How to Learn Social Media Marketing

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by Kristen Grau

Updated June 7, 2022

Reviewed by Darnell Kenebrew

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Edited by Giselle M. Cancio
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Social media marketing is a skill that's useful across many industries. If you know how to do it, you should have plenty of career options to choose from.

But to become an expert at social media marketing, you have to learn it first. Two of the most effective ways to learn are through online courses or coding bootcamps.

Social media marketing courses and bootcamps have a few differences. But the goal of them is the same: To give you the strategies, skills, and certifications you need to help your career.

Coding Bootcamps

Despite their name, coding bootcamps can teach you a lot more than coding. Most coding bootcamp providers have tangentially related classes, including social media and digital marketing.

Bootcamps can be in person, online, or both — making them a good option for those who prefer in-person learning. They usually last longer than online courses.

They also tend to be more expensive than online social media marketing courses. There are often scholarships and financing options available. Although they cost more than online courses, bootcamps are often more thorough.

Online Courses

These are flexible, and often cheaper, options for students not able to enroll in a bootcamp.

Online Courses vs. Bootcamps

Both online courses and bootcamps can be worthwhile. However, one might be a better fit for you than the other.

Weigh the pros and cons of learning social media marketing via an online course or a bootcamp before making a decision.

Online Course Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
  • More affordable
  • More flexible
  • Able to move at your own pace
  • Sometimes less in-depth
  • Nobody to help you in real time
  • Requires discipline to move at your own pace
Bootcamp Pros and Cons
Pros Cons
  • More thorough
  • Can offer in-person classes
  • Part- and full-time options available
  • More expensive
  • May take longer to complete
  • Sometimes only in-person options are available

Coding Bootcamps to Learn Social Media Marketing

Georgia Tech Digital Marketing Boot Camp

  • Location: Remote, Atlanta
  • Program Cost: Starts at $7,995
  • Learning Format: Online, In Person
  • Time Commitment: Part Time

Career Services

Georgia Tech's digital marketing bootcamp begins quarterly and has both part-time and full-time options. You can learn how to use popular programs in the industry like Google Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads Manager, and WordPress. After you complete the bootcamp, you'll receive a Facebook certification exam voucher.

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Digital Marketing Bootcamp Online

  • Location: Remote, London, Miami, New York City, Toronto, Vancouver
  • Program Cost: Starts at $15,000
  • Learning Format: Online, In-Person
  • Time Commitment: Part Time, Full Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

BrainStation offers its digital marketing bootcamp remotely and in several cities across the globe. According to its website, over 90% of graduates earn jobs within 180 days of graduating. BrainStation's bootcamps cover social media marketing, search marketing, and analytics on major software.

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Vanderbilt University Digital Marketing Boot Camp

  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: Starts at $8,745
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time

Accepts GI Bill®
Career Services

Vanderbilt's digital marketing bootcamp is fully online but provides support from peers and instructors. Like the Georgia Tech bootcamp, it offers a Facebook certification exam voucher after you graduate. On top of your required digital marketing courses, there are optional courses that can broaden your skills like general Marketing Fundamentals and Building a Digital Marketing Portfolio.

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Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

  • Location: Remote, Austin, San Antonio
  • Program Cost: Free
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time

This free bootcamp focuses on giving you hands-on experience. After you complete an eight-week bootcamp, you complete a 12-month apprenticeship at an actual business. While you're not guaranteed a job after the bootcamp, you are guaranteed an interview. If the interview is successful, then your full-time job and apprenticeship begins.

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UNC Chapel Hill Digital Marketing Bootcamp

  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: Starts at $7,495
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Part Time

Career Services

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's digital marketing bootcamp is very similar to Georgia Tech's and Vanderbilt's. The camp is 18 weeks long and covers digital marketing strategy, digital advertising, website optimization, and more. You don't need any experience to enroll, and you could complete it entirely online.

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Get the Qualities You Want in a Bootcamp

We use icons to make browsing bootcamps easy for you. Use this breakdown to quickly identify program qualities you are looking for.

Accepts GI Bill®

Accepts the GI Bill® as funding for tuition.

