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Best Social Media Marketing Courses Compared

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We analyzed the wide range of social media marketing courses on the internet and whittled them down to a list of the top five. The best social media marketing course for most students is Social Media Marketing Specialization by Northwestern University. It is comprehensive, welcomes beginners, and covers how to implement its practices in real life. 

The Best Social Media Marketing Course for Most

Northwestern logo

Social Media Marketing Specialization by Northwestern University

Best for Most

Northwestern University’s Social Media Marketing Specialization isn’t just one course--it’s six courses offered back to back. Taught by a current marketing CEO and spread over a thorough seven-month curriculum, this program gives immense value for its $49/month cost.

Social Media Marketing Specialization taught by Northwestern should be considered by most students who need to learn this skill set. While it is a long course, it goes into incredible detail on every aspect of social media marketing and how to implement it into the business world. It packs six courses into one and anyone can sign up, even beginners. 

The Best Social Media Marketing Course Options to Consider

  1. Northwestern University Social Media Marketing Specialization – Best for Most
  2. BrainStation Social Media Marketing Course Online – Best for Creating Campaigns
  3. Facebook Blueprint – Best for Facebook Advertising
  4. Hootsuite Academy Advanced Social Advertising Certification Course – Best for Experienced Marketers Looking to Improve Their Skills
  5. Udemy Social Media Marketing MASTERY – Best for Covering the Basics of Multi-Platform Advertising

When It Makes Sense to Invest In a Social Media Marketing Course

Investing in a social media marketing course can be necessary in a variety of different situations. If you want to pursue a career in digital marketing, you need to implement social media marketing into your business, or your current digital marketing is producing poor results, you may want to get a course. 

Those who want to be a professional digital marketer will definitely benefit from purchasing a course. This includes if you want to run your own business or work for someone else. If you don’t know how to run ad campaigns, measure marketing feedback, or increase social media engagement, you need the proper training to get you up to speed. This is essential for success in a digital marketing career.

If you still don’t use social media to market your business, the best time to start is now. Using a platform like Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn will allow you to hyper-target its users through ad campaigns. You need a course to teach you how to do this effectively. If you plan on outsourcing your social media marketing, then this isn’t necessary. 

Finally, if the ads you’re running aren’t getting desired results, purchase a course. Examples of poor performance include low engagement, minuscule conversions, and a lack of social media followers. The right course will show you how to correct these issues and get your marketing on the right track. If you’re already getting desired results, there’s no need for one at this time. 

#1 – Social Media Marketing Specialization by Northwestern University — The Best for Most

Northwestern logo

Social Media Marketing Specialization by Northwestern University

Best for Most

Northwestern University’s Social Media Marketing Specialization isn’t just one course--it’s six courses offered back to back. Taught by a current marketing CEO and spread over a thorough seven-month curriculum, this program gives immense value for its $49/month cost.

Social Media Marketing Specialization by Northwestern University is a comprehensive, six-part social media marketing course best for most people. It covers a vast range of topics and is taught by Randy Hlavac, CEO of Marketing Synergy, Inc. The course teaches social media marketing, business planning, analytics, writing, A/B testing, and influencer marketing. 

The first section is called “What is Social?”. It is tailored towards marketing professionals looking to immediately improve their social media strategy. This is a how-to course that has its students take action instead of simply reading course material.

The next section is called “The Importance of Listening”. It covers how students can learn from interactions on social media websites. This section stresses the importance of looking at the big data insights students can gain from one simple post. 

In the “Engagement and Nurture Marketing Strategies” section, students learn two of the most important social media tactics that organizations currently use. It covers landing pages, infographics, focus blogs, and multimedia filters. Students will also get to see real-world examples so they can apply them to their own work. 

“Content, Advertising and Social IMC” is a section dedicated to teaching students how to create content that is unique. It teaches platform-specific messaging and emphasizes a “who/what/where” approach. The section also covers gamification tips that create repeat visitors. 

In “The Business of Social” section, students will learn how to engage customers one-on-one. It covers management tactics, proven performance metrics, and legal considerations. The section also teaches the importance of measuring ROI, profits, revenues, and costs. 

Finally, the “Social Marketing Capstone Project” covers the implementation of the previously taught skills into an actual business strategy. It shows students how to create relationships with high-value customers and how to grow market share. 

