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Hootsuite Academy provides a range of industry recognized courses and certifications, that are used by social media professionals, Hootsuite customers, and by students participating in the Hootsuite Student Program. Upon completion of a certification exam, participants are issued with a certificate by Accredible. Over 19,000 certificates are issued per year, across 12 different certifications. The ability to easily share certifications on social media, and the provision of a directory of certified individuals, provides significant benefits to Hootsuite and their customers
The switch to certificates issued by Accredible coincided with a major change, when Hootsuite launched a new learning experience and rolled out a new Learning Management System (LMS) from Thinkific. The Hootsuite team had previously been sending out PDF certificates.
“We were moving to a new business model, that included free education and charging for certification," recalled Sarah Whyte, Hootsuite Marketing Strategist. “As part of that change, we were looking for a way to provide students with an option to show off their certificates. As a social media company, it is important to us that certificates can be shared on social channels.”
This was confirmed by feedback from Hootsuite’s own customer research, which showed that course participants wanted to be able to share their achievements on social channels. But more than that, the research showed that students on the Student Program were using their certifications to help them land their first job. For these students, being able to showcase their skills in a verifiable way was key. Also within the Student Program, professors and course tutors needed to see whether or not students had completed a given certification.
Until recently, education was only available in English. Growing demand meant that Hootsuite needed to localize, initially with the provision of courses inSpanish.
Accredible was recommended to Hootsuite by Thinkific, their LMS provider. The integration between Thinkific and Accredible means that certificate issuance is now completely automated. Adam Zollo, Hootsuite LMS Specialist, says of Accredible: “It’s working really well, because we don’t notice it, and that’s what we like because it doesn’t take up much of our time.” In addition, the historical PDF certificates were replaced by certificates issued through Accredible as a one off process.
Social media sharing of certifications is now straightforward with the built in functionality of Accredible connecting to a large number of social platforms. Hootsuite helps by sending out a post certification email with a clear call to action inviting recipients to share.
Accredible also provided Hootsuite with a Certified Professionals Directory. Certificate recipients can choose to be listed in the directory, which can be fully searched and filtered by employers.
Localization of the Accredible issued certificates was straightforward, as Zollo comments: “When I came to localize Accredible it was like I had a switch. I set it up and it worked right away, which meant I could focus on the technical aspects of launching a course in a different language.”
Social media sharing of certifications was an instant hit. “In our customer research, every person said they shared it on LinkedIn” remarks Whyte. “Accredible allows recipients to show off their achievements, and builds awareness that Hootsuite offers social media training and certifications.” Furthermore, Hootsuite is able to track social shares of certificates, which form some of their KPIs. The reissuing of the historical PDF certifications was straightforward. “It was an easy experience” comments Zollo. “It served as a reminder to people that we offer courses and the ability to earn a certificate that can be shared.” The Certified Professionals Directory has allowed course participants to showcase their skills in a verifiable way, that is always up to date. Graduating students, and others, are able to use it to evidence their achievements, and hence to advance their careers. Within higher educational establishments, course tutors now use the directory to track course completions.
Hootsuite Academy’s range of courses have been complimented by Accredible issued digital certificates and the Certified Professionals Directory. These capabilities are allowing course participants to share their achievements, and to advance their careers. Use of Accredible has enhanced the user experience for participants, amplified the value of the certifications, and increased interest in Hootsuite Academy.