Best Social Media Marketing Courses

Coursera offers the most well-rounded social media marketing course

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Social media marketing courses help marketing professionals, business owners, and others use social media more effectively. By implementing the guidance taught in a social media marketing course, learners can establish and solidify company branding, expand reach within a target market, increase engagement with followers, boost sales revenue, and more.

The best social media marketing courses deliver digestible and easy-to-implement content. The courses also feature some combination of expert instruction, student support, a flexible learning schedule, supplementary material to bolster learning, and a way to demonstrate new-found skills and knowledge. Finally, ideal courses are budget-friendly or a good value for the cost.

Best Social Media Marketing Courses of 2021

Best Overall : Coursera


Coursera

Coursera

  • Price: $49 per month
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Platform: Computer or mobile
Why We Chose It

Coursera’s Social Media Marketing Specialization took our top spot because it’s the most well-rounded course, featuring a robust, regularly updated curriculum, hands-on practice, instructor feedback, and a fair price.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Course content is updated every quarter

  • Course features videos, readings, and quizzes

  • Financial aid is available

Cons
  • Must purchase a subscription to get a certificate

  • Course takes up to seven months to finish

Overview

We like this course of study as our overall pick because it’s actually a series of five classes that comprise the Social Media Marketing Specialization. Classes are offered by Northwestern University, taught by the institution’s faculty, and include:

  • What is Social?
  • The Importance of Listening
  • Engagement and Nurture Marketing Strategies
  • Content, Advertising, and Social Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC)
  • The Business of Social

As you work through the curriculum, you’ll learn how to expand your reach, establish your brand, build your social media marketing strategy, analyze related metrics, and become an influencer in your industry.

To make sure your social media skills stay current, the course content gets updated every quarter. You’ll learn new skills and information through written material, video lectures, quizzes, and feedback from your instructor on class assignments.

To finish the program, you’ll have to demonstrate your knowledge by completing a capstone project. You’ll get a certificate of completion after each class and the specialization as a whole.

Suited for beginners on a busy schedule, you can study from any device with an internet signal on a timetable that works for you. If you devote two hours per week to the course, you’ll complete it in about seven months.

Coursera will let you audit the course for free, which allows you to view most of the content. However, if you want to earn certificates of completion or receive instructor feedback, you’ll need to purchase a subscription for the specialization for $49 per month.

The provider offers a seven-day free trial, so you can explore the course before you commit. Plus, you can apply for financial aid.

Best Free Course : HubSpot


HubSpot

 HubSpot

  • Price: $0
  • Experience Level: Beginner to professional
  • Platform: Computer or mobile
Why We Chose It

HubSpot Academy’s Social Media Marketing Course is our pick for the best free course since it includes an engaging and comprehensive curriculum and a HubSpot certification at no cost.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Information is broken into digestible bites

  • Course features quizzes to keep you engaged

  • Self-paced curriculum makes learning convenient

Cons
  • No instructor feedback is available

Overview

HubSpot Academy’s course is our pick for the best free course because it delivers a lot of value and only requires an investment of your time. The class features 40 videos and 29 quizzes, totaling just over four hours of content. Designed for both current and aspiring marketing professionals, the curriculum gets delivered in eight lessons:

  • Developing a Social Media Strategy
  • Social Media Listening and Monitoring
  • Building a Content Strategy for Social Media
  • Extending Your Reach on Social Media
  • Using Social Media to Build One-to-One Relationships
  • Introduction to Social Media Advertising
  • Measuring Your Social Return on Investment
  • Essentials for Continued Success with Social Media

Since the course is self-paced, you can study whenever it’s convenient. As you work through the lessons, you’ll learn about:

  • Setting a social media strategy
  • Building brand awareness and loyalty
  • Creating content that connects and converts
  • Engaging with followers
  • Getting the most out of paid ads
  • Measuring return on investment

Once you finish the coursework, you’ll receive a certificate from HubSpot, a well-known player in the digital marketing industry. HubSpot was founded in 2004 to help businesses be of service to their customers. The company provides business management and growth software solutions and publishes thought leadership and courses about sales, marketing, and more.

