HomeBlog9 Free Social Media Marketing Courses That Won’t Put You to Sleep

9 Free Social Media Marketing Courses That Won’t Put You to Sleep

Author: Kristen McCormick
Last Updated: December 18, 2023 | Social Media

More than half of the world’s population uses social media today for just about every aspect of life. This makes it a staple in any digital marketing strategy, but with multiple rapidly evolving platforms, it’s a bit of a beast to harness for business growth.

The other problem, as you’ll soon learn, is that finding a free social media marketing course that is actually worth your time is harder than it should be.

black man and woman crying

Which is why I’m excited to share with you my list of eight courses that make for interesting and relevant online learning experiences. Each course covers a slightly different facet of social media marketing, including:

  1. Brand building and SEO
  2. Strategy building and tracking
  3. Social listening and monitoring
  4. Facebook and Instagram advertising
  5. Influencer marketing
  6. TikTok marketing and advertising
  7. Diversity and inclusivity in social media
  8. Paid social strategies

…in two hours or less.

Before we get into the courses, a bit of context.

The problem with Googling “free social media marketing courses”

Google is generally good at providing the best results for queries (because, Google), but there are exceptions. And apparently, “free social media marketing courses” is one of them.

Due to (a) the rapidly evolving nature of social media, (b) something I’m calling “black hat course engine optimization,” and (c) those who replicate lists without doing their own research—the results were wildly underwhelming.

It was the same 10 or so courses in every roundup, many of which were:

  • Not free: Not okay.
  • Not fun: An hour of text-only slides with voiceover.
  • Outdated: Title says 2021 but content is from 2016.
  • Too long: 18 hours of video or 165 pages of text-only content.
  • Sleep aids: College lectures w/o visuals.
unimpressed meme

For such a visual, creative, and rapidly evolving medium as social media, these courses aren’t going to cut it.

Free social media marketing courses actually worth your while

That being said, I came up with this list of eight (actually) free social media marketing courses that recent, short (15 minutes to two hours), and interesting. They are:

  1. Local Social Media Marketing Lab
  2. Social Media Marketing for Business
  3. How to Create an Impactful Social Strategy for Any Business
  4. Social Listening: Your Launchpad to Success on Social media
  5. Facebook Advertising Blueprint
  6. Influencer Marketing 101: From Zero to Hero
  7. How To Use TikTok for Business
  8. Best Practices for Inclusive Social Media
  9. PPC University: Social Ads 101

I do realize that someday this list will be outdated, but not anytime soon given the evergreen tips and information in these courses.

Let’s get started.

1. Local social media marketing course (LOCALiQ)

This course is brought to you by LOCALiQ, a digital marketing agency known for its proprietary technology and deep local roots in over 260 communities across the US.

Title: Local Social Media Marketing Lab
Format: Written with visuals
Length: 38 minutes
Cost: Free

Sure, social media can get you in front of billions of people, but that’s not what you’re looking for (or if it is, it’s time to rethink your strategy). This course by LOCALiQ teaches you how to use social media to get the right kind of reach—as in, not for likes and follows but for sustained business growth.

True to its name, this course covers how to use social media for local marketing, but make no mistake—it also contains a wealth of information fit for anyone looking to grow any size business. The course covers:

  • The essence and nuances of each of the top platforms.
  • How to optimize your profiles and posts for local SEO.
    (Did you know that Facebook is one of the top three business directories?)
  • How to create content that differentiates your brand and attracts customers.
  • What (and what not) to post on each platform, and at what frequency.
  • Over 131 post ideas and examples.
free social media marketing courses: localiq social media marketing lab

Who this course is good for:

Small/local business owners/marketers looking to build an authoritative online presence through social media—in their geographic and topic-based communities.

Head to the social media marketing course >>

You can also use LOCALiQ’s Free Online Presence Grader to find out how to improve your social media presence.

2. Social Media Marketing for Business (WordStream)

Title: Social Media Marketing for Business
Format: Written with visuals
Length: 21 minutes
Cost: Free

In this free crash course on social media marketing, we take you through every aspect of the topic, from definitions and stats to strategies and services.

best social media marketing platforms compared

In addition to the definition, benefits, and stats of social media marketing, you’ll learn:

  • The five core pillars of social media marketing
  • The essentials of a successful social media marketing strategy
  • How to create a social media marketing plan
  • A comparison of the most popular social media marketing platforms
  • Tips, tools, and services to help you meet your goals.

Who this course is good for:

Business owners and marketers unsure of which platforms to focus on and how to use their time wisely.

Head to the social media marketing course >>

3. Social media marketing strategy course (SkillShare)

This course is brought to you by Living to Roam, an e-learning destination for businesses and marketers of all levels.

