Book Review: Social Media for Trainers

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This book review is about Social Media for Trainers: Techniques for Enhancing and Extending Learning by Jane Bozarth.

The first thing I want to say is that in my opinion, this book is not just for trainers. If you are trying to move from using social media for marketing to using social media to engage with your audiences, you should read this book.

You should also read this book if you are a trainer (or you develop training). The book starts by defining social media terms. Then each chapter covers a specific social media tool: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Wikis, and a catch-all chapter for other tools (such as Google docs, YouTube, social bookmarking, SlideShare, Skype, and UStream). The final chapter discusses social learning. Basically, if you need a primer on what all of these things are, you want to pick up this book.

This book is designed to help you situate your understanding of these tools to your own environment. Each chapter defines the tool, gives disadvantages and advantages of the tool in training situations, explains when the tool can be used instead of other things, or when it should be used in addition to other tools. Each chapter has a getting started page, and then a large section of practical examples.

For example, the Facebook and other communities chapter provides many examples of how to engage with learners, and how to draw them out into conversations. One suggestion was to “show that you are reading others’ posts by referring to them in your own posts; construct an argument, offering evidence and supporting resources, remember that a good post is one that gets people thinking and makes them want to reply”. Also the section on Intersession Work has two pages of suggestions on how to use Facebook group to extend a formal learning experience. But if you manage a community, you should check out some of the suggestions (don’t be surprised if you see some in the Proven Professional community soon!).

So yes, this is yet another post about education. If you deliver or create content for training, get this book. Or is this post more than just another education post? If you want to move to social media engagement, not just social media marketing, you should get this book too!

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