For social media marketers, keeping on top of the latest twists, turns and trends is critical. So whether you're brand new to the field or have been part of it for decades, there’s always something new to learn — and getting the right certification can help.

According to Robert Half Technologies’ 2023 Salary Guide, an entry-level social media specialist with no certifications can expect to earn $48,000 per year. However, for an experienced and certified social media specialist the annual average salary increases by $20,250 to $68,250. 

For an experienced, certified social media manager the average annual salary is $91,250 — a significant difference when compared to the average salary of $59,500 for a social media manager without additional training.

“Knowledge is power in the world of digital marketing,” said Jeff Mains, CEO of Champion Leadership Group LLC. “That is why there are numerous marketing certifications available, but it isn't just because the certification lectures provide insight and value. Marketing certifications can also be used to validate your current knowledge."

Here’s a rundown of four certifications available online and free of charge.

Social Media Certification from HubSpot Academy

HubSpot Academy’s newly updated social media certification program consists of 38 videos and 29 quizzes. The program takes about four hours to complete and consists of eight lessons. Upon completion, students must successfully complete a one-hour, 70-question exam with at least 53 correct answers.

The course includes lessons in the following areas.

  • Developing a social media strategy
  • Social media listening and monitoring
  • Building a content strategy for social media
  • Extending your reach on social media
  • Using social media to build one-to-one relationships
  • Introduction to social media advertising
  • Measuring your social return on investment
  • Essentials for continued success with social media

Related Article: What Social Media Marketing Is and How It Can Help Power Your Business

Social Media Marketing Certification from eMarketing Institute

The eMarketing Institute’s Social Media Marketing Certification is aimed at beginners and those new to the field. It offers a thorough overview of what social media marketing is and how to navigate it. The comprehensive course includes a free download for a 165-page e-book with 25 chapters on social media’s use related to websites, engagement, blogging, strategy, promotion, ROI, branding, analytics, automation and more.

Learning Opportunities

When students feel ready, they can take the test, consisting of 50 multiple choice questions. And in order to earn certification, the final score must be 50% or higher.

Related Article: How to Repurpose Content for Social Media Strategies

Copywriting for Social Media from LinkedIn Learning

The ability to write well is a crucial skill for social media marketers — and perhaps one of the most important skills you can possess.

Through LinkedIn Learning users can access a plethora of free courses like Marketing: Copywriting for Social Media. The video class provides instruction on copywriting tools and strategies to help find brand voice and lessons in creating, refining and editing creative copy — all in under an hour. Following the final quiz, participants receive a LinkedIn Learning Certificate of completion to display on their LinkedIn profile.

Steve Rose, VP at Money Transfers, said writing original, engaging content is the backbone of every successful social media marketing strategy.

“Curating high-quality content is essential whether you're making a simple post, a video script, or an advertisement. Copywriters that can elevate a brand's social media presence are in high demand in the field of social media marketing," Rose said. “Successful content writers know how to find relevant material from around the web and modify it to fit specific mediums — a strategy that excels on LinkedIn may not fare as well on Facebook. You need to be able to study the market and adjust your material accordingly. Writing that is clever, funny, and outside the norm attracts more readers regardless of the medium.”