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Five Online Courses to Learn Social Media Marketing

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It’s no secret that social media marketing has become an important part of running a successful business. Whether you’re just learning about “The Facebook,” or you’re a black belt in converting followers, there’s always something new to learn. But who has the time? The good news is there are some options that allow you to learn on your schedule (and many are free).

Digital Marketing Magazine reports that three out of four consumers rely on social media to guide their purchasing decisions. That’s why it’s important to learn how your business can be more visible on those channels. These online offerings can help.

Facebook Blueprint eLearning

This is a series of free, self-paced online courses and webinars. Each helps you learn how to market more effectively on Facebook. They also offer live workshops in a number of cities.

You customize your curriculum based on your business’ goals. For example, if you want to build awareness, so more people know about your business, Facebook has eight different courses to develop that skill.

Facebook also offers a fee-based certification program that measures your competency with Facebook products. Use it for your professional growth or as a development opportunity for your staff. If you meet certain criteria, you’re awarded a digital “badge” that can be displayed on any social media. That’s a valuable selling point if you offer marketing services to clients.

Hootsuite Academy

This social media website offers free online courses that help you learn how to get the maximum benefit from their platform. These self-paced courses include:

  • Platform – training in best practices for using the HootSuite dashboard
  • Social Marketing – develop social marketing skills to grow followers and increase engagement
  • Advanced Social Advertising – training in best practices to optimize social ad campaigns
  • You can supplement your learning with live webinars and a blog that offers extended content. If you wish, you can also take a series of exams, for a fee, which leads to Hootsuite Social Marketing certifications.

    The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media

    This self-study book from Moz is as much of a training tool as a reference guide. You’ll want to bookmark it for later. It starts with an overview of social media then moves on to examine over five social platforms. There’s even a chapter on how to pick which platform is right for your business.

    The guide is organized in bite-sized chunks of information with infographics, examples of what other companies do, and tips you can use. That makes it easy to digest when it’s convenient for you.

    TED Talks: Social Media Marketing

    Looking for more of a quick hit when it comes to learning? This list of TED Talks might fit the bill. Generally, TED Talks are only 18 minutes in length. The idea is that it’s long enough to be serious but short enough to hold people’s attention. They’re all online, ready to view when you are. So if you want to take a quick break in the middle of the day, you can watch one on your mobile device.

    This curated list of social media topics includes speakers who are experts in this field. They include topics like “How to Get Your Ideas to Spread” and “How to Make a Splash in Social Media.” You can subscribe to a YouTube channel on this subject and watch new TED Talks that are added.

    The Social Media Examiner Show

    Don’t waste the time it takes to drive to a client’s office or those aggravating minutes when you’re stuck in traffic. Use the downtime to learn more about social marketing by listening to a podcast.

    The Social Media Examiner Show is a free, daily podcast you can download from Apple iTunes. The hosts refer to it as your “daily dose of marketing vitamin.” For example, the topic of one show was “4 Ways to Use Facebook and Twitter Analytics to Improve Your Marketing.”

    You have a number of options to ramp up your social media marketing skills. Some involve a series of online courses that can lead to industry certifications. Or you can take advantage of quicker hits by listening to TED Talks or podcasts. Start with these suggested offerings and get noticed among those reported three out of four consumers looking online to buy.

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