Have you ever wanted a professional certification in Social Marketing? Perhaps something for your next job interview which will make you stand out from the pack?
Hootsuite Academy (aka Hootsuite University and a related business to Hootsuite Platform) offers various programs that offer training and certification in different aspects of social media.
They offer several similar programs at different price levels and I chose to enroll in the Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification course.
I will do a thorough review of Hootsuite Academy and give you my honest opinion as to the effectiveness of the program and whether you will get value for money.
I will also help you decide – is it legit?
The information you need is only a few scrolls away…
Hootsuite Academy – is it a Scam?
You have undoubtedly seen similar courses online and had doubts as to their quality. Perhaps you have already tried one and been disappointed or even worse, felt scammed? You would be justified in thinking, how is Hootsuite Academy different – is it a scam?
I will supply you with plenty of information and give you my opinion, but I think it is best if you decide on that.
My initial impression is that they do appear to be a legitimate operation who offer what they say they do, so can’t be viewed as a scam.
I think the more important thing to consider is – will I get value for money and will I end this program having learned something valuable?
I will comment further on these issues as I continue my review.
What is Hootsuite Academy?
Hootsuite Academy is basically a platform which provides training and certification in various areas including: Social Marketing, Advanced Social Advertising, Advanced Social Media Strategy Social Selling, Social ROI and Value Analysis and more.
These courses are quite straightforward and most only take between 2 to 6 hours to complete so this can be a useful way to get certified in these subjects in just a short time.
The coursework is self-paced so you can complete the course as quickly or slowly as you would like, following a schedule which suits you.
How much does the Hootsuite Academy cost?
Enrolling with the Hootsuite Academy costs you $0. You can sign up on their Official Website and participate in a couple of free courses. However, if you want to obtain a certification or get more specific training you have to pay. Depending on what you want it can cost you between $99 and $999.
What do I gain from enrolling with the Hootsuite Academy?
The coursework and access to all materials such as workbooks, videos, templates and samples are free for most courses.
In fact, only the examinations and certification need to be paid for and once you pass, the certification is yours to keep and has no expiration date.
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If for any reason you fail an exam you are allowed to keep retaking the exam until you achieve a passing grade at no extra charge.
I sat the Hootsuite Social Marketing and it was quite straightforward and consists of 60 multiple choice questions for which we had an hour to answer.
Will Hootsuite Academy Make a 100% Difference to my Business?
It is unrealistic for any business course to be able to claim to make a dramatic change to your business unless you make a significant investment in time and effort.
Hootsuite Academy is available at a relatively small price and it consists of short courses, so it is important to manage expectations.
It may well teach us some extra knowledge about social media marketing and provide a nice certificate but it is unlikely to have a dramatic effect on your business activity.
Growing wealth takes both time and money!
A Review of the Pros and Cons of Hootsuite Academy
In order for us to gain a deeper understanding of what Hootsuite Academy has to offer I want to run through the positives and negatives. First up, the pros.
- You can access and study the video content for the course before you pay anything. I believe this is a very fair offer as it allows you to decide on the quality of the product before you decide to pay for taking the exams, the certification, and some other course work. This was one of the main factors that helped me decide to pursue this course.
- There is a one time fee. The payment (I paid $199, but frequently there are promo offers, so keep a look out for a discount) is for lifetime access, so you can study any new content added and stay up to date. This is a great feature in my opinion, as undoubtedly there will be plenty of updates in the coming years. Hootsuite Academy is well established and so far has regularly added plenty of new content.
- There is a 24/7 live rep to discuss any issues with. I found them to be helpful and professional. It was nice to know that there was someone to reach out to in order to solve problems at any time of the day or night. I have found issues with other courses that over time the standard of feedback has fallen, but several months later the Hootsuite Academy live rep is still answering my questions and being helpful.
So, we have had a chance to see some of the positives for Hootsuite Academy. Let’s now take a look at some of the cons.
- There is a question as to how meaningful the Hootsuite Academy certification is. What type of businesses would require it? It seems to me to be just a little extra you could add to your resume and it would not have much practical meaning. I doubt many HR managers would have even heard of it.
- There are complaints online about the course material being out of date. The course is pretty basic, so if you have even a cursory knowledge of social media you would likely pass the certification without doing any of the coursework. I think this would only be useful for a raw beginner, who just needed to learn the basics. If you are interested in learning more about social media there are well recognized free options such as Twitter Flight School and Facebook Blueprint which are up to date and offer more in-depth study. There is also a wide range of free information online regarding social media use in general, much of which is better than what is offered by Hootsuite Academy.
- The price may be an issue for some people. The basic training is $0 which, of course, is a bargain, but the certification can be up to $999 for advanced courses. I chose to enroll in Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification which cost me $199. In my opinion, this is a high price to pay for something of debatable usefulness.
- I estimate the whole process of studying the materials and passing the exam would only take a couple of hours. This makes me think it is a very limited curriculum and how much can you truly learn in such a limited time? If you were using this qualification for a job interview, and you had HR staff who has actually heard of Hootsuite Academy interviewing you, they are likely to know it is of little practical value.
- I found that the video content did get quite repetitive after a while and I thought it focused too much on Twitter. I would recommend that they work to improve this and making the new content about other platforms will help with the repetition issue. Facebook and Instagram are massive and popular social media platforms and this course really should spend more time focusing on them.
So we have a bit of a mixed bag. There are some nice pros here, so it is definitely a legit course, but there are several cons which make me question how useful it is.
Some Other Thoughts about the Hootsuite Academy
I have reviewed many business courses which are similar to the Hootsuite Academy and I always think it is helpful to get a cross selection of other people’s opinions.
In this case, I have reached a somewhat negative opinion for the course, but other people may feel differently.
There are a lot of opinions to be found all over the internet about the Hootsuite Academy. I looked at some on Facebook Groups, message boards and other review sites.
I found some useful information, but also too many people with an agenda who were just trying to sell something.
I had more luck on Reddit and YouTube. I found there to be a lot of useful feedback and honest opinions. With this in mind, I will share a few of the more useful ones with you here:
Furthermore, I recommend watching this video to get a visual overview of the Hootsuite Academy and how to use it:
I hope that this will help you make the right choice of business course. It is important to get it right the first time.
Keep reading… as I will make my final verdict…
My Conclusion for Hootsuite Academy
I realized that the course I had chosen was quite straightforward, but I love collecting any kind of academic certification, so I was excited to give it a go and find out what Hootsuite Academy could offer me.
What I discovered is that it is a very basic, short course with certification of limited value. I have serious doubts if it would ever make any difference at an interview or when applying for a remote job.
For example, I have employed Virtual Assistants before and it would mean zero to me if I saw a certificate from Hootsuite Academy as part of a resume. In fact, I might be more impressed if the applicant had designed and printed their own certificate – it would show ingenuity!
The company does seem legit and not part of any scam. They are a credible operation and I did like the fact that I was able to see the course content before I committed to anything and paid.
How can you actually use this?
Well, that is the key question. I believe it will be of limited practical value for job applications and the content is so basic that most people could just learn it for free by using Google.
I thought the content was underwhelming and frankly I didn’t learn much.
I cannot recommend Hootsuite Academy although I do not think it is all bad. I did appreciate the fact that they offer plenty of free video content, but I do not believe the overall package is worth your time and money.
If you feel the need to acquire certification for professional reasons, I recommend you take a look at some other more prestigious options. There are many good courses to choose from.