Social media marketing gives branding gravity in the modern world.
Social media is one of the greatest connectors, and it also provides a way in which we can explore useful products and pursue exciting ideas. When it comes to showcasing your brand on digital media, understanding how to navigate the various online platforms is vital to successfully creating a substantial and influential online presence.
Because social media is such an invaluable and multifaceted platform, it is important to understand social media advertising if you want to make an impact with digital marketing. For this very reason, we’ve compiled a list of 30 Online Courses for Social Media Marketing, offering an in-depth look at the best courses, influencers, and researchers.
- Social Media Marketing Specialization
- Social Media: How Media Got Social
- Content, Advertising, and Social IMC
Disclaimer: Some courses may include an affiliate link. Courses were chosen first based on the methodology with affiliate links only added after the ranking was complete.
Where Do I Begin?
If you want to learn how to reach an expansive audience, increase your followers, and promote your social media platforms, the 30 online courses listed below are great starting points to begin your digital media journey! This diverse list of social media marketing courses is sure to offer you a class that best fits your exact needs.
Despite the rise of social media, social media marketing is a difficult area to break out into. It does require extensive knowledge of and expertise with social media platforms, page analytics, basic web design, and SEO/blogging. This list of the 30 Online Courses for Social Media Marketing is intended to provide you with the most exclusive and opportune classes available in the digital media and marketing realm.
We at Online Course Report have researched the most diverse and intensive courses, including those that cover a wide range of content related to social media marketing. We have also included courses that are more related to a niche area of expertise, such as social media engagement and interaction. The hard work has mainly been done for you. All you need to do is think about what work you hope to accomplish and what you plan to get out of a course to succeed in social media marketing.
What Are the Best Online Courses for Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is offered by Northwestern University through Coursera. This particular course is divided into six sessions, and the course itself is taught by Professor Randy Hlavac, who is also the CEO of Marketing Synergy, Inc. Not only is this course well-developed, but it is also taught by a very experienced businessman familiar with marketing strategies.
Moreover, in addition to Professor Hlavac’s expertise, the curriculum breakdown makes for a great learning experience. The course covers social media strategy basics first and then branches out into how to keep a social media following engaged. The final few lessons explore content creation and how to appeal to a social media audience from a business standpoint.
Social Media Marketing, offered by BrainStation, is a course that is offered online or in-person. In this course, BrainStation provides a certificate of completion after individuals finish their project: a social media strategy. This is a great course for anyone interested in Facebook or Instagram marketing!
This course focuses predominantly on three major areas: Developing a Strategy, Optimizing Performance, and Creating Campaigns. By the end of the course, participants will be familiar with social media marketing ad platforms, having learned from some of the most creative organizations across the world. BrainStation also offers flexible payment options—monthly payment plans, employer sponsorship, and scholarships.
#3. Social Marketing Course and Certification by Hootsuite Academy
Social Marketing Training is a free course offered through Hootsuite Academy. Eva Taylor, the Senior Social Marketing Manager of Hootsuite designed the course with the help of other Hootsuite marketing consultants. As Hootsuite is one of the best platforms to manage social media sites, it is undoubtedly one of the best sites from which to learn about social media marketing.
This course is designed to teach social marketing skills to help improve follower engagement and and business development. Because this course is designed by the best strategists from Hootsuite, you are sure to gain an invaluable experience that will translate into immediate marketing results.
#4. Understanding the Basics of Digital Advertising by Hubspot Academy
This is a free course offered by Hubspot Academy, and it pertains directly to social media training. The purpose of this course is to offer you instruction on how to create, develop, and utilize advertisements for social media.
This course encourages you to be relevant in your digital advertising and social media presence, and it also optimizes how and when your ads are distributed and accessed. Hubspot’s course prioritizes the instruction of content creation and marketing, assisting participants with ads that target a particular demographic. This is a great, free course for any beginner who needs some time to develop advertising strategies.
This social media marketing course focuses on how to grow and monetize your Instagram account. As Instagram is currently one of the most popular social media marketing platforms, this course explores how to optimize your profile for the most audience interaction and engagement.
By taking this course, you will have access to three hours worth of videos, 17 downloadable resources, full lifetime access, and a certificate of completion. For only $16.99, participants of Instagram Influence Marketing Course will learn about creating, growing, and optimizing their personal brands. This is a great course for learning about monetizing your Instagram business platform.
