There is no escaping the ubiquity of social media use in both our business and personal lives. There is also no denying the value that social media tools can bring to a business. As more companies embrace social media tools, it is the organization’s responsibility not only to communicate ground rules, but also to provide training to equip employees with the right skills to make the most out of their social networking efforts.

Why Social Media Training is Important

Consider these statistics:

  • 60% of employees want to share relevant content on social media sites about their employer in order to boost business.
  • 8% of employers have fired employees because of statements made on social media.
  • 20% of employers have disciplined employees for social media misuse.
  • While many managers and HR professionals worry about how employees will use social media, only 40% of companies have a formal social media policy. Even fewer companies provide social media training for employees.
  • Although the majority of recruiters now use social media for recruiting, only 10% have been formally trained.


“When you give all of your employees the ability to interact with the whole world…well, then you have to provide them with some training on how to use it properly and effectively.”Sharlyn Lauby, the HR Bartender


Simply having a social media usage policy is not sufficient, no matter how strong the policy is. Employers cannot assume that all employees will understand (or even read) a formal policy – proper training and education is required.

What to Include in Your Social Media Training

  • An introduction to popular technologies and a review of common social media platforms, including tips for setting up an account.
  • Examples of social media mistakes that could impact individuals or the organization.
  • Case studies of successful social media strategies that are relevant to your business, e.g. recruiting or marketing.
  • An overview of your company’s social media policy.

Examples of Social Media Training in Practice

  • Coca-Cola has a Social Media Certification Program that employees are required to complete if they wish to represent the company online.
  • Recruiters at Intuit attend Social Media Bootcamp, a 6-week program that teaches effective social recruiting strategy, how to set up individual profiles and how to find useful information to share online.
  • Zappos trains employees on the proper use of social media as part of their new-hire orientation program.


For more information about Best Practices in Social Media and HR, see our free resources at HR University. Jumpstart:HR also provides tailored Staff Training and Development in a variety of areas, including proper use of social media. Contact us today for more information!