product specialist at Citrix GoToTraining.
  2. Retention – After 4 to 5 hours of new information, even the keenest mind shuts down. But since it’s not economical to send an employee to an off site training for 2 hours a day for 6 days, they get fire hosed with new information for 6 hours a day. None of it is recorded, so they have to write everything down themselves. Try that while you’re learning advanced online social networking best practices.  Online social media training is prerecorded, so they can focus on learning the key concepts, and if they miss something, they can rewind and watch again as many times as they like.
  3. Mentorship – There’s just no need to invest a subject matter expert’s productivity in delivering the same information over and over again when it can be recorded and delivered on-demand. ” When you’ve got a limited amount of contact time between instructor and student you want use it for the most meaningful purpose. And it’s not the presentation of information. It’s guiding people when they’re making mistakes, giving them feedback, helping them understand the consequences of their mistake, appraise their successes and know hoe well they’re doing,” says Michael W. Allen, Chairman and CEO of Allen Interactions.
  4. Convenience – Whether they’re virtual or live, instructor led trainings require the assembly of group. So when new employees are on-boarded, they have to wait until the next training before they can acquire those skills.  Online social media training can be delivered anytime, anywhere on any device.

After nearly ten years leading social media trainings and social media bootcamps for clients like Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota, the U.S. Dept. of State, the United States Marine Corps and UCLA, I recently created 1o online social media training courses to make them available to a broader audience for a fraction of what they cost in the real world.

I’m also experimenting with the addition of virtual instructor-led sessions as part of my online social media training courses, so participants can get questions answered and receive live mentoring, after they’ve gone through the on-demand courseware.

What is your experience with online social media training? I’m not talking about social media marketing courses online, but rather social media training for employees outside of the marketing and PR departments. Are you using them to train your people?

What if you could count on your colleagues to like, retweet and plus one your shares?  How much further would your message be seen and heard?

And what if everyone in your organization used social media for all public communications?

If you could drive adoption on that scale, your organization would just naturally transfer public intelligence to the social web, where it could be discovered through search and shared by others through social.

That is the real promise of social media. Not just as a marketing channel. But as a communications channel which leaves behind a trial of digital breadcrumbs that leads back to you.

This post was written from interviews conducted with attendees of the eLearning Guild’s annual DevLearn conference, which occured Oct. 30 – Nov. 1 in Las Vegas.

Image by wafflesncream