Certifications exist in a wide variety of industries. Accountants, financial advisors and even sales and marketing professionals gain certifications to showcase their skills and knowledge of a specific area.
While many business professionals take courses, a certification takes a course one step further; a certificate in a specific professional field should demonstrate that the individual both has knowledge of the content and has demonstrated the application of the knowledge.
A certification should signal that the individual possesses both the knowledge and has demonstrated the application of the knowledge.
Demonstration of Knowledge
A solid certification program requires participants to demonstrate their knowledge, generally through testing. The objective of most tests is to showcase that the participant learned the key materials.
Demonstration of Application of Knowledge
The application of knowledge is one thing that sets a certification apart from a general training. While showing that you know the material is helpful, most certifications require that participants demonstrate that they can also apply the knowledge that they have gained during the course.
In the case of a social media certification, knowledge may be demonstrated by creating a social media strategy or creating actual social media accounts and demonstrating the ability to use best practices in managing those accounts.
Be cautious of certification programs that don’t include these requirements. While there is no “official” certifying body for social media marketing, a quality certification should include demonstration and application of knowledge.
What you Can Do With a Certification in Social Media
While social media isn’t a regulated industry like accounting or law, a certification shows that you have knowledge and can implement that knowledge in the field of social media.
Some of the benefits of a certificate in social media include:
- Shows your commitment to the field of social media
- Can set you apart from other professionals in your field
- Demonstrates knowledge and application of social media marketing
- You can highlight your certification on your resume, LinkedIn and other social networks
- Gives you a “leg up” versus other professionals