In a few years, social media gained rapid prominence becoming the main communication outlet. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter count more than 4 billion monthly users combined, and this number keeps on growing, as well as social media platforms available worldwide. Social networks could potentially provide limitless benefits to UN agencies, funds, missions and organizations. They can exponentially boost their visibility and their level of interaction with the general public, reaching an ever-increasing audience. Broadcast events and meetings live, without using intermediaries. Build cost-effective and targeted campaigns. However, besides few glowing examples, several organizations struggle having a presence in the web and interfacing with the people far and near. This fully redesigned course, is designed to meet the needs of UN staff working with social media. It will give you an overview of the pros and cons of the social networks available, as well as of basic concepts, such as branding, networking and influencing. Also, it will help you identify the most effective social media for the communications you have to craft, present best and worst practices within the UN system, provide practical tips on when to post and on how to increase your followers and influence online. Furthermore, it will help you identify ways to overcome budgetary constraints or managerial scepticism vis-à-vis these tools. Lastly, it will support you in developing a social media strategy suitable for your unit and/or purpose.


  • Develop and sustain an online brand, suitable for their needs and goals;
  • Select the right mix of social media tools and platforms, depending on their goals and priorities and, at the same time, recognize the most effective social media platform to achieve high levels of visibility
  • Create effective strategies to deal with online criticism and minimise the reputational damage of any attack;
  • Report and measure social media listening and social media monitoring;
  • Identify key people in their field of interest in order to build and maintain networks and increase their online influence;
  • Apply techniques to boost their online leadership, by discovering ways of motivating and inspiring people online.

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

This course is delivered online. It combines synchronized sessions in our virtual classroom, led by subject matter experts, with self-paced activities and interactive group discussions.

The weekly synchronized sessions are conducted on the WebEx online platform. Participants need a computer (or mobile device), a reliable internet connection and either headset with microphone to connect to the audio through the computer, or a telephone. We recommend accessing audio through the computer. No special software is required; but participants must be able to access WebEx, so please check the admin rights on your computer. We will send instructions for WebEx access to registered participants. We recommend you download the application and test your access in advance.

The five synchronized online sessions are from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Rome-time (8:00 am – 10:00 am New York-time), on TUESDAYS.

The self-paced components and discussion forum for each week of the course are designed and structured on the UNKampus, UNSSC’s Learning Platform.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 
  • Week 1 – Networking, branding and influencing on social media: Building and maintaining networks; online leadership the importance of online brand; authenticity; transparency.
  • Week 2 – Leveraging social media to tell the UN’s story: The UN and its social media accounts; reasons the UN should use social media; best practices and tools used within the UN on various social media platforms; shwing the lighter side.
  • Week 3 – Developing a social media strategy: identifying your communication goals and needs; best tools to achieve fixed goals;
  • Week 4 – Essential social media skills and tips: Managing your supervisor on the “web”; changing and adapting the business language. criteria for an effective post; short and long-term campaigns; means of engagement and identification of targeted audiences.
  • Week 5 – Final course project and peer exchange: At the beginning of the course you will have the possibility to submit an individual social media project relevant to your work. UNSSC and our team of communication specialists will guide you through it and help you achieve your expected goal. You will present it to the rest of the class and exchange insights with your colleagues.

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

UN Communication Officers, project managers, and other UN staff involved or interested in leveraging social media to achieve team and organizational goals.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The course fee of 1,250 USD covers full participation in the online course.

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