James Cooper is a strategist on the Content and Community team at Social Media Group (SMG). Follow @jamescooper

In his list of trends for 2013 on Fast Company, Ryan Holmes addresses a recent Harvard Business Review survey, which reveals that only 12 percent of companies using social media feel they are doing so effectively.

With businesses making increased use of social media, the demand for specialized training will surely grow. As Holmes points out, “social media skills will join email as part of basic business literacy in the digital age.”

Beverly Macy shares similar views with Holmes in her Huffington Post article, which lists her social media predictions for 2013. According to Macy, enterprises that are not fluent in social media will be at a competitive disadvantage. “All employees must be exposed to basic social media training and education to attain a knowledge baseline in the organization,” as Macy puts it.

Holmes stresses the importance for companies to provide “social media compliance training to ensure that workers in sensitive industries from finance to healthcare uphold regulatory standards while taking advantage of social media’s benefits.”

To make enterprise social media training a reality, Macy predicts that most companies will need outside consultation and guidance. She believes that companies will need to develop and integrate entirely new systems to train within the organization. As she points out, “most of today’s education systems inside the enterprise rely on technologies and procedures that do not encompass social platforms.”

And what’s higher education doing to meet the growing demand for social media education? Holmes thinks we can “expect to see more social media coursework at universities, as well as dedicated social media MBA programs, as schools rise to the challenge….”

Having trained clients to use social media at an enterprise-level and instructed social media courses at a university-level, I have long felt that social media training is an issue that deserves greater attention and resources from most companies and academic institutions. That said, I strongly agree with Holmes’ and Macy’s predictions, and I hope we see them realized in a big way in 2013 and years to come.

What do you think? What’s your organization doing to train staff?

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