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Top 10 Free Online Courses for Social Media Marketing in 2021.

How can I learn social media marketing online for free?

In this post, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best free courses that are very useful for any social media marketer. Some of the courses we examined include: 

  • Strategic Social Media Marketing.
  • Social Media Advertising.
  • Social Marketing Training.
  • Quicksprout Social Media Guides.
  • Introduction to Social Media Strategy with Buffer.

What are the best free social media marketing courses?

In this post, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best free courses that are very useful for any social media marketer. Some of the courses we examined include:  What is Social? (Coursera) Social Media Analytics Course (Quintly) Social Media (HubSpot).

How can I learn social media marketing for free?

As with most things, the bulk of the courses online cost money, in some cases, a considerable sum. However, we do have a couple of free courses available in this article free for Influencers.

What is the best social media marketing course?

The question of what is the best social media marketing course is, of course, a matter of opinion. For a start, most courses focus on one specific social network. The best YouTube course would hardly help you learn how to improve your Instagram marketing, for instance. We believe we have created a range of high-quality social courses. In this post, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best free courses that are very useful for any social media marketer.

How do beginners start social media marketing?

One of the first things a beginner should do is learn as much as he or she can about social media marketing. Perhaps a good starting point would be to take one or more of the courses we have referred to in this article. Some of the courses aim to target beginners, for example, What is Social? on Coursera. Although perhaps targeting a more advanced audience.

courses for social media

Top 10 Free Online Courses for Social Media Marketing.

1. Social Media Certification.

Offered by Hubspot Academy

Hubspot Academy’s social media certification course ranks number one on our list of the best free online courses for social media marketing. It takes just under five hours to complete and includes nine lessons, 40 videos, and 34 quizzes. It is designed to help businesses attract new customers by building an effective social media strategy.

The curriculum is comprehensive and packed with valuable information that will work for beginners and experienced marketers alike. Students will learn about content marketing, building one-on-one relationships, and the basics of digital marketing. The course also teaches professionals how to measure their social media return on investment so they can see what is working and what is not.

In addition to being completely free, the online social media certification through HubSpot is worth master’s degree credits at Northeastern University’s social media concentration program. This can be done both at their Boston campus and online. Hubspot also has an online community and local user groups for members to meet up with their peers to exchange information.

While the course does not offer certification, you will receive a badge upon completion that can be uploaded and shared to your website, LinkedIn profile, resume, or CV. HubSpot’s top-notch free courses are industry-recognized and can help you build on your current skills to become an expert in your field.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: Shareable badge
  • Time to Complete: 4-5 hours
  • Curriculum: Intermediate
  • User Experience: Excellent
  • Quality of Instruction: Excellent

2. Social Media Marketing Course

Offered by eMarketing Institute

Founded in Copenhagen in 2014, eMarketing Institute is on a mission to allow anyone to get their beginner’s certifications in the field of digital marketing, regardless of income level. Their courses are 100 percent free, and unlike many others on the list, they do not require you to pay to get your official certification. You will, however, need to pass the exam.

With this free online social media marketing course, you get over 165 pages of in-depth material that is easy to follow at your own pace. There are 25 chapters covering social media topics like:

  • Marketing for mobile
  • Blogging
  • Target Audiences
  • Content sharing
  • Creating a strategy
  • Promotion
  • Return on investment
  • Analytics
  • SEO

That is just a shortlist of the types of content covered in the program. Upon completion, you will be allowed to take the final exam. There are 50 multiple choice questions, and you need to get at least half of them right to pass. Once you pass, you can download your completion certificate to include in your LinkedIn Profile, CV, and anywhere else you want to share it.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: Yes
  • Time to Complete: Varies
  • Curriculum: Beginner
  • User Experience: Good
  • Quality of Instruction: Good

3. Social Media Marketing Specialization.

Offered by Northwestern University through Coursera

This thorough social media marketing specialization course is offered by one of the top universities in the country through Coursera. By engaging in the training for four hours a week, the course can be completed in about five months. The syllabus is comprehensive. Students who are looking for the most inclusive free curriculum on social media marketing will find this to be one of the top choices.

Certificates for the specialization can be obtained at the paid level of Coursera. The paid course has graded assignments, a capstone project, and allows students the ability to share certifications on their websites, Linked in profiles, or cover letters. However, each module of the course can be audited for free. Auditing the course allows you to read and view all of the content, but you won’t be graded or receive any certifications. Students who would like the certification but cannot afford the fee have the option to apply for financial aid.