Also Available In Person

This online bootcamp also offers in-person options.

Career Services

Offers career services to help you land your dream job after graduation.

CIRR Member

This bootcamp is a current member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting. Learn more at cirr.org.

Evening & Weekend Options

Bootcamps are offered during convenient evening and weekend hours.

Job Guarantee

Employment is guaranteed as soon as you finish your bootcamp.

Money-Back Guarantee

Tuition is refunded if you don't land a job within a given time frame after graduation. Visit the bootcamp website for terms and conditions.

Start for Free

No deposit is required to get started. Begin your bootcamp for $0.

Methodology

Bootcamp Ranking Guidelines

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

Our Methodology

The Bootcamp Team at BestColleges has collected data for over 150 bootcamps to help you find the best bootcamp.

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

At this time, our recommendation round-ups feature only immersive bootcamps designed to prepare students for job placement upon graduation.

To be included on our lists, bootcamps must meet the following criteria:

  • Must offer at least one bootcamp in the United States.
  • Must offer at least one bootcamp that is a minimum of 4 weeks long.
  • Must require at least 15 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is part time.
  • Must encourage at least 10 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is self-paced.

Pricing disclosure: The prices listed were collected from product websites in 2022. However, given the dynamic, fast-paced nature of the tech space, prices are subject to change throughout the year. To get the most up-to-date information about pricing, contact providers directly.

Methodology for Recommending Cheap Bootcamps:

  • The bootcamp must meet all of the general criteria listed above.
  • The bootcamp must cost less than $8,000 if it is offered full time, and less than $5,000 if it is offered part time. These numbers were chosen based on data collected by BestColleges in 2020 that determined the average cost of a coding bootcamp is $13,580.

Social Media Marketing Jobs

Having experience or certifications in social media marketing can help you in several different communication fields like advertising, public relations, and more.

Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

Social media marketers can work via multiple channels — whether it's organic marketing or paid advertising. Many of the same skills apply, so you can take your skills in either direction.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median annual salary of $133,380 as of May 2021.

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations (PR) is all about making companies and brands look good. Social media is one way PR specialists do that. As a PR specialist, you can combine social media marketing strategy with other branding strategies to maintain your company's image.

The BLS reports a median annual salary of $62,800 as of May 2021.

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts try to figure out how successful a product will be. They research the best target demographics, spending patterns and competitors. Part of that research may include monitoring social media and deciding what kind of marketing may work for your product on different platforms.

The BLS reports a median annual salary of $63,920 as of May 2021.

What Are the Benefits of a Social Media Marketing Certification?

A social media marketing certification can show potential employers that you have experience and the basics of social media marketing down.

In some cases, an employer might offer you a higher salary because you have certification. Even if it doesn't help you directly, certification can open the door for more opportunities. In turn, those opportunities can help you land other jobs with higher-paying salaries.

And if you're already in the field, earning certification can help you drive more results. Having your certification usually means you were taught by an expert or reputable source. Those authoritative sources can introduce you to new and improved ways of handling your marketing.

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Social Media Marketing

Is social media marketing easy to learn?

It depends. Social media marketing takes time, patience, and practice to learn — just as any skill does. But because more companies are looking for social media marketers, there are countless resources for you to learn it.

So if you take the time to see your online course, coding bootcamp, or other educational resources to the end, you can certainly learn.

Using social media personally can also make it easier to learn marketing by familiarizing yourself with online demographics, terminology and culture.

Is social media marketing a good career?

Social media marketing might be a good career choice for those interested in the communications field. It's a growing industry and offers flexibility in a few different ways. Many social media marketing jobs allow you to work remotely — and in a wide range of industries. Completing online courses or attending bootcamps can help you decide whether a social media marketing career is right for you.

How much money does a social media marketer make?

According to Payscale, social media managers earn a base salary from $36,000-$81,000, as of March 2022. As with any job, your salary may vary depending on your experience and location. You may be able to improve your chances of a higher salary by earning social media marketing certification.

Feature Image: Weekend Images Inc. / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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