Best Course with Certificate : Boot Camp Digital


Boot Camp Digital

Boot Camp Digital

  • Price: $997
  • Experience Level: Beginner to professional
  • Platform: Computer and mobile
Why We Chose It

We like Boot Camp Digital’s set of masterclasses because it’s certified by the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) organization. Boot Camp Digital is also an approved Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) educator, so the class can help you earn the OMCP certification.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Well-respected certification that can lead to other credentials

  • 40+ hours of content included

  • Weekly 1:1 student support provided

Cons
  • Course is expensive

  • Course requires a lengthy time commitment

Overview

Boot Camp Digital’s Social Media Marketing Master Certification course is a robust program that results in an industry-known certification. Since 2007, the company has focused on teaching businesses how to level up their digital marketing game via workshops, training, seminars, and programs. This course features over 300 videos (more than 42 hours of content) across eight masterclasses:

  • Social Media Strategy
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Facebook Advertising
  • Instagram Marketing
  • Twitter Marketing
  • LinkedIn Marketing
  • Pinterest Marketing
  • Blogging

To help you get the most out of the curriculum and increase the value of the program, the course also includes:

  • Weekly private office hours with an instructor
  • Monthly question and answer sessions
  • Access to a private Facebook group
  • Downloadable tip sheets, templates, and checklists
  • Lots of bonus content like additional courses and e-books

You can view the course content from any device with internet access. To earn your certification, you must complete the masterclasses, pass a 40-question exam, and submit a social media marketing action plan.

While the course is the most expensive on our list, you can get your money back if you’re not happy by contacting the company within 15 days of purchase. Your $997 investment covers one year of access to the program materials, including any updates made during that time.

Best for Beginners : Hootsuite


Hootsuite

 Hootsuite

  • Price: $199
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Platform: Computer
Why We Chose It

Hootsuite Academy’s Social Media Marketing Certification course won this category because it teaches foundational knowledge geared towards novice social media marketers.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Completion results in industry-recognized online certificate

  • Can finish the program in 6 hours

  • Can earn the certificate by passing the exam without taking the course

Cons
  • Pricey compared to some other courses on the market

  • No instructor feedback provided

Overview

Hootsuite Academy’s course is our winner for best for beginners since it focuses on the basics of social media marketing. After completion, you’ll know how to expand your online community and build relationships with your fans. The class also covers:

  • Strategy development and implementation
  • Profile building
  • Content creation
  • Follower engagement

In addition, you’ll learn practical skills to drive business results through your social media marketing efforts. For a total of six hours of content, the course spans these six chapters:

  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing
  • Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles
  • Social Media Strategy – From A to Z
  • Growing Your Advocate Community
  • Content Marketing Fundamentals
  • Social Advertising Fundamentals

Once you finish the last chapter, you’ll be ready to take the final exam. You’ll have 60 minutes to answer 60 questions and must receive an 80% or better to get your certificate. (Hootsuite will allow you to take the exam without completing the coursework, but the company strongly urges you to go through the material first.)

Coming in at $199, the course is one of our pricier picks. But, the curriculum was developed by in-house social media experts, and Hootsuite is a recognized name within the industry. Founded in 2008, Hootsuite offers software that enables digital marketers to schedule social media content ahead of time and publish it automatically to the selected platforms. Hootsuite also provides educational resources to help professionals improve their skills and stay on top of marketing trends.

Best for Marketing Professionals : Udemy


Udemy

Udemy

  • Price: $29.99
  • Experience Level: Professional
  • Platform: Computer and mobile
Why We Chose It

We like Udemy’s Social Media Marketing – Complete Certificate Course because it helps marketing professionals brush up on the basics and learn new, advanced skills.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Course is budget-friendly

  • Certificate of completion included

  • 30-day money-back guarantee provided

Cons
  • No instructor feedback is available

Overview

Udemy’s Social Media Marketing – Complete Certificate Course is our choice for best for marketing professionals because the class is sure to teach even seasoned marketers new tricks. 

The course packs a lot into a 3.5-hour program that includes 2.5 hours of videos, 16 articles, and 14 downloadable resources, such as workbooks and templates. During the class, you’ll review some social media marketing fundamentals and then dive into more complex topics like social media audits and advanced social media platform features.

Designed to help you use social media to attract buyers and drive sales, the course is divided into 12 lessons:

  • Introduction to this Course and Social Media
  • Starting with the Basics – Beginners
  • Your Social Media Strategy
  • Getting Started with the Social Networks
  • The Social Media Audit
  • History of Social Media
  • Social Media Content Marketing
  • Facebook – What You Need to Know
  • Twitter – What You Need to Know
  • Social Media Automation
  • Additional Case Studies

You can study from any device that gets online, making it easy to learn on the go or when you have a spare moment. After completing the class, you’ll receive a certificate of completion.

