Socially Certified!

Certificates are one way to prove to employers and clients that you have the skills needed to create and execute successful social media strategies. As recommended by my professor, I embarked on a journey to get inbound certified. I chose to get Social Media Certified. I chose social media out of a number of other valid options because of how prevalent and important it is in all spheres of modern life and businesses. I completed the Social Media Strategy Certification on HubSpot. It took me several weeks to complete it even though the official course time is 8 hours. I liked learning about:

  • Social media channels
  • Developing a budget and garnering executive buy-in
  • Social listening and monitoring
  • Building content strategy for social media
  • How tone and voice makes all the difference
  • Demonstrating industry leadership through content curation
  • The importance of tagging, timing, and testing
  • The varying shades of influencer marketing
  • How to work with influencers
  • What UGC is and why it matters
  • Why social engagement is the heart of social strategy
  • Why digital advertising is important to inbound strategy
  • Why measuring social ROI matters
  • Social media audit
  • How to tie metrics back and transform your business
  • Determining your ad spend, and
  • How to create remarkable ad content

The part I liked the least was toward the end of the course. Talking about social media governance and risk, crisis management, and employee advocacy programs put me to sleep multiple times. However, I understood the importance of grasping these concepts so I kept going back to rewatch them.

The Fly Wheel!

My Key Point to Remember Will Be: Don’t forget to measure social media ROI!

Social media ROI is, by definition, the results you get from everything you do on social media, ranging from building brand awareness and loyalty, retaining and satisfying customers, protecting your reputation and directly earning revenue.

But it’s tough to measure the ROI of social media – because how can you measure goodwill or the impact of word-of-mouth marketing as a result of your social posts? Still, you need to put a system in place to regularly track ROI because it:

  • Helps you understand the effectiveness of your posts
  • Allows you to adjust what’s not working
  • Proves the value of social media within your organization
  • Shows executives the value of budgeting for your social media efforts
  • Shows how social media impacts all departments beyond just marketing and sales
  • Helps you understand how people are talking about your brand so you can gain control over those conversations

Create social media analytics reports at least once a month, but I’ve found it’s also helpful to create weekly analytics reports. This allows me to see our most effective content on a deeper level and really dig into what’s working and where we need to make changes.

For each channel, track metrics like:

  • Best and worst performing posts
  • Posts with the most engagement (comments, likes, shares)
  • Number of posts per week
  • Publish times of posts with the best and worst engagement
  • Traffic to your website
  • Video views
  • Post reach and impressions
  • Number of Twitter mentions
  • Results of paid ad campaigns

Ultimately, I had no disappointments or frustrations. I loved the videos and lectures. I truly believe this certification program is useful for other marketers. On a scale of 1-5, I would recommend this certification program to a friend on a 5. They were extremely professional and it was easy to connect to the instructors. I learned a whole lot I thought I already knew. The HubSpot platform is warm, friendly and welcoming. I would definitely recommend that any/every marketing professional get Inbound Certified at HubSpot.

The icing on the cake? It’s free!


Whether you’re a full-time social media marketer, you work on your company’s social media part-time or you just want to learn more about social media marketing, HubSpot’s social media certification is definitely worth the effort.

Why Nike Has Mastered the Art of Online Brand Management

Just Do It!

One of the fastest ways to tarnish a brand’s reputation is through a faulty product. In February this year,  the much-publicized ‘exploding’ shoe incident  when Duke University basketball forward Zion Williamson’s Nike sneaker ripped apart in a game, sidelining the college star with an injury. In the days following the game, the sportswear giant’s stock value slid by $1.1 billion. Unfortunately for Nike, the fiasco – which occurred during a live, prime time, television broadcast – represented a perfect storm of PR-crisis elements. It didn’t help that Williamson is one of the hottest prospects – and possibly the hottest – in basketball, expected to be the NBA’s number one draft pick this summer. Not to mention, the shoe malfunction occurred in the first minute of a high-profile rivalry game against the University of North Carolina. The ordeal blew up online, and users’ reactions were intensified as celebrities with large followings also threw their two cents into the debate – among them, President Barack Obama, who happened to be court-side.

The Exploding Shoe Company

Nike’s reaction to the incident helped maintain their stellar brand image, which they’ve cultivated through years of public relations strategy executions all while ensuring the problem would be investigated. Nike responded with urgency and concern and chose to take action rather than point fingers. “We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said in a public online statement: “The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.” Nike let the world know how they are handling the situation. Nike did not cast blame on others.

 Whether they realize it or not, Nike did the following:

  1. They acknowledged the problem – quickly.
  2. They apologized for the problem.
  3. They discussed the solution – their plan to resolve the crisis.
  4. They owned the situation. No deflection or spin on the story.
  5. They acted with urgency. They worked quickly to show the public that the problem is a priority.
Nike Just Did It!

With more than 96 million followers around the world, Nike is easily in the top 20 most followed Instagram accounts globally (out of nearly one billion).

As one of the world’s largest brands, you might be surprised to find that Nike takes a personalized approach to engaging with their audience.

“We don’t respond as individuals, we respond as Nike. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t treat each conversation as if we’re talking human-to-human,” explained Wes Warfield, Nike’s Social Media Manager. Nike provides employees with a set of guidelines and examples on how to handle certain situations and conversations across social media. These guidelines and examples help customer care representatives to develop a specific tone of voice from day one.

Branding of the Century

But managing more than 1,000,000 incoming messages per year means that Nike has to pick and choose the most important conversations to focus on.

Wes explains, “We are always actively looking to take part in relevant conversations on social media since we obviously can’t be a part of every single one. Specifically, we look for where can we add value directly to customers’ lives. We keep an eye out for actionable incoming requests where we might be able to help more than one customer at a time.”

This is a brilliant move on Nike’s part. Since their team receive lots of similar questions from their customers, they see this not as an increase in work, but as an opportunity to help multiple customers at once. The magic of this strategy is that it increases the chance that those customers will share the information with others, thereby decreasing the future volume of questions around a particular topic.


“Nike: A Real-Time Lesson In Crisis Management.” Forbes, Feb 22, 2019,

“Nike: Saving Brand Reputation When the Product ‘Explodes.” Toolbox, February 26, 2019,