Hootsuite Launches Free Social Media Education Platform

Hootsuite, which operates Hootsuite University for business people, this week launches Podium, an everything-you-need-to-know-about-social-media site for everyman (and woman, of course). “We’ve been in the online education game for five years, but we asked ourselves, ‘How do we support people in all kinds of jobs who are now expected to communicate on social media?’” says Greg Gunn, VP of new products growth at the company.

At its debut, Podium is comprised of 40 short videos spread over six courses of study, including “Introduction to Social Media Marketing,” “Growing Your Online Community,” and “Content Marketing Fundamentals.” It also hosts a community forum in which questions can be posed to experienced professionals.

While Podium is free and on-demand to all comers (Hootsuite U. is $21 a month), students can choose to take a social media certification exam for $200. “There is a hole in the ecosystem concerning proper tier one training in social media,” Gunn says. “We use industry standard testing tools and we believe the certification proves to an employer that a person is adept.”

Podium launches with a dedicated staff of 15 people providing content, offering feedback, and running the student community.

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