Social Media Marketing by Udemy is a course designed for beginners as well as advanced students. The course begins by demonstrating social media foundations before introducing how to plan goals and create a sustainable marketing vision. Unlike many of the other listed courses, Udemy’s course is $19.99 and is geared specifically toward those who are working with a business.
By providing the basics of social media platforms, this course will also display how to use social media marketing for customer service and public relations. This course does have an enrollment requirement, though: any students should have a business that they either own or work for as an entrepreneur.
#7. Social Media 101 Training by Boot Camp Digital
Though this course is not free – it’s actually $97 – it is a great education that offers unlimited access to modules in addition to over six hours of detailed videos. The primary focus of this course is to design and implement a creative social media marketing plan.
Through Bootcamp Digital, the course will cover the key aspects of email marketing, website design, and SEO application. By starting with a social media marketing plan, the course will then cover the various marketing trends and how those can influence a business’s needs. Email software and Google Analytics are also important aspects that are examined. Regardless of their skill level, this is a great class for anyone looking to improve their social media presence and digital media advertising.
This is a how-to course for anyone starting out in social media marketing as well as for any business owners or marketing professionals hoping to bolster their marketing and advertising strategies. This particular course can be audited for free, but for those who would like to receive additional content, there is an option to pay for the course.
This course hopes to encourage business owners and executives in networking with social media leaders and portrays how to engage with a social media audience and cultivate customer relations. Using proven methods, this course is sure to help individuals create and implement a successful social media strategy.
For $18.99, this bestselling course from Udemy instructs students on understanding the basics of social media marketing. The course is divided into different modules, which each have a particular focus, such as Instagram, YouTube, SEO marketing, Facebook Ads, and other business strategies for sites such as LinkedIn and Google Business.
The only requirement for this course is a desire to grow a business via social media marketing, which sounds like a great starting place! Over 500 businesses and clients have taken this course to assist with their social media platforms. Udemy also provides lifetime access to all lectures and content, and the information and content taught is based on business and client success.
Created by Buffer and offered through Skillshare, this course is great for beginners and intermediates alike. The course begins with an introduction to social media and progresses into instructing businesses and individuals on establishing their social media voice. In addition to lessons on creating and curating content, Introduction to Social Media Strategy discusses what the right marketing tools are for certain audiences and platforms.
The course instructor, Brian Peters, has created a five-step Facebook advertising plan, and he incorporates this model into the course content. His strategies prioritize brand awareness, voice creation, and advertising, and based on Brian’s experience and awards in social media marketing, this course is sure to be beneficial for anyone hoping to create authentic connections with a target audience!
Created by Blueprint Learning, Facebook Blueprint offers a number of free classes to help individuals and businesses. The link above will take you to Facebook Blueprint’s homepage, and there you will find access to hundreds of courses that all pertain to social media and digital marketing as well as content creation.
Many of the courses available have anywhere between four and nine modules, and while many of the courses do pertain to Facebook exclusively, there are also options to take courses on Instagram content marketing strategies. Facebook Blueprint also honors experience levels, and there are specific courses designed for advanced digital marketers who would like to boost their knowledge.
This is a great course for anyone who is starting out and needs step-by-step instructions for any and all social media platforms. Social Media 101 is intentionally named because Constant Contact provides tutorials for eight different social media platforms. For instance, Social Media Quickstarter covers Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, to name just a few of the platforms.
Constant Contact encourages individuals and businesses to build their social media presence by laying out the basics for each social media site. From there, it teaches how to attract both new and returning customers. Constant Contact’s primary goal is to ensure simplicity and accessibility for individuals who are just starting out and need a step-by-step plan to increase their digital media presence.
Video marketing is a growing social media marketing tool, and it is surely not going anywhere anytime soon! In this course, instructor Nicole Farb goes over some of the basics first: setting up for a video, shooting a video, and finalizing a video for sharing. Though this is a short, introductory course, it is a good starting point for anyone wanting to get started in video marketing.
If you’ve been enthralled by BuzzFeed videos while scrolling on Facebook and have been enticed to make your own videos, DIY Viral Video is definitely a great place to get started. All that’s required for enrollment is an iPhone, an interest in expanding your marketing skills, and a desire to engage an audience in a new way.