Title: Social Media Marketing: How to Create an Impactful Strategy for Any Business
(If you have trouble with this link, open it in an incognito window.)
Format: Video
Length: 2 hours
Cost: Free *with free seven-day trial of SkillShare*

The instructor of this course is Living to Roam’s founder Maggie Stara, a social media and digital marketing consultant with a background in organizational psychology. She uses her big-picture mindset to teach you how to develop a holistic social media marketing strategy based on your long-term business objectives, and to break it down into measurable, achievable steps.

preview of free social media marketing course by skillshare

You’ll learn how to:

  • Audit your current strategy and identify what tactics to amplify, continue, or stop.
  • Find, assess, and learn from your competitors’ strategies on each network.
  • Prioritize tactics and allocate resources to drive your marketing objectives.
  • Tailor your strategy to the unique skillsets of your team.
  • Document and report on the analytics of your social media strategy.

This course is good for:

Social media marketers and managers of mid-size or larger organizations looking to streamline and scale their social media marketing efforts.

Go to the social media strategy course >>
If you have trouble with this link, open in an incognito/private browsing window.

4. Social listening course (Sprout Social)

This course comes from Sprout Social, a social media management software provider known for its intuitive, easy-to-use web and mobile platform.

Title: Social Listening: Your Launchpad to Success on Social media
Format: Written
Length: 33 minutes
Cost: Free

Social media optimization isn’t solely about looking at your data and making tweaks. Since social media is a vast world where people can express opinions and emotions, there is a lot more to the picture. This is where social media listening is important, and why I’ve included this course on my list.

free social media marketing courses: sprout social's course on social listening

With this course, you’ll learn:

  • The difference between social media monitoring and social media listening
  • How to use social listening for brand health, industry insights, competitor analysis, campaign analysis, and event monitoring
  • In-depth coverage of social listening strategies and use cases using real brands.
  • How small businesses can use it to establish thought leadership, reach top audiences, identify the best influencers, increase reach in local regions, and beat big brands

Who this course is good for:

Small businesses and social media marketers looking to build a community around their brand, stay ahead of the curve, and maintain a positive reputation.

Go to the social listening course >>

RELATED: The 6 Biggest, Baddest Social Media Platforms of 2022 (and How to Wield Their Power).

5. Facebook advertising & social selling courses (Facebook)

This course comes to you from Facebook, the world’s largest social media channel with the widest age range of users than any other platform.

Title: Facebook Blueprint: Start Your Advertising Journey
Format: Text with visuals
Length: 1-2 hours
Cost: Free

Facebook Blueprint is a free learning hub with a series of step-by-step tutorials on marketing and advertising effectively through Facebook and Instagram. The tutorials are short and modular, which Facebook will mix and match depending on your learning goal.

While it doesn’t get into strategic approaches, its the best place to find the most current information. Plus, you need to learn how to walk before you start looking at dance moves. Amiright?

free social media marketing courses: am i right meme

In the “Start advertising from your page” track, you’ll learn how to set up Facebook ads, including how to:

  • Select the right campaign objectives for your business goals.
  • Choose the right audience type to target.
  • Select placement targeting and budget method.
  • Use Facebook Ads Manager to schedule, measure and analyze campaign results

In the “Sell your products online” track, you’ll learn:

  • How Facebook and Instagram commerce work.
  • How to manage inventory with product catalogs.
  • How to set up your shop and use Commerce Manager.
free social media marketing courses: blueprint facebook ads course screenshot

The courses are simple and straightforward. They do have some short videos within them—but these are more related to the benefits of a product or feature rather than screen recordings or tutorials.

Who this course is good for:

Business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs looking to get started with Facebook ads or sell directly through the Facebook platform.

Go to the Facebook advertising course >>
Under “Select a topic to get started,” choose “Start your advertising journey.”

6. Social media influencer marketing mini-course (Later)

This course is brought to you by Later, a leading visual marketing platform for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Title: Influencer Marketing 101: From Zero to Hero
Format: Video & text
Length: 20 min
Cost: Free

Social media influencers may be more accessible than major celebrities, but that doesn’t mean that landing an influencer collaboration is a walk in the park. In fact, some of us don’t even know how to get to the park. Or maybe even what park we’re going to…

This course provides you with an actionable outline for how to get started and then walks you through the essentials of a successful influencer marketing strategy:

  1. Setting your goal and planning your campaign.
  2. Finding the best influencer for your goal and audience.
  3. Reaching out to the influencer.
  4. Creating the campaign brief.
  5. Tracking the ROI of your campaign.

There is a short video for each of the five steps above, each one with additional free resources, tools, and templates.

free social media marketing courses: screenshot from later's influencer marketing course

The instructor of the course, Gretta van Riel, is the founder of Hey Influencers, the world’s first influencer relationship management platform.

Who this course is good for

Business owners or marketers looking to reach a wider but still relevant audience through influencer marketing.

