Who's it for?
The one-day course, held up to twice a month in London and Manchester, is for users of social media who need to gain a greater understanding of implementing social-media strategies for external communications. Typical attendees are marketers, community managers, PR professionals, publishers and account planners. The course requires delegates to bring a wi-fi-enabled laptop.
As well as learning the principles of social media, across areas such as driving word-of-mouth and the importance of honesty and integrity, attendees examine different types, including blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, multimedia sharing, reviews, games and virtual worlds.
Case studies - good and bad examples - are used to illustrate the medium, and there is an emphasis on monitoring a brand's presence across social media, including analysis techniques and tools and benchmarking practices.
The laws relating to social media are also covered, and training also features informal discussions about objectives for each attendee's brand, including group exercises and feedback.
And another thing ...
A four-week post-course support service is offered online and attendees also receive hard and soft copies of course materials, along with an attendance certificate.
Leanne Downs is social media and online marketing assistant at The Simply Group. She completed the course earlier this year.
"When I attended the course, I was quite new to the world of social media for business. It helped me focus and organise my approach to using social media within my role. This is important because I handle social-media accounts for six very different online retail stores, all of which have different needs. It takes quite a lot of organisation to give them all the attention they need to work well. It also highlighted to me many useful tools and platforms that I had not heard about.
The main challenge has been absorbing all the information and then putting it to good use. The best part was examining examples of how others have successfully used social media for their businesses and to work out how I could apply some of these ideas to my own role. It helped spark plenty of ideas and inspired me to try different things and generally be a bit more creative with how I use social media.
For those looking to do a similar course, think carefully about what you want to gain from it and keep this in mind throughout. Make sure you leave with what you wanted to learn clear in your mind, ready to start putting it into action."