The all-inclusive program is designed to teach users social media analytics, influencing, marketing strategy, and metrics. All-in-all, students should walk away from this course with a complete understanding of how social media marketing works and the ability to begin creating their own strategies.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: Yes, with a fee
  • Time to Complete: Five months
  • Curriculum: Intermediate
  • User Experience: Excellent
  • Quality of Instruction: Excellent

4. Strategic Social Media Marketing.

Offered by Boston University through edX

This advanced six-week course is taught by Barbara Bicket, Senior Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Marketing at Boston University. During the program, students will learn about:

  • Developing social media marketing strategies
  • Delivering engaging content across a variety of platforms
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of their efforts
  • Utilizing social media to monitor consumer behavior
  • Social media management

The syllabus is exhaustive and created for advanced-level learners. For individuals who want to learn practical and strategic methods of utilizing social media to grow their brands or the brands of their employers or clients, the program is all-inclusive.

Students can opt for the paid version, which gives them an instructor-signed shareable certificate with the Boston University logo, but this is not a requirement. The online social media marketing course can be taken in its entirety in the audit version for free.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: Yes, with a fee
  • Time to Complete: Six weeks
  • Curriculum: Intermediate to advanced
  • User Experience: Excellent
  • Quality of Instruction: Excellent

5. Social Media Advertising.

Offered by the University of Colorado Boulder through Coursera.

The Social Media Advertising course offered by the University of Colorado is course three in a four-part series titled Digital Advertising Strategy Specialization. Like all Coursera programs, it can be completed in audit mode for free or in the paid version where students receive a shareable certification.

The 14-hour free online course in social media marketing teaches an understanding of the basic social media advertising types, which ones are most likely to succeed, how to implement targeting parameters to reach specific demographics, and how to execute social media advertising campaigns. It covers Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and includes plenty of case studies so students can understand the practical applications of the course.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: Yes, with a fee
  • Time to Complete: 14 hours
  • Curriculum: Beginner
  • User Experience: Excellent
  • Quality of Instruction: Excellent

courses for social media

6. Social Marketing Training.

Offered by: Hootsuite Academy

Hootsuite Academy’s Social Marketing Training Course is a six-hour-long industry-recognized program meant for skill levels from beginner to intermediate. The comprehensive curriculum consists of six chapters and encompasses nearly 80 lessons, with topics ranging from optimization, strategy, growth, content, paid to advertise, and more. The training covers the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat

Students who want to take the exam at the end to earn their certification can do so for $199; however, it is not a requirement. Users can still take the online social marketing course in its entirety for free, and the exams in each module will provide an accurate assessment of the knowledge gained.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: Yes, with a fee
  • Time to Complete: Six hours
  • Curriculum: Beginner
  • User Experience: Excellent
  • Quality of Instruction: Good

7. Free Social Media Analytics Course.

Offered by Quintly Academy

Quintly is social media analytics and benchmarking tool for businesses. With a friendly and responsive team of 30 members working across the globe, their platform has become of the best all-in-one solutions in social media marketing analytics. It’s not surprising then that the bootstrapped company created a beginner’s course in social media analytics that mirrors its excellent user interface.

The free course covers all the basics of social media analytics and is suitable for both beginners and marketers who need to expand upon their knowledge. It takes about 11 hours to complete and is self-paced. There are three basic modules with quizzes, an introduction, and a conclusion. While it’s not as comprehensive as some on this list, it serves as an excellent starting point for those on the fence about more in-depth studying.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: No
  • Time to Complete: 11 hours
  • Curriculum: Basic
  • User Experience: Good
  • Quality of Instruction: Fair

8. Quicksprout Social Media Guides.

Offered by Quicksprout University

Quicksprout’s tagline is “Get Your MBA in Digital Marketing for Free,” and this robust platform has nailed it when it comes to no-cost educational resources. The company was initially started in 2008 by Neil Patel, a global leader in digital marketing.

The platform is content-rich. There is so much information available on Quicksprout it can get overwhelming. But if it’s a free online social media course you are looking for, this is the place you will get it. There are over 80 social media marketing guides alone, encompassing everything from generating leads to creating content calendars.

Quicksprout University looks less like an online course and more like a clearinghouse of content for those who like to dig deep. For those who love learning a la carte, it’s the perfect match. The articles cover every major social media platform, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Linked In, Twitter, Reddit, and Snapchat.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: No
  • Time to Complete: Varies
  • Curriculum: Beginner
  • User Experience: Good
  • Quality of Instruction: Good

9. Social Media Quickstarter.

Offered by Constant Contact

The Social Media Quickstarter program by Constant Contact is a simple way for beginners or those needing a refresher to learn marketing strategies across eight platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, Pinterest, Instagram, Google, YouTube, and Snapchat.

The user interface is clean and a breeze to use. Choose the social media site you want to learn more about, and you will be brought to a page of resources to help you with each specific one. There are no exams to take. The information is set up blog-style with short, engaging posts to help you learn the basics of marketing on today’s most popular platforms.

