Even if you have a solid foundation in social media marketing, there is always room for improvement. Keeping up with the latest marketing methods and strategies is key in this line of work. It will help your company generate leads, connect better with clients, and make it easier to meet client needs. Let’s keep it real though, it will also help you climb the career ladder. But what social media certifications are out there?
If you are just starting out your career in social media without credentials, you’re going to look like a fish out of water. Credentials will add to your credibility, and are a testament to your skill and experience. Credentials also keep you relevant in the job market so you stand out from the other ambitious social media strategists, managers, and planners. Spending over 10 hours a week scrolling social media isn’t going to cut it for your future employers. So what knowledge and social media certifications will?
We have a list of nine social media certifications and courses you can acquire that will make you better equipped to solve problems on different platforms. Don’t be scared off if you have a full-time job! We’ve included courses that can be taken online and without a set deadline. The benefit of the majority of these courses is that you can adjust them to your schedule without worrying about missing work.
Let’s start the list with some familiar names.
1. HubSpot Academy
HubSpot is known for developing software for inbound marketing. Their software allows you to plan out your social media strategy and organize tasks. Unlike Analytics Academy, HubSpot’s topics are not limited to just their tool. HubSpot Academy can teach you about inbound marketing methodology, how to improve your writing, and courses that focus on specific platforms such as Instagram or YouTube. If you only want to watch videos about specific topics, you can do that instead. You can always take the exam later.
If you want certification in social media, they have a course for that. This course includes 40 videos and eight lessons on how to develop an effective social media strategy. The most important topics you will learn about include building brand awareness, using social listening and moderation, building one-to-one relationships, and increasing reach. The course takes just under five hours to complete.
Another course they have available is a certification course in content marketing. The aim of the course is to teach you the ways you can build a content marketing strategy. It teaches you about storytelling, content creation, and promotion’s roles in content marketing. You will also learn more about measuring and analyzing content, how to improve your writing, and how to create topic clusters. This one takes about four hours to complete.
2. Social Media Marketing at Udemy
Udemy is a platform that gives you access to different categories of classes such as marketing, photography, design, as well as IT & Software. Among all the courses, one stands out in the social media marketing category, and it scores 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Social Media Marketing Mastery – this course teaches you how to set up and use ads on more than 10 platforms. We’ve previously mentioned why promoting content on platforms such as LinkedIn and Pinterest is important, but this course will expand on this idea. You can learn about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, how to use promoted pins on Pinterest, as well as how to organize your profile, create content, and use video ads on YouTube. This course can be taken by social media marketers, business owners, and bloggers / influencers.
To access the material, you’ll have to pay a one-time fee. There is a certificate of completion after you finish the course, and you’ll be able to access the material whenever you need it.
3. Social Media Marketing Specialization – Northwestern University
Coursera offers a specialization course planned by the Northwestern University in Illinois. It’s ideal for beginners who are just starting off their career in social media marketing.
The course consists of six classes
- Basics of social marketing and trends
- Why social listening is important
- Implementing engagement and nurture marketing strategies
- Making content go viral
- Tracking the performance of your company’s marketing strategy
- Final project based on the previous classes
The course is in English, but it features Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese subtitles. The individual classes are free, however, you have to pay for the specialization. At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate that can be shared on LinkedIn.
4. Digital Marketing Strategy by Harvard Extension School
If you’re in the US and willing to really invest in your career, what could shine brighter than a certificate from a course taught at Harvard? Luckily, Harvard’s Extension School allows you to attend their courses over a period of a week, from 9 am to 5 pm.
The program includes topics such as social media strategy (including preventing and managing crises), influencer marketing, SEO and SEM. You would learn about KPIs, how to work in a ROI-based framework, and how to work with search agency partners. On top of that, you would have a chance to network in between classes.
This is the only course on the list that requires you to be physically present at a given location, and it costs $5995 in 2019. It’s generally advised that you take this course if you are a mid-sized business.
5. Hootsuite Academy
Hootsuite allows you to take free and paid courses on their platform. They differ in their difficulty levels and the types of topics they cover.
You could take the course and learn how to grow your community, and to learn about what types of content you could post. They include the best practices for sharing content on different platforms, as well as content creation itself. This social media certification costs $199 USD, but on the upside, you will permanently have the certificate available online.
