12 Best Social Media Marketing Courses to Take Online [Free & Paid]

Taking a social media marketing course will help you level-up your existing skills or jumpstart a career in marketing management. And this is a good time: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 10% rate of job growth is expected for marketing managers from 2020 to 2030.

To help you stand out from your competition in the hiring process, as well as feel entirely confident in your ability to perform in your social media role, you’ll want to take a social media course.

click here to take hubspot academy's social media marketing certification  course

In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the best social media marketing courses that are available today.

1. Social Media Certification by HubSpot

hubspot academy social media certification

Creator: HubSpot

Platform: HubSpot Academy

Price: Free

Skill Level: Intermediate

One-Sentence Summary: Learn how to create an inbound social media marketing strategy.

HubSpot’s social media certification course is a robust program designed to help you attract customers and partners, and build brand loyalty. Because social media is the key to inbound marketing, this course ties in the two concepts seamlessly.

The course is flexible enough so that you can work on it on your time. It covers essential topics such as measuring ROI, extending reach, social media content creation, and social listening. You might also select to take specific lessons within the HubSpot Academy course — for instance, this one on Social Media Advertising.

You’ll learn:

  • How to develop a social media marketing strategy to generate brand awareness for your business
  • How to use social media listening to find out what works best for your followers
  • How to extend your reach on social and leverage influencers to attract new audiences
  • How to get the most out of your social media investments

Recommended for:

Because this course immediately jumps into social media strategy, we recommend it for new social media marketing managers who’ve recently been promoted from a junior-level role. Some experience in social media is recommended.

2. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google

social media marketing course: google

Creator: Google

Platform: Google Digital Garage

Price: Free

Skill Level: Beginner

One-Sentence Summary: Better understand digital marketing basics across a wide variety of disciplines, including social media marketing.

Google’s digital marketing certification has over 300,000 students and includes two social media modules to jumpstart your social media marketing knowledge. It also provides digital marketing courses in mobile marketing, SEO, content marketing, and web optimization.

The courses explain paid and organic search and teach you how to develop search-engine-optimized web pages.

Learning how to optimize pages for search on a popular search engine (for free) sounds like a win-win. At the completion of the course, you’ll receive a digital certificate you can add to your LinkedIn profile and resume.

You’ll learn:

  • How to master a wide array of digital marketing basics, such as search optimization, content marketing, and local marketing
  • How to get started with social media if you’ve never done it before
  • How to set goals for your chosen social media platforms
  • How to create a sustainable long-term social strategy

Recommended for:

Because this course covers everything related to digital marketing, it’s recommended for true beginners who’ve never been in marketing before and who’d like to learn a bit of everything (including social media marketing).

3. PPC University by WordStream

social media marketing course: ppc university

Creator: WordStream

Platform: WordStream

Price: Free

Skill Level: Intermediate

One-Sentence Summary: Learn about social ads on the major platforms including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and LinkedIn.

WordStream offers the necessary educational resources to develop a strong understanding of social media advertisements. This includes social media ads on a variety of platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and LinkedIn.

There’s also information about why and how to advertise on social media, as well as education around best practices while advertising across these platforms.

Lastly, you’ll learn about social media ad metrics and social shopping — this way, you can effectively measure your success as well as reach your audience when and where they’re ready to make a purchase.

You’ll learn:

  • How to get started with pay-per-click marketing across a wide variety of platforms, including social media
  • How to create a social ad strategy for your preferred platform
  • Why you should invest in social media ads
  • How to measure your success with ad metrics

Recommended for:

We recommend this course for social media marketing managers who are interested in launching a paid ads strategy on social media. It’s also a great fit for you if you prefer to learn at your own pace by reading written guides (as opposed to watching videos).

4. Social Media Specialization by Northwestern University

social media marketing course: northwestern

Creator: Northwestern University

Platform: Coursera

Price: Free

Skill Level: Beginner

One-Sentence Summary: Learn everything you need to get started in social media marketing.

Coursera is a great educational resource for beginners and those who are new to the world of social media marketing. This course by Northwestern University teaches you the social strategies you need to expand your reach and grow your followers. It touches upon social listening and lead nurturing, which most other courses don’t touch upon. This is important because lead nurturing is often associated with email marketing, but it can also be done (and should be done) over social media.

