NISM Social Media Strategist (SMS)


    Course Specifications

    Course Number:


    Course Length:

    5 days

    Course Description


    Social media is becoming a indispensable component of both personal and business life. More jobs include social media tasks as part of the job description, and more people are choosing career tracks as social media strategists, who will focus on planning, implementing, managing, and reporting on social media activities. Your ability to function efficiently and effectively in the performance of your social media tasks cannot only set you apart from other social media professionals and strategists, but it can mean the difference between success and failure in achieving social media goals for your organization.

    Since the social media landscape is continuously evolving at a rapid pace, a true social media strategist has to be able to apply proven best practices for planning, preparation, content creation, and interaction regardless of the social media platforms involved. This platform-agnostic approach was taken by the National Institute for Social Media (NISM). The NISM Social Media Strategist certification is designed to test knowledge and skills that apply broadly to social media, to platforms that are favored today, and will also apply to new platforms that become popular.

    As with many other professions, a credential such as the NISM Social Media Strategist certification will help set you apart from your competition, whether you are seeking employment at an organization or looking for clients as a consultant. This course is designed to provide best practices, knowledge, information, and skills to be successful in planning, implementing, managing, and reporting in social media. It will also help prepare you for the NISM Social Media Strategist certification exam.

    Course Objectives:

    In this course, you will plan, implement, manage, and report all aspects of an organization’s social media strategy, and prepare for the NISM Social Media Strategist certification exam.

    You will:

    • Describe the value of social media in business.
    • Manage culture to facilitate social media adoption.
    • Analyze organizations, markets, and competitors.
    • Audit social media.
    • Select and validate social media goals.
    • Select social media platforms.
    • Address legal, licensing, privacy, and defamation risk.
    • Create social media policy.
    • Develop a social media marketing plan.
    • Develop social media content.
    • Market on major social media platforms.
    • Utilize social media advertising and contests.
    • Plan social media campaigns.
    • Conduct yourself as a social media strategist.
    • Manage the social media community.
    • Manage real-time, online communications.
    • Measure the impact of social media activity.
    • Determine value and report social media activities.

    Target Student:

    Marketing professionals; individuals completing academic work in marketing or a related area; or general marketing practitioners new to social media marketing who are seeking to add a professional certification in the area of social media marketing.


    Students should have a basic understanding of an end-user’s experience with common social media platforms and social media terminology and functions, writing marketing content for the web including keyword usage and search engine functionality, general branding concepts and common practices, customer identification, and marketing campaign management.

    You can obtain this level of skills and knowledge with an associates degree or higher in marketing or communications plus personal use of and exposure to social media sites, and/or two or more years’ of business experience with social media sites.

    Course-specific Technical Requirements


    For this course, you will need one computer for each student and one for the instructor. Each computer will need the following minimum hardware configurations:

    • 2 GHz (I5 or better) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64)
    • 3 gigabyte (GB) RAM 32-bit or 64-bit
    • 100 GB available hard disk space 32-bit or 64-bit
    • CD-ROM drive
    • Keyboard and mouse (or other pointing device)
    • 1024 × 768 resolution monitor recommended
    • Network cards and cabling for local network access
    • Internet access (contact your local network administrator)
    • Printer (optional) or an installed printer driver
    • Projection system to display the instructor’s computer screen


    • Microsoft® Windows® 8
    • Latest Windows 8 patches and service packs
    • Microsoft® Word
    • Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® Viewer (available from www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=13)
    • Internet Explorer® 10
    • Latest Internet Explorer patches and service packs
    • PDF viewer

    In addition, each student will need a personal Facebook account and preferably additional social media accounts to perform the complete set of course activities. If some students do not have a particular account needed, they can work in groups with other participants to perform the activities.