#14. Video Storytelling for Social Media by Social Creators
Similar to the course above, Video Storytelling for Social Media is intended to help people of any experience level film and edit smartphone videos. This is a one-hour online course, and it provides all of the basics for anyone wanting to make high-quality videos using only an iPhone or Android – no DSLR equipment is necessary!
Video Storytelling is a great course for anyone interested in vlogging, video marketing, or video content. This course helps students cultivate their brand and share stories in an authentic way. By focusing on video storytelling, this course encourages individuals to increase social media engagement by building a habit and creating accessible goals.
No matter what your experience level or familiarity with social media may be, GCF Global is accessible to beginners and advanced users alike. With 13 different modules, this course is divided into content based on social media platforms. The course offers skills in fundamental areas like communication, business promotion, and consumerism. What’s more, all course material is accessible and easy to follow.
Although this course is seemingly designed for social media beginners, it is definitely well-designed for anyone who is trying to break out into social media marketing. GCF is easy to navigate, and it incorporates a variety of social media platforms for individuals and businesses to interact and practice with.
In this interactive and easy-to-digest webpage seminar, The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media walks users through social media basics by addressing how valuable social media is. In 12 modules, this beginner’s guide covers everything from the best social media practices to using social media platforms for global work.
For those individuals who want to work specifically with content marketing, there is a module entitled Social Media Metrics and ROI, which pertains directly to the types of data that emerge from advertising and follower interaction. For those interested specifically in understanding data, Moz Pro has a course on social media inbound marketing here with a 30-day free trial.
Social Media Monitoring offered by Udemy is a free course that teaches how to monitor social media sites. The purpose of this course is to instruct learners on how to interact with their followers based on monitoring where followers are from and observing what they interact with most. The focus of this course is content curation and online influence.
This course is targeted more toward an intermediate and advanced skill set, and it is primarily for marketers, researchers, recruiters, sales professionals, and customer service representatives. With lifetime access to all of the content modules, Social Media Monitoring is easy to return to and navigate. This is a solid course for anyone hoping to understand data better in order to grow their business!
In this free online training offered through Social Creators, Design Thinking For Social Media is all about targeting your ideal audience and cultivating your personal brand. Upon signing up, you will receive a 21-page Personal Branding Guide as well as a four-part video training series.
This course, though predominantly self-taught and self-led, is perfect for anyone who would like to work on tailoring their content to a particular audience. The 21-page guide also offers advice on creating an online presence and getting hired for freelance positions. If you need guidance in developing your brand or marketing content, this is a great first step in understanding social media marketing!
Writing For Social Media is offered by Berkeley University through EdX. This course is free, but if you wish to add a verified certificate, it costs $99. Even with the $99 course tuition, this four-week course is a great offer. With less than five hours per week required, Writing For Social Media is a pivotal course in navigating social media outlets.
This course primarily focuses on the best writing practices for social media platforms, offering instruction and guidance on structuring and delivering feasible and engaging content. By understanding how to best deliver social media messages, students will learn about communicating with readers more thoroughly.
Social Media: How Media Got Social is offered through Curtin University, a university in Western Australia. Drawing upon the history and inception of social media, this course provides a historical framework to help students understand the precedence and significance of social media in contemporary culture.
This course has four modules, and it begins with pre-social-media-era communication tools. It then explores the rise of social media and the value of personal web presence. The final components explicate on how social media communication exists and permeates in nearly every facet of our lives, focusing on the various platforms in use and how we create online identities.
Digital Marketing Trends is a course offered through LinkedIn Learning and is designed entirely for individuals who are interested in further developing their social media presence in terms of applicable trends. Communication Strategist and Social Media Educator Martin Waxman explores the newest tools available and how they can be used for social media marketing.
This series is ongoing and evolves with the rising and changing trends of social media. Because of this continual change, participants will not receive a certificate of completion. Regardless of whether or not the course comes with a certificate, individuals can be assured that they are receiving up-to-date information. All modules are in a video format. Try a free trial for Linkedin Learning.
Context is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World is a great hands-on course that allows you to actively engage in a social media platform. In this course, you will learn how to plan a social media strategy for a particular brand on a specific platform. This course is offered through Skillshare and is taught by a group of marketing professionals and entrepreneurs.