Constant Contact has been an industry leader in email marketing for 25 years, and this educational content is ideal for those who want a no-frills, self-paced way to gain information without jumping through hoops.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: No
  • Time to Complete: Varies
  • Curriculum: Beginner
  • User Experience: Good
  • Quality of Instruction: Good

10. Introduction to Social Media Strategy with Buffer.

Offered by Skillshare

Buffer is a social media scheduling analytics platform that helps businesses plan and publishes content across multiple social media channels. The course is taught by Brian Peters, Buffer’s digital marketing strategist, and it demonstrates to beginning marketers how to have success with paid social advertising.

While much of the learning is geared toward utilizing Buffer, the free online social media marketing course is short at only 45 minutes long, so you won’t be investing a lot of time. It covers all the basics and is intended to show students how to use tools like Buffer to create a social media strategy that will drive traffic and increase sales. Upon completion, users should be ready to develop their first social media ad campaign.

You will need to sign up for Skillshare Premium to access the course. However, you can utilize the company’s two-month free trial period to take this and other courses at no cost. In fact, Skillshare offers dozens of similar courses on social media for beginners to intermediate users at varying class lengths. The downside is that you will need to cancel before the trial period is over to avoid being charged a monthly fee.

  • Cost: Free for the first two months then $99 per year thereafter
  • Certificate: No
  • Time to Complete: 45 minutes
  • Curriculum: Beginner
  • User Experience: Good
  • Quality of Instruction: Excellent

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Online Social Media Marketing Courses

1. Who Should Take Free Online Social Media Marketing Courses?

In most instances, courses are available to anyone who wants to participate. People take online social media marketing courses for a variety of reasons. Some individuals want to grow their business and expanding their social media presence is a part of that plan. Others want to beef up their resume, get a promotion, or switch careers. Freelancers who work online may want to increase their skill set to provide more value to their clients. Other students simply enjoy learning new things.

2. What Are the Requirements and Prerequisites?

There may be age restrictions for minors, and in some cases, access is limited to certain geographic locations. However, for the most part, enrollment in a free online social media marketing course does not require any previous training. 

If you want to get the most out of the lessons, you should at least have some fundamental computer and typing skills and a basic understanding of the various social media platforms available online. It is also helpful if you have used social media in some capacity at one time or another.

3. Will I Earn College Credits by Taking a MOOC?

Most free online courses in social media marketing do not offer college credits. However, there are a few exceptions. Most notably, some coursework in edX can earn users credit through specific universities.

4. How Long Do Free Online Courses Take?

Most online courses in social media marketing are self-paced, which means the time it takes for completion depends on each individual and their level of commitment. Most courses provide an estimated time for completion which varies significantly and can take anywhere between a few hours to several months.

5. Our Free Online Courses Graded?

Most free courses offered are not manually graded but many do have multiple choice quizzes that are automatically graded when you hit submit. In many cases, you can retake them until you get a test score that is satisfactory to you.

For online courses that offer a paid certification component, a graded final exam is typically offered. A passing grade will earn you your certification or badge. In some cases, students are matched with their peers for specific feedback assignments. Sometimes, a capstone project is required and you will be graded on that as well.

6. Are There Specific Start Times and Deadlines for Free Online Classes?

Many of the online courses we have listed above can be started anytime you like and you can progress through them at your own pace. Others have set schedules where classes begin at regular intervals every few weeks or months. At times, quizzes, lessons, and assessments may have deadlines to keep students from lagging behind.

In general, one of the most attractive parts of online learning is the flexibility it allows you to set your own schedule and study whenever and wherever you want.

7. The Course I Want to Take Says It’s Free. Why Does It Look Like There Is a Fee Involved?

At times, graded components or certificates are hidden behind a paywall. For example, you might be offered a two-week trial for a monthly or yearly membership that gives you unlimited access to all courses.

Many MOOC’s offer both free and paid enrollment options:

Paid Courses:- Paid courses generally give you access to specific content like capstone projects, certificates of completion, and graded exams.

Free Courses:- Free courses typically allow free auditing of the course materials, including videos, audio, e-books, and quizzes.

Unless you specifically need a completion certificate to display on your Linked in profile or CV, there is usually no need to splurge on the paywalled elements of a course.

If you need a certificate and can’t afford to pay, it’s worth noting that some platforms offer financial aid, discounts, or scholarships.

Our Free Social Media Marketing Courses Worth It?

Absolutely. If you have the time, dedication, and motivation to put into online coursework, it is well worth it to take advantage of the opportunity. Not only is continuing education personally enriching, but your efforts to improve your skillset will show initiative and motivation to a prospective or current employer. If the course you take offers a certificate, it can be displayed on your Linked-in page or CV to lend credibility and give you an edge over the competition.

Additionally, If you own a business, gaining a better understanding of how social media marketing works can be profitable to your bottom line and give you the confidence you need to succeed in the digital world.