a person doing social media marketing on Facebook

Learn Social Media Marketing: The Best Courses and Resources

It used to be that people promoted their products and services through television commercials, radio, or newspapers. Today, social media has transformed the world of marketing and advertising. This has made it imperative for aspiring marketing professionals to learn social media marketing.

Marketing through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram is crucial if you want to expand the reach of your advertising campaigns. Not to mention, these platforms have also made it easier to facilitate better consumer-producer communication. That is, customers can directly interact with the producers to learn more about the product with only a touch of a button.

In this article, we’ll discuss this burgeoning field in detail, from its scope and relevance to the avenues you can take to learn it, including the best social media marketing courses. 

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to promote your company’s products and services. It works like this: companies place ads on these platforms to promote their existing or newly launched products. Consumers come across these advertisements while using social media. This leads to consumer engagement, brand awareness, and, if consumers like what they see, the purchase of the promoted product. 

The type of content ad depends on the target audience and the nature of the product. These ads could come in the form of TikTok videos, YouTube testimonials, Instagram photos, and Twitter threads.

Organizations have found social media marketing to be more effective, viable, and cost-efficient than traditional advertising platforms. And with good reason. Since their inception, these social media platforms have created a wide social network with communities for almost every type of consumer. Their expansive reach and accessibility make social media the preferred arena for advertising campaigns.

What Jobs Use Social Media Marketing Skills?

If you are entering the job market with social media skills and experience, you won’t be disappointed. Several jobs in various sectors require social media brand-building experience. Below are some of them.

  • Content Manager. The social content media manager is responsible for creating and implementing content strategies. These include creating and managing content for the company’s core social media platforms. 

The purpose is to build an audience and increase engagement through fresh and unique content. Typically, a content manager works with the marketing team to create impactful and effective content that caters to the target audience.

  • Digital Marketing Manager. A digital marketing manager plans and executes digital marketing across all social media platforms. They carry out design and content strategies to create a powerful online presence. 

Digital marketing managers also measure the effectiveness of the campaigns and evaluate whether these hit the company’s branding goals. To ensure creativity and growth, they identify the latest trends and brainstorm ideas to respond to such trends.

  • Social Media Coordinator. As the name suggests, a social media coordinator coordinates with various teams to create successful social media campaigns. They are responsible for developing, implementing, and managing social media strategies. 

To streamline content across all social media platforms, they may also work with tools such as Buffer. Social media coordinators collaborate with copywriters and marketing teams.

  • Marketing Assistant. Marketing assistants work with the marketing team to organize digital projects. They conduct marketing research and collect data from Google analytics.

To ensure the success of a campaign, they help in the organization, preparation, and delivery of promotional events and digital campaigns. At times, a marketing assistant may also be required to do a competitor analysis and present the results.

Steps to Learn Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is an interesting field. However, it can also be demanding. Just like with any new field of study, learning about social media marketing requires patience and hard work. After all, it’s not as easy as just sharing content; it has to be strategic. Here are some steps you can take to learn about social media marketing.

1. Research Famous Brands

The first step in this journey is to dig into what already exists. Research brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, and SpaceX, and find out what makes their marketing campaigns so amazing and popular. 

Follow the social media pages of these brands and actively go through their social media posts. What strategies have they employed? What ads created the loudest splash? Conversely, what ads fumbled? Study their ups as well as their downs to know what branding efforts to emulate, improve, or avoid.

2. Enroll in a Social Media Marketing Course

Of course, conducting research will only help you get started. Getting some education can take you further. Sign up for professionally taught social media marketing courses and learn from industry experts. These courses will help you gain the skills and strategies required to successfully create and implement social media marketing plans and strategies such as 3D marketing and advertising.

Online platforms, such as LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and Udemy, offer courses in social media marketing. These range from beginner-level to advanced courses, with some even offering specialized options. Depending on where you’re at in your learning, you can choose a course that works best for you.

3. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Alternatively, you can enroll in a bachelor’s degree program. Many universities today offer courses in social media marketing that equip you with all the essential skills and technical knowledge to help you get a job at a reputable organization. 

A bachelor’s degree typically takes around four years to complete. Some universities provide an option of remote learning as well. Short of that, you can enroll in a top digital marketing bootcamp.