This course will begin by covering the essentials in how you interact with social media. You will hone in on a particular story you want to share, create a piece of content designated for a specific platform, and then justify your intentions for that content – essentially, you will cover the why’s. Why did you choose that platform, that content, that time? Context is Key is a great course for understanding the dos and don’ts of content marketing on social media.
Advanced Social Advertising Training is $249, but the course offers a free demo (which is the first module: The Social Advertising Landscape). Taught by some of Hootsuite’s most experienced and knowledgeable social media strategists, this course is designed for intermediates who would like to learn more about the contemporary marketing landscape.
This course predominantly focuses on providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to interact with social media for the purpose of driving business objectives. As social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram all use various marketing strategies, this course explores how to create a plan for a targeted group of social media users.
Content, Advertising, and Social IMC is offered by Northwestern University through Coursera. This course is designed for any individual or business who desires to make their social media go viral using tips and tricks from various social media masters. The course is taught by four faculty members from Northwestern, all of whom specialize in marketing.
In this course, participants will learn about marketing strategies and what it means to unlock the various social media algorithms that allow content to be readily promoted and accessed. Broken down into four modules, this class teaches individuals about how to successfully create a marketing plan that can be applied to specific social media platforms.
Twitter Flight School has over 20 courses that pertain to marketing campaign strategies. Whether it’s related to Marketing Ad Fundamentals, Finding an Audience, or Creating Video Campaigns, Twitter Flight School covers the basics in a number of easy-to-access courses.
Most of the courses offered through Twitter Flight School contain two to three learning modules, making the content easy to digest and manageable. Instead of the content being combined into one course, you have the opportunity to find a course that is directly connected to the experience you need. Whether you need to create a Twitter Video Ad or get a quick lesson on Twitter Ad basics, there are a number of options available to students.
#26. Instagram for Business by Facebook for Business
Instagram for Business, offered through Facebook for Business, is an overview of what Instagram is, how it’s primarily used, and how it can be effective for businesses. Though the course is brief, it is comprehensive and provides details on how to go about reaching more Instagram followers to help bolster your business account.
While this course is definitely designed for the Instagram beginner, it is a great introduction to setting up an Instagram Business account, understanding and interacting with followers, and promoting content with followers and customers. The course also includes some helpful advice from business-owner @ClassyClaws and their Instagram marketing strategies.
This course through Alison.com is designed specifically for small businesses that are looking to grow their social media presence and marketing strategies. In four modules, participants will engage with over 20 different topics related to using social media as an e-commerce tool with ads and marketing.
In the first module, students will walk through how to set up a social media site; they will then move on to understanding how to run a business through social media; next, they will get some experience in the various platforms available; and lastly, the course will cover how to use social media as an e-commerce tool. This is a great course for any small businesses just starting out in social media!
#28. Diploma in Social Media Strategy by Alison
Diploma in Social Media Strategy is designed for beginners in social media marketing. If you are new to social media or new to running a business and doing marketing, this is a great course for you. The course consists of three modules, and it wraps up with a quiz.
The option for a premium monthly account to access more information within the course is available, but with a Facebook or Google account, you can sign up easily and access the course. This is a great course if you need to be introduced to some social media basics before you begin discovering how to develop a marketing strategy.
Though this class is available for free on YouTube, it was originally a webinar offered by Buffer Week. In these YouTube webinars, there are five different modules that cover the basics in terms of content curation, social media businesses, and marketing strategies. The webinars are taught by Larry Kim and Brian Peters, both of whom are experienced individuals in marketing and SEO.
First and foremost, these webinars are free and easily accessible. Each webinar lasts about one to one and a half hours, so over the course of one to two weeks, you could easily finish this course. The material covers information primarily related to Instagram and Facebook business and marketing.
Maybe you don’t have time or money to invest in a course right now; maybe you need to start small. This course is the last one on the list simply because it is not necessarily a course but is more of an overview of how to succeed in social media marketing. This overview course is offered through Quicksprout.
If you are genuinely confused about marketing, how to use social media, or maybe even how to begin this scary process of social media marketing, this is a great place to start. The step-by-step overview of information is easy to digest and extremely comprehensible. This is truly a great starting point for someone who needs to understand social media basics.
What Is the Best Social Media Marketing Course?
