5 Social Media Certifications to Help Boost Your Income

Quick Answer

Social media certifications prepare workers for jobs like social media strategists, social media marketers and social media specialists, and earning one can help boost your income.

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Are you the type of person who can get a compelling message across in 280 characters or less? If so, a career in social media may be in your future.

Social media certifications can be a good way to get training and experience that can help you land a job in the field. Certification can help prepare you for roles such as social media specialist, social media marketer or online community manager. If you're already working in social media, some certifications can help you become more proficient on particular platforms and make you more marketable to potential employers.

Why Get a Social Media Certification?

You should consider a social media certification if you want to jump into or advance in the social media field. Jobs in social media might have you establish a social media brand voice or market a product via social media platforms.

It's a growing field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The bureau predicts average job growth of 11% (faster than average) from 2020 to 2030. Median pay in 2020 was $62,810 per year or $30.20 an hour. And while most jobs in the social media field require a bachelor's degree, there's no specific training required. A certification could help get you familiar with the field and look good on a resume.

Social media certifications are credentials that you can earn from a variety of educational venues, including:

  • Product-based programs
  • Online courses
  • Bootcamps
  • Corporate Programs
  • Executive education
  • Extension schools

Finding a social media certification that works with your budget and goals can take some research. Here are five social media certifications worth a look.

5 Social Media Certifications to Consider

Social media certifications may be offered by social media platforms themselves or by third-party training platforms. Some of these include:

1. Meta Career Programs Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate

Learn from Meta (formerly Facebook Inc.) when you enroll in the self-paced Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate. This certification is designed for people with no experience in social media marketing who are hoping to become job-ready.

Get up to speed on what it takes to market across the Meta social media suite that includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and more. You'll learn about how to establish a platform presence, how to manage ads and how to measure and report on marketing success.

In addition to getting certified, you'll have access to Meta's career resources, such as resume support and interview prep.

Cost: $49 per month

Time to complete: Self-paced; typically 20 weeks at five hours per week

2. HubSpot Academy Social Media Marketing Certification

The HubSpot Academy Social Media Marketing Certification provides a free intro to social media marketing. This certification—which you can complete in about four hours—prepares you to create social media strategy, handle inbound marketing work and increase brand awareness.

Throughout eight lessons consisting of 39 videos and 29 quizzes, you'll tackle skills you need as a new social media marketer. Specific skills covered include:

  • Designing a social media strategy
  • Social listening and moderation
  • Content creation
  • Extending reach
  • Digital advertising
  • Measuring return on investment

Cost: Free

Time to complete: Four hours

3. Twitter Flight School

Twitter Flight School is another free online learning platform that prepares social media specialists to advertise on Twitter. There are a variety of courses that cover different topics such as what kinds of video formats to use or how to find an audience.

Short courses are divided into even shorter lessons so students can work at their own pace. Courses come with access to live training sessions and resources you can download. As you complete coursework, you'll receive shareable badges to post on your own social media profiles and signal your competency in the topic.

Some of the badges you can receive include:

  • Get Started on Twitter
  • Performance Fundamentals
  • Cross-Border Advertising
  • Twitter for Creatives

Cost: Free

Time to complete: Two to four hours per course

4. Hootsuite Academy Social Media and You Certification Course

The Hootsuite Academy Social Media and You Certification Course is just two hours, but it packs in many skills you can use to make your mark online. In addition, you'll earn a Social Advocacy certification when you complete the course, which Hootsuite says acknowledges that you "have the skills and knowledge to conduct yourself respectfully and influentially on social media."

Designed specifically for personal branding skills, this Hootsuite course concentrates on social media profile optimization, content engagement and community interaction. This could be a good option for someone creating original content or managing an entrepreneurial brand.

At the end of your video-based Social Media and You Certification Course, you'll take a 24-question online test to also earn your certification in Social Advocacy.

Cost: $299

Time to complete: Two hours

5. Hootsuite Academy Advanced Social Media Strategy Certification

Designed for existing social media professionals such as directors and VPs, social media managers and brand strategists, the Hootsuite Academy Advanced Social Media Strategy Certification is all about professional-scale social media. It is offered in partnership with Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Course topics include content creation, social media governance and much more. Composed of video lessons, interactive text, readings, quizzes and a final exam, the course is self-paced and generally takes about 20 hours.

Cost: $999

Time to complete: 20 hours

Choosing the Right Certification for You

With so many social media certifications on the market, picking one can be overwhelming. But there are some elements to consider and questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your options.

  • Timing: Some certifications can take a long time, but if you need a fast skill-building course, there are many short social media certifications. How much time do you have to devote to the certification and how quickly do you need it?
  • Budgeting: There is a range of possible costs when it comes to social media certifications, from free to thousands of dollars. Your budget will likely determine what kind of course you can start with. How much can you afford to invest in education and training?
  • Branding: Working in social media, you'll spend a lot of time on branding. A certification may reflect on you as part of your personal brand. What do you want it to say about you and the kinds of projects you're willing to take on? Furthermore, what is the professional recognition for the particular certification? Is it granted by a well-known company or institution?

Consider these factors and more to choose the right social media certification for you. No matter which course you choose, employers who see it on your resume are likely to appreciate your go-getter attitude and willingness to learn new skills.

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