10 Free Social Media Marketing Courses For The Busy Brand Manager

As 2020 comes to a close, the number of social media users is steadily approaching the 4 billion mark.

Four billion.

As 2020 comes to a close, the number of social media users is steadily approaching the 4 billion mark. That is one in every two people in the world liking, commenting, and sharing on social media.

Naturally, your brand has to play in the new public square.  When I started my career in digital marketing back in 2014, it was easy to run social media campaigns for your brands. People were kinder, there was less competition for the audience’s attention, there weren’t so many instances where a brand would get into trouble for what they posted online. It was a period of social brand management bliss.

But times have changed. If you don’t handle social media appropriately for your brand, you’d probably find yourself fighting off a barrage of negative reactions to your social updates which may seem innocent to you but will come off as tasteless, insensitive, or tone-deaf to your audience.

To succeed in social media marketing, you have to constantly update your knowledge-base about its best practices. Sans these updates, you will inevitably find yourself in a social media pickle like this one with Dove:

Thought that Dove ad was fake until the apology happened. People actually sat at a table and said “Yeah post that picture”? ? pic.twitter.com/DZyj2jMned

— xoNecole (@xonecole) October 8, 2017

“The first rule of social media is that everything changes all the time.” — Kami Huyse

Here are some courses that have helped me stay on top of my social media game over the last couple of years, they’ll be able to help you too.

#1. Google Digital Skills for Africa

This is one of the broadest online marketing training you will see online. It doesn’t focus specifically on Social Media Marketing or Pay Per Click, but it does the job of effectively giving you a solid foundational understanding of marketing online. It’s essential to have this foundation as you get into social media marketing. What I love are the simplified text, interactive learning material, and milestone tests that give you confidence in what you are learning. You also get certified after completing each course. Score.

#2. Facebook BluePrint

This course is ideal for small businesses, advertisers, organizations, and promoters, Facebook Blueprint is your comprehensive asset for all that there is to know when it comes running a Facebook Business Page.  With case studies and best practices used by the world’s biggest brands.

With Facebook turning out to be a lot of a “pay-to-play” stage, it is ideal for you as a brand manager to completely get a grip of all the necessary information beyond just promoting posts and easily make adjustments to your Facebook advertising campaigns beyond to engender earned media.

#.3 Diploma in Social Media Marketing by Alison

I consider Alison my online university. This free online course will show you how to turn yourself into a successful social media strategist. You will learn about how to develop effective social media strategies that can inform your conversation with your agency or in-house team. If you are looking to develop an online media strategy and incorporate media-buying techniques, then this course is for you.

#4. Udemy Free Courses

Udemy offers a wide range of top-rated free social media marketing courses. There are so many of them, it’d blow your mind. Whether you’re looking for a basic introduction to social media advertising, an Instagram marketing course for beginners, how to sell the merits of social media platforms to your boss, or even start your digital agency from home, Udemy has a free course for you.

#5. Hootsuite Academy

Hootsuite is a great place to start your social media training. Like other online platforms, Hootsuite bundles its multiple mini-courses into its Social Marketing Training program. You may start as a beginner, but by the end, you’ll know all the skills the professionals use. Courses are delivered – for free – via video and text which is interactive, with some available for download. Most videos are only a couple of minutes long. Each course takes about six hours to complete.

#6. Hubspot Academy

HubSpot Academy is a worldwide leader in free online training for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service professionals. This social media certification course offered by HubSpot will help you build a solid social strategy and strengthen your online social presence. By the end of this course, you would have learned how to: increase your social media reach and most importantly; measure your social media marketing ROI.

Overall, it is an all-in-one course that covers almost all aspects that you need to get started with social media marketing. The course has 9 lessons, 34 quizzes, and 40 videos. It takes 4 hours and 39 minutes to complete, but I would suggest you take your time to understand each topic thoroughly.

#7. eMarketing Institute

All courses from eMarketing Institute are beginner-level. So if this is your first rodeo, it’s a good place to learn the very very basics. For the certifications, there are 50 questions in each exam. The passing score is 50%. The time limit is 60 minutes (i.e. 1 hour). Once you pass you can download your certification.

#8. Northwestern University: Coursera

This social media marketing specialization course provided by Northwestern University teaches how to create engaging content that can go viral. Some of the topics covered are Content Marketing Strategy, Social Media Advertising, Influencer Marketing strategy, social media management, social media data analytics just to mention a few. This course takes 8 hours to complete and comes with a shareable LinkedIn certificate. This is a good way to upgrade your resume.

#9. Introduction to Social Media Strategy (by Buffer for Skillshare)

This co-created course by Skillshare and Buffer is a beginner-level course is designed to help you learn how to build out an effective social media strategy. It is a short and impactful video tutorial that can be completed in just 43 minutes.

#10. Content writing for Social Media Courses by (edX)

This free course offered by the prestigious University of California, Berkley provides a broad framework for writing content for social media, Understanding your target audience; writing content tailored to your audience; keeping the delivery channel in mind, using effective writing strategies to optimize your content and connecting with your audience by communicating the right way. The course will take four weeks to complete. You can take the course for free but you need to pay to get the certificate.

Final thoughts:

Now that you have an idea of the available social media courses for you, you can start with whichever one you choose depending on your goal. It’s impossible to avoid all social media pitfalls as a brand manager who wants to move the needle in an African context. But these courses will make sure you sidestep the obvious pitfalls. We also recently published a list of exclusive courses our staff will take to kick start 2021, Check it out!

Now back to you, which of these courses will you be taking soon? Tell me in the comments.

Content marketing and digital strategy are his jam. Gbenga oversees quality delivery across accounts