You’ll learn:

  • What social media is
  • Why you need to create a social listening strategy
  • How to implement nurturing strategies in your social media marketing

Recommended for:

Because of its focus on lead nurturing and its foundational modules, we recommend this course for non-marketing professionals and early-stage founders who are interested in starting a social media strategy to grow their customer base.

5. Online Advertising & Social Media by the University of Maryland

social media marketing course: uc davis

Creator: University of Maryland

Platform: edX

Price: Free

Skill Level: Intermediate

One-Sentence Summary: Learn about online advertising, sentiment analysis, and social network analysis.

On edX, you can pick classes that suit your interests and save classes to refer to later. There is a variety of business topics you can take classes on. This course from the University of Maryland focuses on online advertising, and specifically on social media advertising.

Plus, it includes in instruction on data analysis so that you can make informed decisions when refining your social strategy over time.

You’ll learn:

  • Which platforms you can advertise on
  • How to measure the success of your campaigns
  • How to analyze your chosen social media networks
  • How to delve into Big Data for your social efforts

Recommended for:

We recommend this course for social media marketers who’d like to launch an advertising strategy. In addition, we recommend it for new social media analysts who need a strong foundation in social data analysis.

6. Social Media Marketing Course by Acadium

social media marketing course: acadium

Creator: Acadium

Platform: Acadium

Price: Free

Skill Level: Beginner

One-Sentence Summary: Get a full understanding of social media marketing while developing real-world experience in an apprenticeship.

Acadium is an apprenticeship and mentorship program — there are a number of lessons within the social media marketing course that you can take before, after, or during your apprenticeship.

The courses offered cover an array of social media marketing topics, including how to set up profiles on your chosen platforms and how to save time as you scale your social media efforts.

You’ll learn:

  • How to get started with the most popular social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • How to publish posts
  • How to stand out from your competitors

Recommended for:

We recommend this course for true beginners who not only need a foundation of social media marketing in general, but also mentorship from Acadium’s group of mentors. Because it offers highly basic knowledge, we don’t recommend it for current marketers or social media managers.

7. Digital Marketing 101 by Boot Camp Institute

social media 101, social media marketing course by boot camp digital

Creator: Boot Camp Institute

Platform: Boot Camp Digital

Price: $197/year or $97/month

Skill Level: Beginner

One-Sentence Summary: Learn about digital marketing and work through a comprehensive section on social media marketing and strategy.

Digital Marketing 101 by Boot Camp Institute is an impactful, video-led training that takes you on a deep dive into the basics of digital marketing and using it for social media. This is beginner-level training and can be completed in six hours.

Boot Camp’s clientele includes Nike, NASA, GE, and Georgia-Pacific, and the platform gives buyers unlimited one-year access once purchased. It provides a digital marketing template, ROI information, benchmarking, and a bonus-free digital tools course.

You’ll learn:

  • How to get started with digital marketing across a variety of mediums and channels
  • Why you should create a social media strategy
  • Which social media trends to keep an eye on

Recommended for:

Because of its generalist approach, we recommend it for non-marketing professionals who’d like to learn all digital marketing strategies, including social media marketing.

8. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, Social Media, and E-Commerce by The Wharton School

fundamentals of digital marketing, social media, and e-commerce wharton university of pennsylvania social media marketing course

Creator: The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Platform: edX

Price: $585

Skill Level: Intermediate

One-Sentence Summary: Marketing course designed for business professionals.

Wharton’s course is considered an intermediate dive into the intersection of digital marketing, social media marketing, and ecommerce. It’s a self-paced, six-week class that requires three hours of your time each week.

This course is structured specifically for marketing professionals, small business owners, and consumers who want to know social media techniques. You’ll learn how to produce marketing campaigns that are effective for your business.

Note: This course is offered in live cohorts. You’ll need to wait for enrollment to open.

