Bemidji State University offering social media strategist certification training

Online program begins May 13, preps users to take NISM Social Media Strategist certification exam

Beginning in May, Optivation, the custom college and training program at Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, will be offering an online preparatory course for the National Institute for Social Media’s Social Media Strategist certification examination.

The preparatory course, taught by institute president Eric Mills, will be offered completely via asynchronous online delivery from May 13-June 23. The course carries a registration fee of $595; advance registration is encouraged as the course requires a minimum number of participants.

As social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and dozens of others have become dominant forms of communication for millions of people, the importance of those networks in the workplace has grown as well. Social media is becoming a vital way for businesses to promote themselves and their products, increase their visibility and recruit new clients. 

Many businesses are hiring dedicated social media managers to fill this need. Research shows social media manager jobs have increased dramatically over the last year, with dozens of openings for these positions in Minnesota alone. 

Social Media Strategist certification through the Minneapolis-based National Institute of Social Media is the first of its kind in the industry. The certificate course to prepare for the certification exam will be taught by institute president Eric Mills. Participants will gain the knowledge and skills to take the institutes’s Social Media Strategist exam and earn certification validating the foundational skills needed to strategically operate social networks in a business environment and to open new employment opportunities.

“We work with an independent board of subject-matter experts in field of social media to make sure we are examining the skills of professionals operating in the industry to make sure they are meeting all of the standards true professionals are expected to achieve,” Mills says. “This kind of certification is a new industry, something that has never been attempted. We are excited to work with Bemidji State and get this training out to the public.”

NISM has offered this training in person in the past, but its partnership with Optivation will mark the first opportunity for the certification training course to be completed online. 

“We are hoping that anybody who takes this course realizes the value of certification and of passing the exam,” Mills says. “We think there’s a big value to it.”

For more information, contact Optivation at,, (218) 755-2998.

About Eric Mills

Eric is the president of the National Institute for Social Media (NISM). He led the charge in forming an independent committee of subject matter experts in the field of social media and guided this committee in the development of the NISM Social Media Strategist certification examination – the first certification examination for professional practitioners in the social media industry.

About the National Institute for Social Media

The National Institute for Social Media is dedicated to social media education and certification for professional social media practitioners. Its mission is to provide premier, vendor-neutral public education and resources related to social media. In addition, its Industry Advisory Committee defines and supports certification and continuing education standards for social media professionals in a manner that upholds industry standards for competent practice. The institute also challenges those who meet these standards to commit to engaging in lifelong learning. The institute has continuing education opportunities available in an effort to help our certified professionals keep up with the rapid changes that are occurring in our world.

About Bemidji State University

Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,000 students, the University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding.

For further information about the University, visit

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Quick facts

• Course offered through Bemidji State University and National Institute for Social Media
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• Completion qualifies participants to sit for NISM Social Media Strategist certification exam
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• Course begins May 13, runs through June 23
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