Udemy’s program costs $29.99, but the company often offers discounts, so you may be able to score a better deal. When you purchase the course, you’ll receive lifetime access (including updates) and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Best for Tight Schedules : LinkedIn Learning


LinkedIn Learning

 LinkedIn Learning

  • Price: $39.99 per month or $299.88 per year
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Platform: Computer and mobile
Why We Chose It

LinkedIn Learning’s Social Media Marketing: Strategy and Optimization course is ideal for the busy professional since it takes just under an hour to finish.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Course access is affordable

  • You can earn your certificate of completion in one sitting

  • Latest social media developments covered

Cons
  • No instructor feedback included

  • Curriculum is less robust than some other courses offered

Overview

LinkedIn Learning’s Social Media Marketing: Strategy and Optimization won as best for tight schedules because you can improve your social media marketing prowess during your lunch hour. LinkedIn Learning is LinkedIn’s educational platform where you can learn just about any professional skill you can imagine. This brief but informative class features five sections of on-demand video content that includes:

  • Introduction
  • Start with a SWOT
  • What’s Driving the Major Platforms
  • Turning Strategy Into Action
  • Conclusion

Since the course doesn’t include a lot of foundational knowledge, the curriculum is best suited for someone who already understands the basics of social media marketing. As you watch the lectures, you’ll learn how to:

  • Conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of your social media practices and adapt your strategy to realign with your strengths.
  • Position your company strategically based on the latest developments on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, and TikTok.
  • Create free and paid content that resonates with your target market.

To access the course, you must purchase a LinkedIn Learning subscription for $39.99 per month or $299.88 per year. As a subscriber, you’ll also be able to take more than 16,000 other classes, earn certificates of completion, and benefit from other LinkedIn Premium perks, like unlimited profile views.

Final Verdict

There are numerous social media marketing courses found online. Some providers, like HubSpot, offer free educational content. Others, like Boot Camp Digital, include top-notch student support. But, overall, the best social media marketing course is available through Coursera.

We selected Coursera’s course as best overall since it is 100% online, and you can complete the lessons on a flexible schedule, making it a convenient way to learn. Plus, the curriculum is kept current, and the program includes instructor feedback on assignments–both are helpful to your success as a social media marketer.

Compare the Best Social Media Marketing Courses

Company Price Experience Level  Time to Complete  Platform 
Coursera
Best Overall
$49 per month Beginner 56+ hours Written and video lectures available on computer and mobile
HubSpot
Best Free Course 
$0  Beginner to professional  4.25 hours  Video lectures available on computer and mobile 
Boot Camp Digital
Best Course with Certificate 
$997  Beginner to professional  42+ hours  Written and video lectures available on computer and mobile 
Hootsuite
Best for Beginners 
$199  Beginner  6 hours  Video lectures available on computer 
Udemy
Best for Marketing Professionals 
$29.99  Professional  3.5+ hours  Written and video lectures available on computer and mobile 
LinkedIn Learning
Best for Tight Schedules 
$39.99 per month or $299.88 per year  Intermediate  1 > hour  Video lectures available on computer and mobile 

What to Look for in a Social Media Marketing Course 

When it’s time to increase your knowledge, choosing the right social media marketing course comes down to your current skill level, budget, the amount of time you can devote to your studies. Here’s what to look for when weighing your course options:

  • Price: Is the course affordable? Is it a good value for the cost?
  • Duration: How long does it take to finish the program? Can you commit to that timeframe?
  • Curriculum: Is this course content well-suited for your current skills and interests? Will you grow as a professional as a result of taking the class?
  • Convenience: Is the course easy to access across multiple devices? Can you study on your own schedule?
  • Student Support: Do you have access to an instructor if you need assistance?
  • Special Features: Does the course include additional resources to augment your learning or other bonus perks?

Social Media Marketing Courses vs. Email Marketing Courses

Social media marketing and email marketing are both essential elements of a marketing plan. Fortunately, there are many quality courses on the market to help you level up your skills in either discipline. While there is some knowledge overlap between the two (e.g., both require copywriting abilities), your specific role and career aspirations will determine which type of course you should take.

If you work in a general digital marketing capacity, taking a course for each specialty may be a good idea. However, if your role is more focused on one medium, or you plan to transition from one medium to another, it probably makes sense to bolster those skills first.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Social Media Marketing Courses Worth It? 

Social media marketing courses can be worth it if they help you increase your skills and improve your career prospects/business revenue. Before committing to a class, research it carefully so you can feel confident about investing your time and money. 

What Do You Learn in a Social Media Marketing Course? 

Although all social media marketing course curriculums vary, you can generally expect to learn how to:

  • Develop and execute a social media marketing plan
  • Create and post engaging content
  • Grow your follower base
  • Strategically position your company’s brand
  • Use social media to drive significantly more traffic to your company's website or online store
  • Convert followers to paying customers

Some courses may also dive into best practices for specific social media platforms and setting up paid ads.

Do I Need a Certificate in Social Media Marketing? 

You don’t necessarily need a certificate in social media marketing to be successful in the field. However, some companies may require you to have or obtain the credential as a condition of employment. Plus, earning the certificate can be a good way to differentiate yourself from other job candidates or social media marketing service providers.

Methodology

We reviewed 10 social media marketing courses and considered the course curriculum, student support available, supplemental resources offered, time commitment required, credential earned upon completion, and price. We also factored in the course platform and how content is delivered.