Creating a Standards Test for Social Media Professionals

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Many businesses and professionals are finding themselves in one of the following situations:

  • You want to hire someone to help out with your social media, but you don’t know how qualified they are for the job vis a vis their understanding of social media.
  • You spend time training your employees in social media and want to ensure they have a baseline aptitude for the job
  • You want to assess how well your new employees truly understand social media from a professional perspective
  • You are looking for a social media job and want to prove to your potential employers your aptitude for social media.
  • You want to be recognized as an expert in social media, not by your Klout score, but by your knowledge of the subject matter

Last month I asked if there should be an aptitude test for social media professionals, and I received a very positive response to my question. At that time, I announced that I was teaming up with the start-up CredSpark to create the first of many future aptitude tests for social media professionals, the first one titled Maximizing Google Plus 2014 (you can take the test yourself here).

My vision for these tests is to provide some sort of certification based on those who read Maximize Your Social to prove that they have truly internalized the information and are someone that I would recommend to any company asking for a referral for social media professionals. Obviously, Maximize Your Social focuses on social media strategy and is not a comprehensive book on all of the detailed tactics one can employ in social media; therefore, when creating the test questions, I focused holistically on those important concepts that I think every social media professional should have an understanding on if they claim that they are a true “expert” of the platform.

Based on the initial feedback, I am happy to announce the publication today of two new social media challenges:

You can access the tests by clicking on the appropriate links above.

One piece of feedback that might interest you is that taking the test itself provides you a unique educational experience in itself by giving you a feel for subject matter you might not know as well as learning in more depth about each platform via my explanations that appear at the end of the test providing you with more background on the correct answers and why incorrect answers were labeled that way.

I look forward to your taking my social media challenges, gathering your feedback, and creating something that will hopefully become an industry standard.

If you’ve taken my tests, what do you think? If not, what’s holding you back?

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer


Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness & @socialtoolssmmt | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker
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Neal Schaffer


  1. says

    While we are at it – 6 is misleading at your Google+ quiz as well – as we will soon have Post ads, so the Google Plus ads COULD be a way to target potential followers on display networks. Didn’t realize that wasn’t what you were referring to.

    6. What are the ways in which you can advertise your Google Plus presence in accordance with Google’s Terms of Service?

    Check ALL that apply.

    Link your Google Plus Page with your Google AdWords campaigns and add a +1 button to them.
    Use Google Plus Ads to micro-target potential followers.
    Create an online display ad promoting your Google Plus presence and sending those who click the ad directly to your Google Plus Page.
    Create a campaign on Google Plus asking your followers to share your posts in exchange for entry into the campaign.

    • says

      Hey Andrew, thanks for your feedback on the CredSpark quiz! You answered your own question: “We will soon have Post ads.” That means we don’t have them as of right now. If you answered yes to having post ads and your boss wanted you to run ads on Google Plus today, you couldn’t, whereas you could on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This is a distinction that social media professionals should know. When the situation changes the test will be updated – and based on your comment I will revise the question to include the word “today” so that there are no future misunderstandings – but right now I can’t post an ad on Google Plus like I can elsewhere.

      Really appreciate the feedback, Andrew – keep it coming!

  2. says

    I will defiantly take part in the test, its always interesting to taking part in the test to know how much knowledge we have, these competitions always reminds me of my school days.

  3. Michelle says

    #7. Circles are to Google Plus as _________ are to Twitter. (Type your answer in the field below.)” iI feel is wrong, Circles is a following, lists are just lists, and not technically a following the same way you would by adding them to a Circle, following would be a much better answer.

    • says

      Michelle, thank you for your feedback. You bring up a good point – the question should be revised to read “Organizing your Circles in Google Plus are similar to managing your ______ in Twitter. I’m going to make that change right now. Really appreciate the feedback!

  4. William says

    Sorry, but the test/CredSpark is very misleading:

    “You don’t have to provide us any information in order to take this Challenge. Simply click ‘Take This Challenge’, and follow the steps.”

    Yet to get the results I have to create an account. Kind of like a “free” credit report.

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