17 Social Media Courses & Certifications for Upskilling

Update: We updated this article on October 18, 2021 to add more social media training courses and certifications. We originally published this article on March 04, 2020.

Social media training is challenging. You finally get in a groove of creating engaging content on LinkedIn and Twitter and then something changes.

Whether a social network changes its news feed algorithm or an upstart like TikTok hits the mainstream – constant changes always happened. What is a social media marketer to do?

Take a deep breath in, exhale and keep on learning.

The ever-changing nature of social media is something you probably have a love-hate relationship with. It keeps you on your toes, but also demands constant learning.

There are a lot of ways to stay ahead of the curve on the latest social media practices: following experts, attending marketing conferences or grabbing coffee with colleagues.

Have you thought about taking online courses?

There is a wide range of online courses that equip marketers with intermediate to advanced social media skills. Whether you are managing your company’s social presence or seeking a new promotion, online courses can give you the skills you need to press forward. Here are 5 online courses that will enhance your social media career.

social media cheat sheet for employees

Social Media Training Courses for Beginners

1. Udemy – Social Media Marketing MASTERY

Cost: $27.99 (at the time of publishing this post)

Length: 9 hours 21 minutes

Instructor: Course Envy

What You Get: You get an overview of how to use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Google Ads and Google My Business.

Pros: The course delivers a good primer on each major social media platform. Its material is easy to absorb, which is great for newcomers to social media. Finally, you can learn at your own pace.

Cons: You may find the course doesn’t go into enough depth on a number of platforms. Those who already manage social media platforms may not find the course useful enough.

2. Coursera – What Is Social

Cost: $61 a month with a 7-day free trial

Length: 7 hours

Instructor: Randy Hlavac from Northwestern University.

What You Get: This course focuses on helping you build a social media plan.

Pros: Offers a good overview of social media and its benefits. Includes a certificate. It can be helpful for learners who haven’t managed a social media platform before or are looking for a baseline introduction.

Cons: The more in-depth information about how to build and market content is behind a paywall. Much of the data and tools in the course are out-of-date. If you already have some experience, then platform-specific training is a better fit.

3. Fiverr Learn – Social Media Content Strategy

Cost: $46

Length: 1.4 hours

Instructor: Rita Cidre, a marketer with over 10 years of experience.

What You Get: Learn how to create content for your social media channels.

Pros: Good for learning how to create effective social media content, especially for Facebook and Instagram.

Cons: This course is a starting point for content creation. However, you’ll likely need to look at additional resources for learning how to differentiate your work.

4. LinkedIn Learning – Social Media Marketing Foundations

Cost: Free

Length: 52 minutes

Instructor: Brian Honigman, marketing consultant and adjunct professor at NYU.

What You Get: Get a primer on how to build a social media strategy plus an understanding of how to create content for the top social media platforms.

Pros: Designed for beginners. The course is broken up into small digestible lessons with well-timed quizzes to reinforce your learning. It’s also free.

Cons: Not suitable for anyone seeking more technical knowledge or deeper insights for each social media platform.

Social Media Manager Training Programs

5. Udemy – Advanced Social Media Marketing for Picking Up Clients

Udemy social media course

Cost: Free

Length: 50 minutes

Instructor: Brian Yang, copywriting strategist and YouTube instructor.

What You Get: Learn how to use Facebook Groups, YouTube and forums to acquire clients and leads.

Pros: The course squarely focuses on using specific platforms for lead generation. It’s also succinct at less than an hour.

Cons: Doesn’t cover every social media platform.

6. Coursera – Social Media Management

Cost: $61 a month with a 7-day free trial

Length: 12 hours

Instructor: Anke Audenaert, CEO and Co-Founder of Aptly and adjunct professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

What You Get: Learn how to use Facebook Groups, YouTube and forums to acquire clients and leads.

Pros: Learn in-depth on how to build a Facebook business page and an Instagram account for business.

Cons: Only focused on Facebook. The syllabus also recommends that you complete another course (within the same series) before starting this one.

7. HubSpot Academy – Social Media Marketing Course

HubSpot social media course

Cost: Free

Length: 4 hours 8 minutes

Instructors: Crystal King, Principal Inbound Professor for HubSpot Academy. Brayton Ducharme, Mid-Market Account Executive, L2 at HubSpot. Dayne Topkin, Content Designer at HubSpot. Corey Braccialini, Senior Marketing Manager at HubSpot.