You’ll learn:

  • How to use demographics and behaviors to create a digital strategy
  • How to interact with customers and potential buyers across multiple channels
  • How to leverage tools and tactics to power-up your digital marketing
  • How to delve into new media platforms, including social media

Recommended for:

While this is a foundational course, we recommend it for experienced business professionals who’d like to expand their skill set to include marketing skills and tactics.

9. The Strategy of Content Marketing by University of California, Davis

social media marketing course: uc davis

Creator: University of California, Davis

Platform: Coursera

Price: Free

Skill Level: Intermediate

One-Sentence Summary: Learn about the power of integrating your content marketing and social media marketing strategies.

Social media marketing is a type of content marketing, and this course can help you weave both into a more comprehensive strategy. In this online class offered by the University of California, Davis, you’ll learn how to create a content marketing strategy and develop an understanding of the ecosystem surrounding that strategy. Ample time will also be spent working on strategic writing and framing.

The different types of content marketing will be reviewed, along with how they’re integral to social media marketing. There are five weeks worth of material paired with videos, exercises, readings, and quizzes.

You’ll learn:

  • What the content marketing ecosystem is
  • How to use the “7A Framework” to power-up your content
  • How to tailor your content to each phase of the buyer’s journey

Recommended for:

We recommend this course for social media marketers who’d like to approach social media marketing with a content-centric perspective.

10. Social Media Marketing Masterclass by Mark Timberlake and Philomena Timberlake

social media marketing masterclass

Creator: Mark Timberlake and Philomena Timberlake

Platform: Udemy

Price: $129.99 one-time fee or $16.58/mo

Skill Level: Beginner

One-Sentence Summary: Learn how to build a social media marketing strategy and schedule for your unique business.

Rather than a complete level one course in social media, this offering is a masterclass on the subject, uniquely centered around ethical digital marketing techniques.

You’ll learn how to set up a powerful marketing strategy and a schedule that aligns with accomplishing business goals.

You’ll also dive into how social media marketing integrates with your business, email marketing, and building an online community. This course can be completed in 20 hours, and gives you a certificate of completion at its end.

You’ll learn:

  • How to create actionable content on your website and social media
  • How to leverage social media communities to increase brand awareness
  • Which social media platforms you can use to market your business
  • How to use your phone for social media photography

Recommended for:

This masterclass doesn’t cover just social media marketing, but SEO and blogging. For that reason, we recommend it for new marketers who’d like to expand their skill set as they dive into their new role.

11. Social Media Marketing Foundations by Brian Honigman

social media marketing course: linkedin learning

Creator: Brian Honigman

Platform: LinkedIn Learning

Price: Free

Skill Level: Beginner

One-Sentence Summary: Learn the foundations of social media marketing, with a focus on audience targeting and business-to-customer interaction.

This foundational course by Brian Honigman, a marketing consultant, offers similar content to the other beginner-level courses on this list, with a special focus on interacting with customers through your business’ preferred social networks. It also includes instruction on using social media for sales and experimenting with your techniques.

You’ll learn:

  • What social media marketing is
  • How to use social media for customer interactions
  • How to attribute metrics to business results

Recommended for:

We recommend this course for marketing professionals, salespeople, and service professionals who want to take a customer-centric approach to your company’s social media strategy.

12. Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate by Meta

social media marketing course: meta

Creator: Meta (FKA Facebook)

Platform: Coursera

Price: Free

Skill Level: Beginner

One-Sentence Summary: Learn about social media marketing and advertising techniques from Meta.

Meta’s social media marketing certificate includes the essentials you need to jumpstart your social media marketing knowledge, with added coursework on advertising. It also offers a Meta-centric approach, so if you know you’d like to advertise on Facebook and Instagram, this is the right course for you.

You’ll learn:

  • How to create a social media management strategy
  • How to begin social media advertising on Meta’s platforms
  • How to measure the results from your efforts

Recommended for:

We recommend this course for professionals who want to get foundational knowledge in social media marketing and who know they’ll be investing into Meta’s social media platforms.

Find Your Ideal Social Media Marketing Course

Social media marketing can be extremely powerful when done right — and understanding how to apply the most effective and up-to-date strategies will help you stand out from other social media marketers and strategists so you can propel your career.

So, identity the right course for your experience level, budget, and goals — then get started learning.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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