SoMe, SoWhat? (A Trainer’s Enquiry)

Social Media is here to stay. People are getting together watching, commenting and sharing. Some are even doing more.

The possibilities for a trainer are endless. No blog spot can list them all (although some do a reasonable job of getting started). But should you, the trainer, jump on the train or let it pass by?


Why use social media as a trainer?

I will admit, I’ve been seduced by the “fun” and “cool” of social media for training (and learning in general) but that is not a good reason to get involved.

Here are 3 GOOD reasons:

  • New participant audiences are doing it anyway (Generation Y), so if you want to adapt…
  • You can get your message or learning much more easily to more people by joining them where they are (instead of making them come to you)
  • You can create longer lasting impact outside of the classroom with limited additional investment


According to @JaneBozarth in her book “Social Media for Trainers” the effective use of SoMe strategies “can provide a big payoff for both learners and trainers”.

According to Karie Willyerd, it will be unacceptable to delivery learning in the future that DOES NOT “incorporate features that make hanging out on social sites compelling”.

But that doesn’t mean you have to use SoMe Tools – integrating features like “rating” and “commenting” into a classroom is easy…


But if you DO want to use SoMe as a trainer… What can you do?

In short, SoMe can be useful before, during and after training. In my opinion, with the technology and audiences I see today, most efficient ROI for integrating SoMe tools into training comes from the pre/post phase.

I’m not going to list here all different the tools and approaches I use for increasing the longevity of training with SoMe tools, but here are 6 simple things you could consider achieving:



  • Get people to introduce themselves, their needs and their questions to each other before they get to the room
  • Share a knowledge-resource on a given topic and a start-up conversation
  • Vote, survey or rate things that will be discussed in the room



  • Get people sharing references and resources after your training
  • Create a(n infinitely growing) group of participants from a particular course of content who can share and discuss best practices, worries and success stories
  • Make simple “piqures de rappel” months after the money and time spent in training is passed


Why not?

What are the reasons for NOT doing such things? Again – there are SO many!! Here are some of the reasons I hear from my colleagues and network:

  • “There is no added value”
  • “We will only make our own work as trainers redundant”
  • “People don’t want to do more after training”
  • “It takes too much time”
  • “I’m a trainer and training stops when the last participant leaves”
  • “My participants are not ON social media”
  • “I’m not ON social media”
  • “Tools like Facebook are dangerous”
  • “I don’t like sharing – I’m a private kind of person”
  • “My clients don’t let their people use YouTube and Twitter”


Why do I @dan_steer do it?


See you there?

…but not on Facebook (I’ll explain why if you come to the Trainer’s Lounge, 25th January with @kluweropleiding)


About Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

Posted on January 11, 2012, in Learning Management, Resources and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Marie Martine Carlier

    Pre training and post training are not that new…
    As a trainer, I am more interested in learning how to use SoMe 🙂

  2. Of course you are 🙂

    Perhaps my blog-post was not clear – the idea is to profit from SoMe tools to improve your Pre/During/Post training actions… As I noted, I wanted to stimulate here the POSITIONING of those tools in a training context, NOT to “teach” the tools themselves (here, in this blog).

    This blog-post is written in support of the Trainer’s Lounge I will do at Kluwer to answer: How can SoMe help me in my work as a trainer? If you want contact details, let me know – Maybe they would be happy to welcome you as a guest at that evening (Jan 26th)…

    If you are interested in SoMe for SocialLearning with a WIDER (corporate) scope than training delivery/support, you should come to the Epsilon session on “SoMe SoLearn” on the 14th February.

    If you want some concrete ideas today on any of the tools I use, drop me a line via LinkedIn

    Thanks for your comment!
    Nice to see you IRL yesterday,

    • Marie Martine Carlier

      I will be at the Epsilon session (after all, cancelation of training sessions are not so bad!).
      I’m eager to discover the magical world of SoMe.
      Marie Martine

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