What You Get: In-depth guidance on how to build a social media strategy with a focus on inbound. You learn about content development, influencer marketing, building strong relationships with your community and ad campaigns.

Pros: A comprehensive program that touches on a lot of areas involved in a social media strategy. It also contains a course on setting and measuring KPIs.

Cons: It covers a wide section of topics in a relatively short period of time, so you won’t get a deep-dive in every area.

8. Coursera – The Business of Social

Cost: $61 a month with a 7-day free trial

Length: 6 hours

Instructor: Randy Hlavac from Northwestern University.

What You Get: Learn the right metrics for evaluating your social media efforts and testing strategies.

Pros: Exposure to social media analytics.

Cons: Part of a bigger course series, so you may need to complete previous programs in order to fully benefit from this one.

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Social Media Certifications

9. Facebook – Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate

Cost: $61 a month with a 7-day free trial

Length: 6 Months

Instructor: Anke Audenaert, CEO and Co-Founder of Aptly and adjunct professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

What You Get: The certification equips you with the skills to use Facebook’s properties for both paid and organic social media campaigns.

Pros: A great way to build a strong foundation for using Facebook and Instagram to drive your social media efforts.

Cons: This is a long program, so you’ll need to budget time on a regular weekly or daily cadence to complete it.

10. Google Analytics IQ Certification

Cost: Free

Length: 8-12 Hours

Instructor: Justin Cutroni, Director of Education at Google, and Krista Seiden, Founder and Principal Consultant at KS Digital, LLC.

What You Get: Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) is an exam that you can take after completing the Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Google Analytics courses.

Pros: Provides absolute beginners to Google Analytics a streamlined way to build an advanced level of expertise on using the platform for social media.

Cons: You’ll need to cover all of the materials (including parts that may not directly relate to what your focus area is) to have a good shot at passing the exams.

11. HootSuite Academy – Social Marketing Certification Course

Cost: $199

Length: 6 hours

Instructor: Eva Taylor from HootSuite.

What You Get: You learn how to build a social media strategy and get a practical start on your efforts across every major platform.

Pros: The course offers a strong foundation for building a social media strategy. You also learn how to start on each major platform and build momentum across each one in terms of audience growth. HootSuite also provides a certification at the end of the program.

Cons: Designed for beginners to social media, but more knowledgeable learners can opt into more advanced HootSuite courses.

Social Media Training for Specific Platforms

Each of the major social media platforms offer their own courses and certifications. The main benefit of these programs is that you get knowledge and training specific to those platforms.

These programs may involve some intermediate and advanced courses. In those cases, we recommend doing one of the primer courses above to get your feet wet on each platform.

12. Facebook Blueprint Certified Marketing Science Professional

Cost: Free

Length: 4-5 Hours (plus 2 hours for a certification exam).

What You Get: This certification requires you to take a number of intermediate and advanced courses on how to use Facebook’s properties. This is a data and analytics-focused program. You’ll spend a lot of time learning how to define the right KPIs, design and carry out tests and measure results.

13. Instagram

Cost: Free

Length: 12+ Hours

What You Get: These courses train you on using Instagram in a variety of ways. You get an introduction to Instagram as well as lessons on how to advertise, create content (including Live videos and Reels), grow your audience, set and measure KPIs and run ad campaigns.

14. Marketing on LinkedIn

LinkedIn Learning

Cost: $39.99 for the course or $34.99 per month for the subscription

Length: 1 Hour

What You Get: This is a good course for learning how to use LinkedIn’s features (for both your personal profile and brand page) pretty quickly.

15. The Quickstart Guide to YouTube

Cost: Free

Length: 1-2 Hours

What You Get: YouTube’s course is a step-by-step guide for starting your own channel. Though it’s more of an introductory program, it’s a good way to accomplish a task (i.e. setting up a channel) plus learning some aspects about the platform in one go.

16. Twitter Flight School

Cost: Free

Length: 10+ Hours

What You Get: Twitter’s courses cover a wide range of useful topics, such as how to use the platform for ad campaigns to creating Twitter-centric content in different ways (such as videos).

17. TikTok Business Learning Center

Cost: Free

Length: 2-3 Hours

What You Get: TikTok’s courses are almost like an end-to-end guide for anyone looking to use the platform for business purposes. You learn how to use the platform’s features, content best practices and the ad platform.

Social Media Training isn’t Enough

You have a lot of avenues for upskilling yourself and your team, but social media training isn’t enough. Companies that succeed on social typically have social media policies or guidelines to support their strategies.

social media guidelines for employees

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