However, there is another course that could help you stand out. They have a course about ROI and value analysis, but the certification costs $249 USD. You would learn how to budget for a social media program, how to use quantitative and qualitative measurements, and how to check the ROI of a paid ad campaign.
6. Analytics Academy
No doubt you have heard about Google Analytics. It’s a tool that can help you track conversion rates and traffic sources. It can be used to track paid campaigns, whether your users are converting, and if you’re reaching your marketing goals.
There’s so much information right in front of you, but how do you know what matters? Google has their own set of courses you can take so you can learn how to use their tools. What’s more, Google Analytics isn’t the only one that’s available. You can also learn more about Data Studio and Google Tag Manager.
We recommend taking courses such as this one because of the knowledge you will gain about bounce rates, how much time unique users are spending on your website, and where your traffic is coming from.
The courses are free, and you will receive a certificate of completion if you score over 80% on all of the assessments. The course should take about four to five hours to complete according to Google’s FAQ.
7. Facebook Blueprint
Facebook Blueprint allows you to take courses about how to conduct your business activities on Facebook. If your main target audience is primarily spending time on Facebook, then you should definitely know the ins-and-outs of the platform. They have different tools you should get acquainted with to help you target your audience, collect data, and share ad campaigns.
You can choose to go through individual topics instead of a full course with different “classes”.
However, if you want to have a certificate, there are two routes that you can take. Keep in mind, both examinations cost $150 USD.
Facebook Certified Planning Professional requires you to take a 75 minute exam that covers various topics. You would have to know
- The mechanics of Facebook’s business functions
- Pick the right tools for brand objectives
- Use Facebook’s tools for business campaigns
- Connect Facebook products to marketing strategies
- Measure the effectiveness of a brand’s campaign.
Facebook Advertising Core Competencies is more focused on
- The best practices you can use to manage Facebook Pages
- How to create and manage ads
- Comprehend the role media planner and buyers
- How to use advertising objectives
- How to utilize target audiences.
If you want to improve your chances of passing the exam, you should have a minimum of six months of experience with digital advertising on Facebook. Facebook provides you with the resources you should be familiar with to pass the exam.
Keep in mind that you have to renew your certification every year. Once you pass, you will get a certification badge that you can share on social media.
8. Twitter Flight
This program is important if you’re focused on ad campaigns or Twitter as a primary platform. It’s designed specifically by Twitter to help businesses understand how they can achieve their marketing goals with their platform. You’ll gain insight into how to increase engagement with successful video advertising campaigns.
Twitter Flight consists of two courses focused on video advertising. The Twitter Video Advertising Foundations course will teach you how to reach advertiser objectives through planning. You will learn about video partners and ad formats on the platform. You will receive certification after you complete the six modules and an assessment.
The Twitter Video Advertising Campaign Basics course is similar, except you will learn about the process for executing a video ad campaign. These steps include launching, optimizing, and reporting. Like the first course. The course only has five modules, and an assessment at the end.
The courses are free, and they should take about four to five hours to complete.
9. Later Training
Later (previously Latergram) is a company that created a tool that helps you schedule and plan your Instagram posts. Their website offers you free resources including ebooks, case studies, and courses, that will help you improve your Instagram.
Fortunately, they’ve collected tips to help small and mid-size businesses get ahead and put them together in guides. When you provide your email address, all of the playlists become unlocked. On the other hand, there is no certification after you’ve watched all the content.
Here’s one example. We know that visual branding boosts sales, and one way to do it is to represent your brand in your feed. Your feed should consist of aesthetic and relevant posts that represent your brand, but how do you do it?
In this specific guide, they have videos that explain why your aesthetic matters, how to curate user generated content for your feed, and how to plan your content.
Which social media certifications are best?
By now you should have an idea about which courses you could take to secure your place as a pro social media user. Businesses benefit from knowing how credible your CV is because they will know how much time and effort you put into your vocation.
So the answer is that depends. If you already know what kind of businesses you want to work with and which social media platform to focus on, the choice between courses is easy. We gave you the rundown, but now you have to decide what is important for you and your career.