Harness the power of social networks. In this course, with the support of an outstanding faculty, you’ll learn how to develop an innovative social media strategy and craft effective digital content to spread information relevant to your UN work and increase your influence on social media platforms.


Social media has been rapidly gaining prominence in recent years, transforming into a crucial communication platform for organizations and individuals. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter have more than 4 billion monthly users, and the number of social media users across the globe is set to grow exponentially. Capitalizing on, and effectively navigating the social media landscape is essential to communication success for UN agencies, funds, missions and organizations.

This programme 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 social networks and fundamental concepts including branding, networking and influencing. Sign up for the programme to master social media skills which will enable you to boost visibility across social media platforms, interact effectively with an engaged audience, build cost-effective and targeted campaigns. The goal is to help you create a social media strategy in line with the wider communication objectives of your organization. Social media monitoring and analysis will also be a significant component of the programme.

  • Select the right mix of social media tools and platforms, depending on goals and priorities and, at the same time, recognize the most effective social media platform to achieve high levels of visibility
  • Overcome budgetary constraints or managerial scepticism vis-à-vis these tools
  • Identify the most successful practices in social media for headquarters and country teams
  • Create effective strategies to deal with online criticism and minimize the reputational damage of any attack
  • Use social media analytics tools in an effective manner
  • Discover how to develop video-related content that is appealing and innovative
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 webinars are conducted on the Zoom 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 Zoom, so please check the admin rights on your computer. We will send instructions for Zoom access to registered participants. We recommend you download the application and test your access in advance. 

The course will take five weeks with one webinar session per week from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Rome-time (8:00 am – 10:00 am New York-time). 

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

Approximate time commitment to fully participate in this course (completing pre-work, attending webinars, forum discussions, etc.) is 4-6 hours per week (2-4 hours preparation + 2 hours of webinar). 

Course contents

Week 1: 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; 
  • Showing the lighter side. 

Week 2: Developing a social media strategy & essential social media skills and tips 

  • Identifying your communication goals and needs;  
  • Best tools to achieve fixed goals;  
  • Choosing the most effective and useful social media platform, based on your strategy and needs;  
  • Changing and adapting the language;  
  • Criteria for an effective post. 

Week 3: Campaigning on social media:  

  • Short and long-term campaigns;  
  • Means of engagement and identification of targeted audiences;  
  • Social media vs social networking;  
  • Social media marketing features;  
  • Organic vs paid campaigns;  
  • CRM strategy with social media. 

Week 4: The good, the bad, the ugly of social media & using videos effectively 

  • Ecology of platforms and tools available and how to decide on the right mix for what you want to achieve;  
  • Good and practices of UN agencies on social media;  
  • How to manage and implement a social media strategy with limited resources; 
  • How to support country offices’ efforts on social media;  
  • Video-first world and other innovative social media tools and apps. 

Week 5: Shareability is key 

  • Creating shareable, attractive and inspiring content online that respond to the basic question of “will you share this?”;  
  • Key performance indicators for social media;  
  • Managing social media platforms with resources and support from management. 
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

The course fee is of $1,100. It covers self-paced learning material as well as five tutor-led webinars.