While any business professional can benefit from taking social media courses, they are especially beneficial for beginner marketers. Social media is a tricky component of digital marketing. Say the wrong thing or accidentally post offensive content, and you’ll land your brand in hot water.
Gain the essential skills for meaningful social interactions with consumers, growing your business, and creating a positive reputation.
Let’s dive into the importance of social media platforms for your business, how to select an ideal training, and available course options online.
Social Media Is a Must for All Brands and Industries
A brand is only as successful as its social media presence. From advertising to e-commerce to consumer engagement, social media is the life force behind most companies’ success.
Here are some impressive statistics to drive home the importance of marketing and connecting through social media:
- About 4.48 billion people use social media worldwide.
- Users engage with about seven social media platforms monthly.
- The average person clocks 145 minutes on social media daily.
- Instagram accounted for 67% of brand content interactions among U.S. consumers in 2020.
- Meta Platforms — Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp — all report over 1 billion monthly users.
- Experts predict social media ad spending will reach $207.10 billion in 2023, with an annual growth rate of 4.53% by 2027.
- About 25% of consumers between 18–44 purchased goods through social apps — social media is also the preferred channel for product discovery.
- Nearly 41% of marketers say engaging with users on social media makes brands socially relevant.
How brands market themselves and engage with consumers on social media constantly evolves. Changes occur with every new platform or feature that rolls out.
For instance, as Elon Musk toys with a paid subscription for X — formerly Twitter — brands may need to adjust their strategies and follow users to other preferred platforms, such as Meta’s latest Threads. Of its monthly 550 million users, only 827,615 pay for Twitter Premium — an indication few users will want to pay to play for general use.
Benefits of Having a Social Platform
Companies that establish a social media platform can interact more easily with their customer base. They also benefit from having multiple channels to promote their products and services.
Social media delivers insights into what consumers say about your brand and its offerings. It is in your best interest to take user feedback into account to make improvements.
Other advantages of having business social media channels are advertising and running promotional campaigns, increasing customer interest and loyalty, reducing costs, increasing website traffic, and keeping a watchful eye on your competitors.
Online Customer Service Counts
Even though social media users are not face-to-face or interacting with your brand on its website, you should not forgo quality customer service. Friendly, respectful communication is essential on social media.
Engagement covers a broad range of actions — likes, favorites, comments, direct messages, shares, saves, mentions, and clicks are but a few. How often you and users interact through these measures is an excellent indicator of your influence and reach.
Users expect brands to respond and promote a sense of well-being — and to do so quickly. Thirteen percent of Americans want a response from brands within an hour of sending a message on social media. Yet, 76% anticipate a reply no more than 24 hours later.
Choosing the Best Social Media Courses
Before you choose a social media course to enroll in, you must consider your budget. You can find social media training online for free. However, some courses culminating in a certificate might cost you.
The ideal course covers social media marketing fundamentals, including organic and paid advertising, engagement, content creation, content curation, key performance indicators, and analytics reporting.
Choosing a course to help you determine the appropriate social media platforms for your niche is also best. For example, a financial consulting firm might see more activity through Facebook and Instagram than TikTok.
Reflect on your knowledge gaps to determine what a social media course should cover to bring you up to speed. Perhaps you’re unsure what counts as effective content for each channel, or what regulations businesses must follow when engaging with customers. You might also be interested in learning how to connect with popular influencers. Without question, there is a social media course that’s right for you.
Enroll in These Online Social Media Courses
Marketers can access several free and paid online social media courses to broaden their digital marketing and communications expertise. If you’re interested in gaining foundational knowledge or honing in on specific skills, these course offerings may be for you.
- Social Media Marketing: Content Marketing Masterclass: Delivers 18.5 hours of on-demand instruction on everything related to social media, from creating content to advertising to understanding the buyer journey.
- How to Make Your Instagram Content Stand Out: Meta guides you through developing an Instagram marketing strategy and appropriate branding for posting Instagram content.
- Introduction to Social Media Strategy: A Buffer-designed course teaching beginners how to set up their social media platform, find their voice, create and curate content, and utilize paid advertising tools.
- What Is Social: A free social media course by Northwestern University covering social trends, how to define your target audience, and analyzing data.
- The Business of Social: A course discussing integrating social media into your marketing strategy, and setting performance benchmarks for success.
- Social Media Marketing Certification: Hubspot Academy’s free Social Media Marketing certification course on leveraging social media for brand awareness and customer loyalty.
- Social Media Analytics: A free beginner’s course from Quintly introduces the fundamentals of social media analytics and reporting.
- Social Media Ethics: A comprehensive Udemy course covering ethical discourse over social media, the laws businesses must adhere to when using digital platforms, and how to avoid defamation.
- Internet Marketing: Copyblogger’s free training covers its four pillars of online marketing success — relationships, copywriting techniques, content delivery, and offering something of value.
Marketing specialists can also search for platform-specific course content to learn about today’s trending networks. For instance, Girlboss’s Taylor Loren created Mastering TikTok on Skillshare to walk marketers through how to use TikTok for businesses.
TikTok boasts over 1 billion users, primarily Gen Z and millennials — the two generations brands want to reach the most. If you become adept at creating engaging video content, your brand will have a better chance of exposing its target audience to its products and services.
Where Else Can I Learn More About Social Media?
Other social media certificate programs can be found through online universities or professional organizations. Your local community college might also offer in-person or online continuing education in digital marketing.
Otherwise, visit a platform’s helpful guide and FAQ section for resources tailored to business accounts. For example, Pinterest offers guides, blog posts, webinars and its Small Business Hub to ensure you have everything you need to market your brand on its site successfully.
Meta has also compiled resources for brands to market themselves through a Facebook business page. Search through various questions and topics for instructions on starting an account, boosting posts to engage viewers, using Ads Manager, utilizing targeted ad campaigns, and developing a marketing strategy.
Apply Your Learning for a Thriving Social Media Platform
Taking social media courses is excellent for launching an appealing and effective digital platform for your business. It is also the best way to establish a solid relationship with your consumers and build brand loyalty. Learn and apply today’s most essential social media trends to your marketing strategy and reap the rewards.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.