Hootsuite is a well-established leader of the social media industry. Its platform is implemented by small businesses and large-scale corporations alike, and the company has established a high level of credibility in its knowledge of the social media landscape. The platform offers a $199 Social Marketing Training Course that comes with an official certification upon completion. I took that course, and here’s what I learned:
Social Media Platforms Covered:
The course contains 6 chapters:
- Introduction to Social Media Networks (optional)
- Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles
- Social Media Strategy A to Z
- Building Your Advocate Community
- Social Content Marketing
- Social Advertising Fundamentals
Each chapter contains lessons that are broken up into multiple short, 3 to 6-minute videos that are easy to understand and digest. I was able to pause, rewind, and take notes when necessary. After finishing all of the videos on a topic, a few practice questions are presented to gauge how well you’ve retained the information. Once you complete all of the chapters, you’re prompted to take Hootsuite’s Social Marketing Certification Exam.
Altogether, there’s about 4 cumulative hours of videos to watch. If you factor in pausing to take notes, checking out the additional (but not required) resources within the course, and taking the chapter quizzes, I’d say it ends up taking about 10 hours, total. Then you’re allotted 60 minutes to complete the exam. Spoiler alert: most of the questions are word-for-word, the same questions in the chapter quizzes – pay attention to those! Also, it’s important to note that you can take the exam an unlimited amount of times in order to achieve your passing score of 80% or higher.
This format worked really well for me, personally. I’m a visual learner, so the video component was helpful. I also enjoy taking notes and being able to study topics at my own pace. It was easy to incorporate into my work schedule, and sometimes the topics I was learning about synced up perfectly with my current projects, so I was able to put my knowledge to the test in real-time.
Hootsuite also offered downloadable resources throughout the course, including a sample content calendar, sample content strategy, and blank templates of both. I actually ended up using the content calendar template (and making a few tweaks) and have been happy with it so far.
What I’d Change:
While overall the course has been a great resource, there were some videos that went over really basic how-to’s (like how to use question stickers and polls on Instagram stories, for example). There were moments when I felt like the lessons were a little redundant. I would have liked to choose my level of experience with social media marketing at the beginning, and then take a course that was tailored to what knowledge I already held.
Similar to the way I was able to download sample content calendars and templates, I would have liked to also be able to download a summary of what I learned from each chapter. A lot of information is presented throughout the course, and it would be nice to see what Hootsuite deems are the key highlights. (Either way, I made sure to take detailed notes that I can consult later on.)
So…Is It Worth $200?
Yes and no.
The answer is YES if:
- You’re fairly new in your career and are trying to beef up your resume/gain experience
- You don’t know where to start when it comes to managing social channels
- You’d rather pay to access all the info in one place than research the topics manually
- You have the time to dedicate to consistently watching a couple videos each day
- You know how to use your own accounts, but not how to manage brand channels
- You’re looking for ways to improve or organize your content strategy
- You’ve hit a lull in your social performance and are looking for inspiration and fresh ideas
The answer is NO if:
- You’re already pretty established in your career and experienced in content management
- You already have an organized social media strategy that’s working, and working well
- You don’t mind doing your own additional research for free, and you have time for that
- You already know how to manage a brand’s social presence
Overall, I’d say this is a fantastic course for people who are new to their careers and the digital marketing industry. It’s a great starting point, and can be considered an investment in your professional development. If you’re a digital marketing veteran, chances are you’ve probably already encountered a lot of the content presented in the course and it wouldn’t be worth the money.