Social Media has changed the way we interact in our world, crossing geographies, industries and cultures. The capacity for its use is ever-expanding, and many of the nation’s top organizations are searching for professional operators for their social media platforms. According to a recent study, 57% of firms are putting the majority of their social media resources toward hiring a full-time employee to manage their social media initiatives (Booz & Company, 2011).
This push for talented human capital in the social media industry has created questions about where to find talent, and how it can be developed; Are there core principles, skills and methodologies in the social media professions that are essential for success? What are the most effective methods used to source qualified talent?
These questions are now being addressed by the National Institute for Social Media. The National Institute for Social Media (NISM) is the first organization to dedicate itself to professional social media education and certification. Today, NISM has announced the public release of its Social Media Strategist certification.
Certification programs are intended to enhance the competence of practitioners within a particular field or vocation. Certifications go beyond training by providing a tangible measurement of an operator’s knowledge of specific duties, functions or products. They also establish education standards for educational providers, and play an important role in developing a qualified workforce.
To best represent the industry, NISM draws upon the knowledge and experience of independent social media subject matter experts to develop standardized learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are at the core of what is needed to find success in the variety of social media-related vocations, and are what the Social Media Strategist certification exam is built to assess. In addition to subject matter experts, NISM has also partnered with a third-party assessment development firm, Assessment Systems Corporation to ensure the validity of the data being composed.
The Social Media Strategist certification exam is the first major step toward standardized education in social media, and accredited colleges are beginning to take notice. Merced College in California is the first college in the country to have its social media program approved by NISM, and will be offering a course to prepare students for the NISM Social Media Strategist exam beginning July 30th.
Similar to other standardized tests, NISM requires that all candidates take their exam at a proctored testing site. Any candidate who passes the exam will be provided with a certificate, a profile on the NISM website, and may use the post-nominal letters, SMS (Social Media Strategist) in their professional signatures, and profiles.
Those who are interested in learning more about the National Institute for Social Media, and the Social Media Strategist certification exam can get a free download of the Social Media Strategist Candidate Handbook on the NISM website (nismonline.org) which will provide additional details about how to apply, and what to expect on the exam.
For more information on this project, or to schedule an interview with Eric Mills, the President of NISM please contact 763-200-NISM, or email [email protected]