Honestly, the answer here depends on your needs. If you are just starting out and your business is in its beginning phase, you will probably want to find a course that covers some basics. Many of the courses on this list are designed for beginners; others, however, might be more applicable to expert business owners and web-developers.
If you are a beginner, you will want a course that covers information pertinent to connecting and maintaining followers, interacting with content similar to your own, and promoting content that will attract a particular demographic. Many of the courses on this list cover how to gain and interact with social media followers based on content development and sharing.
There are also courses that explore the purposes of social media platforms, offering advice on how to orchestrate a social media marketing plan. If you are unsure of which social media platform is best for your needs, take an introductory course. However, if you are an intermediate social media user, you might want a course that discusses how to implement a marketing strategy across various social media platforms.
With a list of 30 courses, there is bound to be a course on here that will be useful to you and your business. The courses on this list are multifaceted, and even if many of the courses overlap in content and curriculum, they all serve a similar purpose. Beginner or expert, there are courses available to you that can help increase your business via social media. Take a look at the websites and module breakdown if you need help deciding which course is best suited for you!
Is it Worth Paying Money for a Course?
This is a great question because many of the courses on this list are free. However, there are some courses on this list that range anywhere from $49-$600. Depending on your needs and business goals, investing in a course might seem like a better option. With that said, there are a number of free courses on this list that undoubtedly provide just as much material as paid courses.
While trying to determine whether or not to invest in a course might be difficult, it is important to consider what your business can afford. Many of the courses on this list are taught by scholars and marketing professionals. If having an expert is important to you, then you might want to consider spending money to make money.
How Time-Consuming is a Social Media Marketing Course?
It depends on the course, but thankfully, many of the courses on this list are self-paced. Additionally, many of these courses – even the free ones – offer participants lifetime access. With the independent nature of many of these programs, you can take the course in your free time and chip away at it slowly; on the other hand, you can power through a course and finish it as quickly as possible.
Committing to any type of course, no matter the content or topic, can seem daunting, but the self-paced nature of many of these courses allows you to set your own schedule and tackle the modules in a way that works best for you.
Which Social Media Course is Right for You?
Now the final question: how do you decide which course to take? As this list is a compilation of the best courses available online, you’ll need to figure out which course is going to work with your budget, schedule, and goals.
Determine the course format, time commitment, and the curriculum components to match your expectations. For instance, if you are expecting a certificate at the end of the course, you might want to confirm that the course does indeed provide a certificate of completion. Some of the courses above are free, but they charge a small fee to acquire the certificate.
It’s important that you acknowledge your expectations and needs, understanding what you hope to gain from a social media marketing course. For personal experience, find a course that is more grounded in social media followers and content creation; for business purposes, find a course that covers the aforementioned content as well as algorithms, data tracking, and other business strategies that help you effectively track trends and create content.
List of Courses:
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- Social Media Marketing by Northwestern University
- Social Media Marketing Course by BrainStation
- Social Marketing
- Understanding the Basics of Digital Advertising
- Instagram Influencer Marketing Course by Udemy
- Social Media Marketing by Udemy
- Social Media 101 Training
- What is Social? by Northwestern University
- Social Media Marketing MASTERY by Udemy
- Introduction to Social Media Strategy by Skillshare (Buffer)
- Facebook Blueprint by Blueprint Learning
- Social Media 101 – Social Media Quickstarter by Constant Contact
- DIY Viral Video: A Class on Making iPhone How-To Videos by Skillshare
- Video Storytelling for Social Media
- Social Media by GCF Global
- The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media by Moz
- Social Media Monitoring by Udemy
- Design Thinking For Social Media by Social Creators
- Writing For Social Media by Berkeley University
- Social Media: How Media Got Social by CurtinX
- Social Media News and Trends by LinkedIn Learning
- Context is Key: Social Media Strategy in a Noisy Online World
- Advanced Social Advertising Training by Hootsuite Academy
- Content, Advertising, and Social IMC by Northwestern University
- Twitter Flight School by Twitter
- Instagram for Business by Facebook
- Social Media Strategy for Small Businesses by Alison
- Diploma in Social Media Strategy
- Social Media and Marketing Webinars by Buffer Week
- The Complete Guide to Social Media Marketing for Bloggers by Quicksprout