The National Institute for Social Media (NISM) is dedicated to social media certification and education for professional social media practitioners. Our curriculum is designed by educators and leaders in digital marketing and communication to validate the core skills essential for success in the various vocations of social media. Not only does NISM offer exceptional education, it’s a life-long community for professional development, continuing education and sharing best practices.

We set the industry standards for social certification and offer industry leading educational programs in social media to help students prepare for the NISM Social Media Strategist certification. In addition, NISM has now expanded internationally with strategic partners in Germany and the Middle East.

Our Mission

In partnership with organizations and life-long learning enthusiasts we will create a community for professional development and set the standards for social media education, assessment, certification, and consulting.

Our Vision

The National Institute for Social Media will build a world-class credentialing body recognized for its achievements in education, consulting, and fostering a community of driven professionals with a joint passion towards creating exceptional relationships with customers.

Our Values


Trust is a feeling of confidence in the work we do for our customers. It is earned through hard work, honesty and integrity for which we are always striving.


We believe that in order to create a positive community we not only need to find ways to use our skills to support that community, but we also need to encourage others in our community to participate and be involved in all that we do.


Respect and esteem for others is one of the fundamental building blocks of any relationship. Not only do we treat others as we would expect to be treated, but we acknowledge and promote those who show excellence in the work that they do.


Our commitment to quality is second to none in our industry. We recognize that the value we provide to our customers hinges on that. Adherence to industry quality standards is our top priority in all that we do.

Lifelong Learning

In a rapidly changing industry we realize that if we are not always learning, and helping our customers do the same, we will all fall behind. We promote and reward lifelong learning in all areas of our work.

Our History

The National Institute for Social Media (NISM) was founded in 2011, as the first organization to offer industry educational standards for the field social media. The founder of the organization, Eric Mills, partnered with psychometrics firm Assessment Systems Corporation (ASC) to assemble a committee of social media subject matter experts (the NISM Industry Advisory Committee) to begin the process of developing the first industry certification exam for social media professionals.

From November 2011 – July 2012 NISM Industry Advisory Committee under the guidance of ASC conducted a national job study, and compiled industry data to create the first certification product to be released by NISM, the Social Media Strategist certification examination. The exam was piloted, and offered to the general public beginning in July of 2012. The current version of the NISM Social Media Strategist certification exam is 165 multiple-choice questions in six separate subject areas including; social media strategic planning, compliance & governance, social media marketing, project & campaign management, community management, and research & analytics.

Since its release NISM has partnered with accredited colleges and universities across the United States to support their efforts to deliver high quality social media education and curriculum to their students, and to provide a stackable credential for those students to utilize in their efforts to enhance their career opportunities. In addition, NISM has now expanded internationally, partnering with the Social Media Club of Bahrain in Manama, Bahrain to provide the opportunity for students in the middle east to earn the NISM Social Media Strategist certification credential, and become NISM-certified.