Go to the influencer marketing course >>

7. TikTok marketing course (Udemy)

With the relative newness of TikTok as well as its infiltration into daily life, it only felt right to include a TikTok-specific course in this list.

Title: How To Use TikTok for Business (Beginner to Advanced)
Format: Video
Length: 1h 45 min
Cost: Free

What’s unique about TikTok is that it’s sort of a super social platform. It doesn’t just connect users; the ways users interact with one another is what fuels the platform itself.

So to successfully market and advertise on TikTok, the approach is slightly different. And Scott Clary, founder of ROI Overload and host of the Success Story Podcast, addresses that in his course.

free social media marketing courses: udemy tiktok marketing course screenshot

You’ll get the tips and tools to get on, grow on, and generate leads and sales on, TikTok. Includes:

  • A complete TikTok walkthrough—from setting up your profile to recording a duet.
  • How to integrate TikTok into your content marketing strategy and create great videos.
  • Strategies and best practices to optimize for TikTok’s algorithm.
  • Advanced TikTok marketing strategies including influencer campaigns, ads, and analytics.

Who this course is good for:

Anyone looking to promote their business, personal brand, or products with video marketing via TikTok.

Go to the TikTok marketing course >>

8. Inclusive social media marketing (Ragan)

Confession: This is not actually a course—BUT it’s a well-pritten guide by the Ragan Communications Social Media Council.

Title: Best Practices for Inclusive Social Media
Format: Written with screenshots (pdf)
Length: 17 minutes
Cost: Free

While there are many free courses out there on diversity and inclusion, I liked how this guide was focused on social media. The introduction to this guide gives a solid taste of what to expect:

Creating social media campaigns that are sensitive to diversity and inclusion sounds like it should be a slam-dunk for a pro communicator. Choose images with a mix of racial and gender identities, avoid using racial and ethnic stereotypes, and you’re good to go—right?

Not so fast. There are subtleties in how you craft social posts that showcase your organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I)—and not just pay it lip service.

It then goes on to give nuanced tips on how to actually demonstrate diversity, equity, and inclusion in your social media content.

free social media marketing courses: pdf guide on inclusive marketing

It covers:

  • How to show authentic support for diversity and inclusivity.
  • Tips on how your supportive content can make a greater impact.
  • How to create not performative posts but purposeful posts that are part of a larger initiative.
  • Questions to ask before publishing a post.
  • Ways to make your content more accessible.

Who this course is good for:


Go to the inclusive social media marketing guide >>

9. Social media advertising course (WordStream)

Course name: PPC University
Format: Written with visuals
Length: 1-2 hours
Cost: Free

While Facebook Blueprint is great, it is, of course, focused only on Facebook and Instagram ads and very tactical. So what about the more strategic aspects of social media advertising? You can find that in our very own PPC University.

Between the Social Ads 101 course and Facebook Ads course, you’ll learn how to master the art and science of social media advertising.

free social media marketing courses: wordstream ppc university social ads 101 course screenshot

Social Ads 101 covers:

  • Why social media advertising is beneficial, overall tips to succeed, and metrics to track.
  • Crash courses on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok ads.
  • The basics of social selling on Facebook and Instagram.

In Facebook Ads, you’ll take a deeper dive into intermediate and advanced strategies, related to:

  • Costs: Choose the right budget strategy and optimize your account to maximize spend.
  • Campaigns: Use different ad types and build powerful audiences.
  • Content: Write great Facebook ads and get tips and tools for ad creative.
  • Competitors: Use a full-funnel strategy to take down your competitors.

Who this course is good for:

Social media marketers looking to start a paid strategy, or PPC advertisers looking to improve their strategy and ROI.

Go to the social advertising course >>

Get started today with these free social media marketing courses

So there you have it—a list of free online marketing courses specifically for social media that are worth your time. Hopefully, you also find them to be relevant, interesting, actionable, and overall, a good online learning experience.

  1. Local Social Media Marketing Lab (LOCALiQ)
  2. How to Create an Impactful Social Media Strategy for Any Business (Living to Roam)
  3. Social listening: Your Launchpad to Success on Social Media (Sprout Social)
  4. Start Your Online Advertising Journey (Facebook)
  5. Influencer Marketing 101: From Zero to Hero (Later)
  6. How To Use TikTok for Business (Udemy)
  7. Best Practices for Inclusive Social Media (Ragan)
  8. PPC University: Social advertising 101 (WordStream)

Looking for more Facebook ads courses? Check out these eight awesome (and free!) Facebook ads courses for any level!

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Meet The Author

Kristen McCormick

Kristen is the Head of Marketing at Hatch, a customer communication platform for service-based businesses. She was previously the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream. Her cat Arnold has double paws on every paw, and she finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.

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