This article originally ran in 2019 and is part of our annual countdown of the most-viewed stories from PR Daily.
What are your goals for social media in the coming year?
You might want to consider a little extra training to learn the latest trends and tips for bolstering your social media presence. Here are 15 top online resources and classes you can take.
The best part is, most are free.
This is a free Hootsuite offering for social media marketers and PR pros looking to expand their online horizons. Newbies start at a beginner level, but dedicated learners can get deeper insights with later courses. Those classes, however, are not free.
The course description reads:
“By taking this course you’ll develop foundational social marketing skills to grow followers, engagement, and business results. Designed and produced in consultation with social media marketing strategists and practitioners, our industry-recognized Social Media Marketing Course and Certification give marketers practical skills they can implement and start seeing results right away.”
If you have six free hours and hunger for more social media knowhow, this might be the place to start.
Neil Patel’s resource center for digital marketers and online communicators offers some classes for industry pros that want to learn new skills. The best part? The classes are free of charge.
The site describes its offerings this way:
“Before you start getting into the tactical stuff, get a strong foundation. The principles from these guides will improve every marketing project you pursue. Considering how fast channels and tactics change in digital marketing, the best way to stay ahead is to have a firm grounding in all the core principles. That’ll help you take advantage of tactics and new channels as they develop.”
Bookmark this site for return visits to learn about SEO, digital marketing and social media messaging.
Are you tired of reading breakdowns and summaries of the latest insights on social media? Maybe you are an audio-visual learner and a video is a better way for you to absorb information. If you are looking for video webinars and explainers, don’t miss Buffer’s YouTube offerings.
Get tips on using Pinterest for business, getting your content seen in the Facebook News Feed, or understanding your social media channel metrics.
Social media is great because it offers two-way communication for brand managers and organizational leaders. That means you have to listen as much as you speak online.
This free class from Udemy offers insights on how to find influencers and build lists, curate content from your social media monitoring dashboard, and use Google tools to keep track of your latest campaigns and messages.
LinkedIn is an important platform for all business communicators, so why not explore the training it sponsors through Lynda.com?
Courses offered include webinars on topics like “Personal Branding on Social Media,” “Advertising on Facebook: Advanced,” “Managing Brand Reputation” and more.
You can get your first month of access for free. If you sign an annual contract, you can get access for $19.99 per month, or get a pricing structure to gain access for your entire team.
Twitter is a crucial platform for many business communicators, especially as organic reach has shrunk on Facebook. One content type that does particularly well on the social media site: video.
Twitter offers two courses for marketers and communicators looking to improve their skills in social media video. Both are free of charge.
Twitter describes the first course:
“Learn about video on Twitter, including our video partners and ad formats. Understand how to structure plans to achieve specific advertiser objectives. We’ve shared sample campaign flights, targeting, pricing, and measurement templates to save you time.”
The more advanced course is described thus:
“Walk step-by-step through the execution of a Twitter video ad campaign, including campaign creation, launch, optimization, and reporting. The course does not require previous experience with the Twitter Ads Manager. It’s the perfect place to start regardless of digital experience.”
YouTube is an essential platform for sharing video content about your organization. Plus, the platform is a popular social media platform for younger users, and video still promises to dominate the total share of internet use in the future.
For brand managers looking to discover how to create dynamic online videos and bring in new audiences with video campaigns, it’s time to take a closer look at YouTube’s Creator Academy. Learn how to make your YouTube presence interact with the platform’s algorithms to get more views for your videos.
Don’t forget to check out YouTube’s Creator resources page.
Instagram is a powerful visual platform, and many organizations are turning to the site for marketing and shopping integrations. So, if you are looking to make a splash on Instagram, take advantage of parent company Facebook’s free resources to develop your understanding of Instagram’s native tools.
Facebook describes its course this way:
“Instagram serves a global community of more than 1 billion people who are active every month. People use Instagram to share moments, find passions, get inspired and take action. Instagram can help businesses of every size find customers and grow. With an Instagram business account, businesses can promote their products and services to a global audience of people most interested in what they do.”
Best of all, the course is free.
Many brand managers have been puzzled about how to respond to the loss of organic reach with their Facebook posts.
Why not ask Facebook how to take advantage of their latest algorithm changes? This course shares the insights you need to make your social media page a captivating asset for your organization.
These courses are also free of charge.
Sprout Social offers a suite of social media management tools for brand managers and communicators, but it also offers webinars to help guide your social media strategy and planning. Learn how to listen to your audience and persuade skeptical consumers to trust your organization with these free webinars.
Many social media marketers and PR pros report that proving value and ROI is still a top concern for them and their colleagues. For many industry veterans, this means taking full advantage of Google’s web traffic monitoring tools.
PR pros can develop their knowledge and learn how to measure their campaigns with Google’s free web suite with Google’s online courses as part of the Google Analytics Academy.
Get a certificate for your work—and don’t pay a dime for all your coursework.
HubSpot offers a course that includes eight lessons, 40 videos and 34 quizzes to develop your messaging and strategy on social media. The site estimates a completion time of under five hours for all the modules.
HubSpot says the course will:
- Develop an engaging and effective social media strategy for your business
- Build an inbound social media strategy that delights your customers and grows your bottom line
- Leverage the power of social media to transform your business and your career
Again, this course is free of charge.
Online Marketing Institute offers a slew of social media classes on topics such as “how to use LinkedIn for social recruiting,” “content marketing for social media,” and “things you should know about advertising on Instagram and Snapchat.”
The site’s classes require a subscription, but you can test its offerings with a 10-day free trial.
Allison offers business owners a look at how to use social media to support their immediate goals.
It describes its offering this way:
“Social media can be a powerful tool for small businesses, if it is used correctly. With social media, you can get instant feedback on your products, stay up-to-date with key industry conversations, and greatly extend your products’ reach. This free course is designed to give you all you need to effectively use social media for your business, from how to research and plan for a dynamic website to how to measure and enhance social media engagement.”
The course is free of charge.
The only item on the list that requires payment up front, Boot Camp Digital’s offering is used by many big companies like Procter & Gamble, Google and Verizon.
Get online certifications or participate in master classes on things like Facebook Marketing, Instagram marketing and SEO training.
The cost is reasonable, at $27 per class.