Hi, Rachel here!

Social media scheduling platform Hootsuite have announced the launch of a social media education platform, with the aim of “educating 1 million users by 2017”

Podium, which is free, will provide tutorials and courses on topics such as “the fundamentals of social media marketing” and “content marketing”. One reason behind the launch, according to Vice President Greg Gunn, is due to the number of employers asking for staff who understand how to use social media.

Gunn has said that the project stems from requests from Hootsuite University users wanting a basic how-to guide for managing their social media presence. Hootsuite University is a paid course with webinar-like teaching and similar certification to Podium.

Hootsuite are aiming the platform at freelancers, college students, and social media managers – essentially, Podium is opening the floor to anyone who wants to hone their social media skills.

The platform is split into 6 courses and 40 video tutorials with tips and strategies. It also includes a community forum, giving the chance for social media newbies to ask the heavyweights for advice. Podium is self-paced, which means it is great for those who are juggling social media around their already busy schedules. Interestingly users receive a Hootsuite Certification in Social Media Marketing, and a listing in a public Social Media Professionals Directory.

Podium adds to the ever-growing list of “must-have” social media tools. Sorting through the influx of apps and platforms is becoming a bit like Social Media Inception. The one size fits all nature of Podium sounds like it would be good for a basic 101, but if you’re looking for specific business related advice, you might be better off with a more bespoke service. This would take into account the reality of your business, and tailor the learning to your business goals.

Read Hootsuite’s blog on the launch here