Social Media Marketing Specialization is a flexible online course that beginners can enroll in. It takes about seven months to complete with around two hours of work per week. 

Students can take the six included courses separately but must complete all six to receive the shareable certificate. The course includes a seven-day free trial, and students must pay $49 per month while they are learning. Start your free trial on Coursera.

#2 – Social Media Marketing Course Online by BrainStation — The Best for Creating Campaigns

BrainStation logo

BrainStation’s Social Media Marketing Course Online

Best for Creating Campaigns

BrainStation’s Social Media Marketing Course teaches how to create campaigns, analyze ad performance, and read key performance indicators. With accredited guest speakers, a comprehensive final project, and an included certificate, it’s a solid foundation course for social campaign management.

Social Media Marketing Course Online by BrainStation is the best course for students who want to learn how to create social media campaigns. Students will learn extensive social media strategies, organic and paid campaign creation, and multi-site platform uses. 

The course teaches how to create engaging posts that target a specific campaign audience. Students will learn how to optimize campaign results by analyzing ad performance. It shows how to create campaigns using LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Students will be taught about content marketing, key performance indicators (KPIs), and setting and achieving business goals. The course brings on guest speakers from companies like Shopify, Refinery 29, and Wealthsimple to teach students valuable insights during panel discussion events.  

Students are separated into breakout groups to interact with other students and complete projects. At the end of the course, students are required to complete a project to earn a Social Media Marketing Certificate. The project covers topics like targeting, demographics, and ad copy. 

Students can complete the course online or at one of its onsite locations around the world. The course lasts seven weeks. The course is on the expensive side at $2,450 total, but it can be broken up into payment plans if needed. If you have the funds and want an in-depth course on marketing campaigns, this one is right for you. 

Visit BrainStation to get started today!

#3 – Facebook Blueprint — The Best for Facebook Advertising

Facebook logo

Facebook Blueprint

Best for Facebook Ads

The Facebook Blueprint teaches students everything they need to know about advertising on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Since it’s taught by Facebook itself, students are given valuable insights they simply can’t get from taking an outside course.

If you need help learning Facebook advertising techniques, Facebook Blueprint is the best option for you. It is a bundle of free certifications, training programs, and courses put together by Facebook to marketers on its platforms. In addition to Facebook, it also has helpful guides for Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. 

Facebook Blueprint will help you set goals, plan social media content, understand target audiences, and tell your business story. It helps with mapping and understanding a customer’s journey and creating a social media map for your business. If you need help with content creation, it has a content calendar course as well. 

Regarding advertising, Facebook Blueprint will show you how to create ads from your Facebook page and how to place them in the Ads Manager. Students will learn the three types of ad audiences and will receive recommendations for their next campaign. It also covers campaign budgeting, how to analyze and evaluate campaign performance, and Facebook ad policies. 

Students can even choose programs that suit their specific needs. It works for small business owners, nonprofit organizations, educators, and community leaders. It helps job seekers start careers in social media marketing. It helps agencies and brands learn Facebook media planning and buying. Developers will learn how to help businesses create advertising campaigns.

Best of all, Facebook Blueprint gives away these courses for free. Students simply need to log in using their Facebook account. If you need to learn the basics of social media marketing on Facebook, this is hands-down the best set of courses for you. Check it out here.

#4 – Hootsuite Academy Advanced Social Advertising Certification Course — The Best for Experienced Marketers Looking to Improve Their Skills

Hootsuite logo

Advanced Social Advertising Certification

Best for Experienced Marketers

Hootsuite’s Advanced Social Advertising Certification Course uses seven unique lessons to help experienced social media marketers grow their knowledge base and obtain an industry-recognized certificate. Best of all, lifetime course access costs less than $250.

The Advanced Social Advertising Certification Course created by Hootsuite is the best course for experienced marketers looking to step up their game. This course teaches students how to leverage sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to market their business. 

The course is made up of a series of videos that teach students how to do things like measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns, test and build ads, use lookalike audiences and remarketing, and set campaign goals. At the end of the course, students must pass a 50-question exam. 

There are seven lessons included in the curriculum, and you’re able to take a demo of the first two before purchasing the course. These two cover basic things like brand awareness, performance goals, organizing campaigns, effective landing pages, website data tracking, and naming conventions. 