    Course Content

    Lesson 1: The Value of Social Media in Business

    Topic A: Social Media and the Social Media Strategist Certification Exam

    Topic B: Social Media Usage by Organizations

    Topic C: Benefits of a Social Media Presence

    Topic D: Stages of Strategic Social Media Operations

    Topic E: Social Media Personas

    Lesson 2: Managing Culture to Facilitate Social Media Adoption

    Topic A: Facilitate Social Media Adoption in an Organization

    Topic B: Manage Barriers to Social Media Adoption

    Lesson 3: Analyzing Organizations, Markets, and Competitors

    Topic A: Assess Organizational Readiness

    Topic B: Analyze Online Market Segments

    Topic C: Analyze Targeting Strategy

    Topic D: Analyze Positioning Strategy

    Topic E: Analyze Competitors in Social Media

    Lesson 4: Auditing Social Media

    Topic A: Measure Social Media Presence

    Topic B: Grade Social Media Presence

    Topic C: Analyze Social Media Sentiment

    Lesson 5: Selecting and Validating Social Media Goals

    Topic A: Map Social Media Strategy to Organizational Strategy

    Topic B: Set Social Media Goals

    Topic C: Validate the Effectiveness of Social Media Goals

    Lesson 6: Selecting Social Media Platforms

    Topic A: Social Media Platforms

    Topic B: Select Social Media Platforms

    Lesson 7: Addressing Legal, Licensing, Privacy, and Defamation Risk

    Topic A: Manage Online Endorsement and Testimonial Issues

    Topic B: Address Copyright and Creative Commons Issues

    Topic C: Address Trademark Issues

    Topic D: Protect Corporate and Consumer Privacy

    Topic E: Respond to Defamation Issues

    Lesson 8: Creating a Social Media Policy

    Topic A: Plan a Social Media Policy

    Topic B: Respond Ethically to Social Media Issues

    Lesson 9: Developing a Social Media Marketing Plan

    Topic A: Select Keywords

    Topic B: Establish Brand Consistency

    Topic C: Create Customer Profiles for Targeting

    Lesson 10: Developing Social Media Content

    Topic A: Select Types of Content to Create

    Topic B: Select Topics and Titles for Content

    Topic C: Create the Body of Your Content

    Lesson 11: Marketing on the Major Social Media Platforms

    Topic A: Interact with Corporate Blogs

    Topic B: Interact with Facebook

    Topic C: Interact with Google+

    Topic D: Interact with YouTube

    Topic E: Interact with LinkedIn

    Topic F: Interact with Twitter

    Lesson 12: Utilizing Social Media Advertising and Contests

    Topic A: Select Social Media Advertising

    Topic B: Plan Social Media Contest Strategy

    Lesson 13: Planning and Managing Social Media Campaigns

    Topic A: Establish Efficient Social Media Practices

    Topic B: Create a Social Media Editorial Calendar

    Topic C: Create Action Plans

    Topic D: Select Campaign Management Software

    Topic E: Select Social Media Management Tools

    Lesson 14: Conducting Yourself as a Social Media Strategist

    Topic A: Monetize Social Media Strategy Services

    Topic B: Create Working Partnerships and Referral Networks

    Lesson 15: Managing the Social Media Community

    Topic A: Manage an Online Community

    Topic B: Establish Online Personalities

    Topic C: Maintain Consistency of Voice in Social Media

    Topic D: Build Social Media Relationships

    Topic E: Improve Customer Service Through Social Media

    Lesson 16: Managing Real-Time, Online Communications

    Topic A: Triage Social Media Feedback

    Topic B: Manage Feedback and Criticism in Social Media

    Topic C: Manage a Social Media Crisis

    Lesson 17: Measuring the Impact of Social Media Activity

    Topic A: Social Media Metrics to Measure

    Topic B: Measure Brand Health

    Topic C: Measure Brand Awareness

    Topic D: Measure Operational Improvement

    Topic E: Measure Customer Experience Improvement

    Topic F: Measure Innovation Through Social Media

    Lesson 18: Determining Value and Reporting Social Media Activities

    Topic A: Social Media Economic Value

    Topic B: Track Conversions

    Topic C: Track Referring Sources

    Topic D: Determine Social Media ROI

    Topic E: Perform End of Cycle Reporting

    Appendix A: NISM Social Media Strategist Certified Professional Exam Mappings

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