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Top-Rated Courses to Help Improve Your Social Media Skills Social media courses can help to build a general understanding of the platforms and functions before diving deeper in, ensuring that you won't get left behind in all of the lingo.

By FlexTal Edited by Jason Fell

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Let's face it: social media can be overwhelming. Between hashtags, influencers and multiple platforms to choose from, you may be wondering where to turn for more information before taking on any significant social media responsibilities. Fortunately, you're not alone in this feeling, and there's an easy way to learn: take a social media course. Many are offered online and can be completed entirely on your own time from the comfort of your couch.

One of the best ways to begin learning about social media platforms and their specific functions is to start with the basics. Social media courses can help to build a general understanding of the platforms and functions before diving deeper in, ensuring that you won't get left behind in all of the lingo. Social media is constantly evolving and it will take some time to learn how to tap into these changes easily. Don't let the intimidating nature of these platforms discourage you; by taking a social media course, you'll be well equipped to begin your social media journey.

Below are some of the top-rated social media courses that can have you creating incredible content in no time.

What is Social? Coursera By NorthWestern: This four-week course offered by Northwestern University covers the following topics: Introduction to Social Marketing, Social Trends, The Business of Social, and Social Overview. The course takes approximately eight hours to complete and participants receive a certification to display on their resume, LinkedIn or portfolio. Be advised, however, all who enroll receive a seven-day free trial but are required to pay $49 per month to continue learning thereafter.

Related: This Is How to Blow Up Your Business on Social Media

The number one problem shared among entrepreneurs today is finding, vetting, hiring, and retaining expertise.

HubSpot Social Media Strategy Certification: Think you know everything about social strategy? Think again! HubSpot just revamped its social media course, aka "Social Media Marketing." This is great news for anyone who'd like to learn about how to build a following and create conversation surrounding their business — a must in a competitive social media landscape.

And if that already hasn't hooked you, maybe this should: it's totally free. Yep, you can become certified for nothing out-of-pocket. But the perks of this social media course don't just stop at zero-cost; it'll save you time, as well.

Balancing work and life is tough, so fitting an extra certification in there can seem like a monumental task. Luckily, this social media course clocks in at just less than four hours to complete, which means you can finish all nine lessons before lunch and already be a certified superstar by noon. Social media fear, be gone.

Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Google Analytics: Analytics plays an important part in creating engaging content and understanding how it performs on social media. Thankfully, Google understands this and created an entirely free course to educate social media experts like us about the Google Analytics platform. Unlike most social media courses, this course doesn't cover the basics of posting and crafting content- but it does provide vital information about their measurement tools that will help your content in the long run.

There are a few courses that Google offers, and if you've never worked with analytics before, start things off with "Google Analytics for Beginners." This will help you to build a foundation of knowledge surrounding analytics, and put those skills learned in other social media courses to use.

Related: The Social Media Analytics Showdown: What You Can Track and How

Hootsuite Social Marketing Course: Once you've taken a social media course to understand the basics, take your newfound skills to the next level with Hootsuite's Social Marketing Course. Each lesson delves into how to optimize your content for the major social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok. This social media course also teaches participants how to use various functions of the platform, such as Facebook Live.

There is a cost of $199 to take the social media course and receive a certificate after passing the final exam; however, your certification will be valid forever and makes an excellent addition to any resume. If you're looking to take your social media knowledge one step further, this is a fantastic, relatively affordable option.

Related: 5 Ways to Dominate Social Media Marketing in 2020

Facebook Blueprint: Facebook is already a major hub for marketing, so it makes sense that there's a social media course created specifically for Zuckerburg's creation. Facebook Blueprint offers a variety of courses regarding digital marketing that participants can learn about. Courses start at the 100 levels and increase to 500 level options, allowing for a clear path as you advance your knowledge. The most basic course I suggest that interested professionals consider is "Associate: 100-101, Facebook Certified Digital Marketing Associate," which will provide a basic understanding of marketing on the platform.

Each course comes with a cost of $150, depending on the country you reside in. When it comes to taking the final exam, participants have the option to take their own proctored exam online or in a Pearson VUE Testing Center (testing options may be subject to change due to COVID-19). It's also important to note that digital marketing certifications will expire after two years, so recertification will be needed if you'd like to keep your certified status. Change your Facebook status to expert (too much of a reach?), because these social media courses will take your marketing skills to the next level.

Related: Why You Should Be Buying Facebook Ads Now

Hootsuite Advanced Social Advertising: So, you've completed Hootsuite's Social Marketing Course and you're ready for the next social media course to challenge you. Fortunately, you don't even have to logout to start your next endeavor with Hootsuite's Advanced Social Advertising course. This course explores how to develop and execute campaigns on social media, ensuring you have the skills to make your advertisements stand out.

Similar to Hootsuite's Social Marketing course, this social media course comes with a cost; although slightly higher at $249 to become officially certified. However, this is a one-time fee, and the certificate lasts forever, without the need for recertification in the future.

Related: Advertising is Changing -- Know How to Lean into the Change

LinkedIn Learning – Social Media Marketing Foundations: Although LinkedIn is typically used more as a professional networking channel, it's also a fantastic resource for social media courses. The LinkedIn Learning feature offers a variety of social media courses (among other business-related topics) that are taught by leading experts within the industry.

Courses are included in the LinkedIn Premium Plan ($29.99 per month) at no additional cost or are available for individual varying costs without a subscription to Premium. The variety of social media courses is great for professionals seeking to diversify their marketing skill set and gives users the opportunity to explore multiple social media topics.

Related: The Biggest Mistake You're Making on LinkedIn and What You Should Do Instead

There may not be a university designed specifically for degrees in social media, but social media courses are the next best option for hopeful professionals. Social media is a huge topic that is constantly evolving, and education is the first step in keeping up with the latest updates. Now that you know your options, decide which social media course would likely be the best fit, and use the skills you learn to create amazing content across social media.

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