News | OnlineNew online course for social media marketing for hospitalityThis article was originally published onBy Nick Vivion | December 18, 2015 The Internet might thrive on cat videos and stupid shenanigans caught on camera, but it also has quite the selection of location-independent education.So-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) allow large groups of people to share in learning typically reserved for a classroom setting. Now there’s a MOOC targeted to hospitality professionals — and offered by a very credible outfit, the educational component of ITB Berlin, the ITB Academy.The course provides professional development specifically around Social Media in Tourism, with modules on storytelling, social commerce and legal considerations on social media.The modules each last from 3 to 5 hours, and allow for learning-at-your-own-pace and on mobile devices.Two modules are especially useful in highlighting some ongoing considerations for any tourism professional: social commerce and legal. The social commerce element explains how hospitality might deploy using social media to sell and not just for product offering awareness.From the course authors: “Social Commerce can upgrade the online shopping experience through the use of Social Media, which is an indispensable current change. The numerous ways of the so-called “Social Shopping Portals” are diverse and enable the customer to get involved in an easy and interactive digital shopping experience.”Share this quote Legal considerations are also vital to understanding social media, given that the posted content can be consumed in multiple countries. Each country’s laws prevail for the consumers in that specific country and so professionals must understand the rights and responsibilities of this murky area of social media.Like most MOOCs, there is a cost attached to receiving a professional qualification that confirms completion of the course. The certificate costs EUR 89 for professionals and EUR 49 for students.More professional developmentHere at Tnooz, we’re always celebrating the evolution of the travel trade. With that in mind, we’re happy to selectively spread the word about offerings that can help professionals working in travel technology get even better at what they do. Some resources:Another notable online certification course is the Introduction to Global Hospitality Management, presented by the esteemed School of Hotel Administration at Cornell. Cornell also offers a series of online certifications via its eCornell initiative for working hospitality professionals.Similarly: Tourism Tribe aims to help operators swap tips on marketing and distribution. It combines 65 tutorials on aspects of marketing and distribution with peer education.Year-round, Travel Academy -- by Travel+SocialGood has a goal of helping to redefine education and professional development and generate purpose-fueled, impact-driven travel professionals. It is creating hub networks in cities worldwide.TravelMassive events continue to be a premier networking resources globally for the industry.