Hootsuite unveils free online social media education platform

The new Podium platform provides users with 40 short educational videos

VANCOUVER, BC — Hootsuite has created a free online education platform called Podium that aims to help people learn social-media skills to use in their own businesses.

"At its core, Podium is the most up-to-date free social-media education for anybody looking to advance their own personal skill set or their career in social," said Greg Gunn, vice president of new product growth at Hootsuite.

The tool, which offers 40 short how-to videos, will also provide job seekers, college students, freelancers, and other professionals with the opportunity to earn a social media marketing certification.

Gunn said the idea for Podium came out of requests from Hootsuite University users who wanted to learn the basics of social media education before diving into the social relationship platform’s tactical training and certification platform. Hootsuite University, which is not a free service, launched in May 2010.

Hootsuite chose not to attach the brand’s name to Podium so the new platform can act as a separate part of the company and fill a void in the social media education space, said Gunn.

Another reason for the creation of Podium, he added, is because of the increased demand from employers for staffers who understand how to use social media.

The brand plans on creating content for its new Podium audience on the Hootsuite blog, and it’s looking into potential partnerships to amplify the offering. Gunn declined to go into detail about the possible partners but said the brand has successfully teamed up with universities and like-minded companies in the past.

Hootsuite will also promote Podium on its social-media channels.

"Social media is growing in terms of its sophistication within organizations," Gunn said, "and with things like social customer support, social selling, and engaging employees internally, this is no longer a ‘nice-to-have,’ it’s a ‘must-have’ for a lot of organizations."

In May, Hootsuite launched a tool that turns high-performing Facebook content into promoted posts and simplifies the ad creation and management process.

This article first appeared on prweek.com.

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