Lessons three through six can only be accessed after buying the course. They cover advanced topics like applying campaign buyer personas, optimizing video ad campaigns, and using benchmarking tools. The seventh lesson is optional, and it teaches students how they can use Hootsuite ads to build detailed campaigns.

Completing the course earns students an industry-recognized certificate they can add to their online profile, website, or blog. The course costs $249 and the certification never expires. The course takes roughly four and a half hours to complete. It is a concise course that has a ton of useful information, but you’ll want to choose another course if you’re a beginner at social media marketing.

Head over to Hootsuite to get started on this course.

#5 – Udemy Social Media Marketing MASTERY — Best for Covering the Basics of Multi-Platform Advertising

Udemy logo

Social Media Marketing MASTERY by Udemy

Best for Multi-Platform Advertising

Udemy’s Social Media Marketing MASTERY course teaches students how to advertise on over 10 different platforms. Students are given lifetime access, can complete it at their own pace, and can even ask the instructor specific questions.

If you simply want a course that teaches you the basics of social media marketing, check out Social Media Marketing MASTERY by Udemy. It is a bestseller on Udemy, has been taught to nearly 100,000 students as of writing, and it teaches advertising on more than 10 platforms. 

Students will learn how to monetize on Instagram, how to run Facebook ads, and how to create laser-focused ads on Twitter. YouTubers will learn content creation strategies, how to run video ads, and layout tips. LinkedIn users will learn how to optimize their profiles and use LinkedIn ads. Pinterest users will also learn helpful advertising techniques. 

The course will help students optimize ads for better engagement and conversions at a cheaper cost. They will learn how to increase page likes, post engagement, and account following. Students with questions can contact the instructor for specified feedback.

The course is best suited for social media marketing employees, business owners, bloggers, influencers, celebrities, and public figures. Anyone from beginner to advanced who wants to learn the basics of social media marketing on several platforms should consider this course. 

Those who purchase the course will be given lifetime access, 28 downloadable resources, 36 articles, and nearly 10 hours of on-demand video content. The course is currently listed at $169.99, but it is often offered at a steep discount. Students are also offered a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Start this course today on Udemy. 

Methodology for Choosing the Best Social Media Marketing Courses

Before you choose a course, consider what social media platforms it focuses on, the length of the course, and what specific topics are covered. 

Social Media Platforms

Social media marketing can be done on several different platforms. Common examples include Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest. First, you need to determine which platforms you plan to market on. To determine which are best for you, research what platforms your audience uses and decide what type of ads you want to create. 

Platforms like TikTok and Snapchat use short video ads and typically target the younger generation. Facebook advertising is still huge, but fewer young people are using it today. Instagram is commonly used by most people today and is geared towards pictures. YouTube is perfect for video advertising and targeting viewers of similar content as your ads. 

Next, choose a course that covers your desired platform in depth. If you only plan on using one or two platforms, choose a course that has a specialization in the ones you’re using. A marketer who wants to take a broader approach should find a course that covers all platforms. Finding out which platform a course covers is essential for all marketers looking to buy one.

Course Length

Social media marketing courses can last only a few hours to over half a year. A course’s length is something to consider before you make a purchase. There are great courses that are taught by an instructor and last several weeks, but not everyone has time for this. If you need to learn this skill set quickly, invest in a shorter course you can complete within a month.

Topics Covered

While a comprehensive course will teach you everything you need to know about social media marketing, not everyone needs this. If you’ve already mastered post engagement but need help with ad campaigns, you don’t need a course that reteaches what you already know. In this example, choose a course focusing on ad campaigns. 

Northwestern logo

Social Media Marketing Specialization by Northwestern University

Best for Most

Northwestern University’s Social Media Marketing Specialization isn’t just one course--it’s six courses offered back to back. Taught by a current marketing CEO and spread over a thorough seven-month curriculum, this program gives immense value for its $49/month cost.

Summary

Before choosing a social media marketing course, consider the three criteria listed above. Most people that need a course should go with Social Media Marketing Specialization by Northwestern University. However, it’s not a great fit for students that need a shorter and more targeted course. 

Those who need specific help with creating campaigns should go with BrainStation’s course. Hootsuite Academy’s course is best for those looking for advanced skills. Check out the Facebook Blueprint if you need a course targeting its platforms, or buy Udemy’s Social Media Marketing MASTERY for multi-platform lessons. 


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