4. Get an Internship

The best way to prepare yourself for the workforce is to gain practical experience in the field. This is where internship programs come in. Students who have interned at good companies have higher chances of getting hired full-time, either within the company or at a different organization.

Undergraduate students are usually required to intern at a company for a certain period. If you are not enrolled in an undergraduate degree program, you can still find many internship opportunities. Keep in mind that some internships may not pay you.

5. Get a Job

Many organizations actively look for experts in social media marketing. In this digital age, the need for managing brand presence via social media platforms has become crucial for many organizations. 

Job boards, such as Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, and Jobvite, among others, regularly post open positions in different fields. Look for roles in social media marketing and try to find the one that aligns best with your skills and goals.

The Best Online Social Media Marketing Courses

In today’s digital world, you have all kinds of tools and resources at your fingertips to learn a new skill. Social media marketing is no different. There are many platforms such as Coursera, LinkedIn, Udemy, and edX, where you can enroll in courses for free or at little cost. 

The following courses are quite helpful in building your knowledge of the field. Below are some of the best social media marketing courses that you can enroll in today.

Social Media Marketing Specialization

  • Provider: Coursera
  • Cost: Available upon enrollment
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Duration: 7 months

Offered by Northwestern University, this specialization is designed to provide all the tools and resources necessary to build a complete social media marketing strategy. The specialization is divided into five courses, which together train you to become a social media influencer. These are:

  • What is Social? 
  • The Importance of Listening
  • Engagement & Nurture Marketing Strategies 
  • Content, Advertising & Social IMC 
  • The Business of Social

Digital Marketing Specialization

  • Provider: Coursera
  • Cost: Available upon enrollment
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Duration: 8 months

This is another specialization program offered as part of the University of Illinois Masters of Business Administration degree program. The course is designed to help you understand and evaluate the different frameworks and approaches for measuring consumers’ digital actions. You will become familiar with the New Media and the challenges and opportunities it offers.

The course offers insight into data collection and analysis methods that are commonly used by marketing professionals. It’s not a data analytics bootcamp, but you will learn to use web analytics tools and techniques to create and produce digital products and services.

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

  • Provider: Google
  • Cost: Free
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Duration: 40 hours

This course contains 26 modules in the form of bite-sized video tutorials. Created by Google trainers, this course is filled with practical exercises and real-life examples that cover concepts such as mobile marketing, social media, and organic search. A cool part of this course is that it includes a marketing certification that you will get after you complete the course.

Social Media 101 – Social Media Quickstarter

  • Provider: Constant Contact
  • Cost: Free
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Duration: Self-paced

This is an all-in-one course that offers a comprehensive guide on all social media platforms. This course will give you plenty of insights, starting from how to create accounts for each platform to how to use analytics to track user engagement in your ads. If you are a beginner in the world of social media, this course is perfect for you.

Social Media Marketing – Complete Certificate Course

  • Provider: Udemy
  • Cost: $24.99
  • Prerequisite: Background in entrepreneurship
  • Time: 3 hours

This course is designed for entrepreneurs or professionals who have a business need for social media. The course will help you build your foundations for social media and create goals and visions for your brand. You will learn the basics of YouTube content, Facebook ads, Twitter marketing, Instagram, and blog post creation. In addition, you will also learn how to build social media strategies.

Social Media Marketing – Content Marketing Masterclass 2021

  • Provider: Udemy
  • Cost: $149.99
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Time: 30 hours

This comprehensive course contains 43 modules and provides a certificate of completion. Its curriculum is packed with information ranging from social media platforms and search engine optimization to creating social media campaigns.

Why Learn Social Media Marketing?

As companies scramble to build their online presence, social media has become the new avenue for competition, and the demand for professionals who can wield these platforms effectively is on the rise.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the fields of advertising, promotions, and marketing management is expected to grow 6 percent by 2029. This growth is a result of organizations seeking employees to drive their online campaigns and sales effectively. 

The Bureau lists the national average salary for social media marketers at $135,900 per year, equivalent to $65.34 per hour. If you want to be on the receiving end of this growth and innovation, learn about social media marketing now.

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