Social media marketing is one of the most important digital marketing channels. Many people believe that acquiring the necessary social media marketing skills is expensive or time-consuming, but that’s not the case.
There are a number of free resources you can use to learn social media marketing from scratch and at the comfort of your own home.
As a full-service marketing agency and digital marketing training academy, we know how difficult it is for beginners to get into social media marketing without prior experience, that’s why we created this step-by-step learning plan.
So, If you want to learn social media marketing and don’t know how to get started, this post is for you.
Let’s get started.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the online marketing process of promoting your products and services on various social media platforms. This can be done using organic methods or through paid advertising.
Social media marketing is becoming popular among digital marketers because of the vast number of people that use social media networks on a daily basis.
Benefits from Learning Social Media Marketing
There are many benefits from learning social media marketing for both individuals and businesses.
It opens up new career opportunities – There is an increased demand for social media experts and qualified individuals should have no problem in getting a job.
It’s a job you can do from home – Working in the social media industry is one of the popular digital marketing jobs you can do remotely.
It’s one of the highest-paying jobs – According to industry statistics, the salary of social media marketing professionals is between $62K and $75K per year (in the US).
It’s a great industry for becoming a freelancer – Social media marketing is an ideal industry for freelancers. Companies all over the World outsource their social media and this creates a demand for social media freelancers. The hourly rate varies per country and experience and it’s between $15 and $100 per hour.
You can start your own social media marketing agency – When you become a social media expert, you can even start your own social media marketing agency, build your team and handle the social media for multiple clients. This can be the first step in starting a digital marketing agency and adding more digital services to your offering.
Reduce social media management costs – Having in-house knowledge of how social media marketing works can help you cut down your costs. It will reduce the need to hire third-party agencies and save on the monthly management costs.
Better control on social media campaigns – Even if you are outsourcing your social media management, knowing how the different pieces of the social media puzzle work, will help you make the right decisions and have better control over your campaigns.
Less reliance on third-party providers – Social media is a necessity for all kinds of businesses and having your own in-house team reduces your operational risk and reliance on other companies.
Is Social Media Marketing Hard to Learn?
Social media marketing is not hard to learn. The reason is that most people already use social media platforms so it’s easier for them to understand the different concepts that make up social marketing.
Of course, learning how to use social media for marketing purposes is not the same as using social media platforms as a normal user.
There are many things to master like increasing your organic reach, optimizing your business pages, and working with paid advertising. But overall is not as difficult as learning digital marketing.
How to Get Started With Social Media Marketing
Follow these steps to learn social media marketing from home and for free.
- Create Personal Accounts on All Major Social Networks
- Enroll in a Social Media Marketing Course
- Follow Reputable Social Media Marketing Blogs
- Start Following Social Media Influencers
- Learn How Digital Sales Funnel Work
- Create a Facebook Business Account
- Run Paid Campaigns on Facebook and Instagram
- Get to Know How Advertising Platforms Work on Major Networks
- Learn Social Media Marketing Tools
1. Create Personal Accounts on All Major Social Networks
The first obvious step to get into social media marketing is to start using all major social platforms. On top of your list, you should add Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
These are not the only platforms available, there is also TikTok, Pinterest, Clubhouse, and more, but these are the big four that can get you clients and better marketing results.
What you should do in the beginning is to create your personal accounts and try to familiarize yourself with the different options.
Besides learning how to use the basic features like adding and sharing content, following and unfollowing people, try to think how you could take advantage of this from a business perspective.
Take notice of the different ads that show up in your feed and make a list of anything that gets your attention. This might be a video ad, a post, a social media bio, or something that a friend shared and went viral.
2. Enroll in a Social Media Marketing Course
While the first step was a bit soft, the next step is to dive into the social media marketing world and the best way to do this is by enrolling in a good social media marketing course.
The benefits of learning social media through a course are a lot. The first one is structured learning.
A well-designed course will teach you all the stages of social media marketing in a way that makes sense. If you’re a beginner you won’t have to worry about what you should learn first and what to do next.
There are many good courses on the market today, one of them is our social media marketing course. It’s created for beginners to social media marketing and it will help you understand what social media marketing is and how to use it for business purposes.
The course is part of our digital marketing training bundle that includes a dedicated course on Facebook Ads so you can get the practical aspect of running paid campaigns on Facebook and Instagram.
Another advantage of learning social media through a course is certification. Courses that offer a social media marketing certification or better a digital marketing certification, will make it easier for you to get an entry-level job even if you have no practical experience.
All employers (including us), value certifications a lot because they show the dedication and willingness of the person to learn and improve their skills.
Last but not least, it is proven that learning through a course is faster than trying to learn a new discipline on your own. There is an increased demand for online courses on all topics in the last few years because more and more people realize that it’s a better way to build new skills rather than trying to search Google and read article after article.
Social Media Marketing Resources
3. Follow Reputable Social Media Marketing Blogs
Once you get your ‘official’ social media marketing training, the next step is to stay current with the latest developments in the industry.
A course will teach you the theoretical and practical aspects of social media marketing but to learn how the industry is evolving you have to follow the news.
Social networks change their practices frequently to adapt to new developments in user privacy. They develop new tools and practices, they release new algorithms that impact the work of professional social media marketers and you should know about it.
Fortunately, there are some great social media marketing blogs you can follow to stay informed. The ones I recommend and visit on a daily basis are:
Social Media Examiner – Includes industry reports, podcasts, and step-by-step articles on everything related to social media marketing.
Marketing Land – Daily posts on everything that is happening in the social media industry. If something changes, you will know about it.
Adespresso – A blog dedicated to social media marketing. It is updated daily with new guides and articles.
4. Start Following Social Media Influencers
The next step in your quest to learn the secrets of social media marketing is to study the practices of social media influences.
Social media influences are people (in different industries) that have thousands of social media followers. These people can evidently use social media networks better than others and by studying their practices you can get a better understanding of how social media marketing can work on scale.
What you should do is create a list of the industries you’re interested in and then go to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube and find people that have thousands of followers.
You can do this manually or using a tool. Follow a few and try to take notice of things like:
- What kind of content they post
- How often they publish new content
- How many new followers they get per month
- What kind of monetization practices they use
- Which are their most popular posts (in terms of likes and shares)
It might seem like a waste of time now but once you learn the basics of social media marketing and become more experienced, you’ll need ideas on how to scale your campaigns.
Replicating the steps of other influencers is a great way to learn how to take full advantage of the exposure social media can bring to a business.
Always remember that you shouldn’t blindly follow what experts tell you but study and follow their practices, which is sometimes different than what they tell you to do.
5. Learn How Digital Sales Funnel Work
An important aspect of learning social media marketing has to do with digital sales funnels.
To use social networks as a sales channel, you need to understand the different stages of a digital funnel and how to translate that into social media campaigns.
A typical digital marketing funnel has four stages:
While a typical social media marketing funnel has three stages:
As part of your learning process, you need to learn what each stage does and how to set it up on each social network.
This is an advanced topic that is covered extensively in our Facebook Course.
Additional Social Media Resources
6. Create a Facebook Business Account
The next step in your training journey is to learn how businesses can take advantage of social networks and your starting point is becoming familiar with business accounts.
When running campaigns on behalf of a business, you don’t do this using your personal social media account but you register for a business account. Business accounts offer features suitable for businesses such as access control, reporting, and billing.
The most commonly used network is Facebook and this should be your starting point. Once you learn how Facebook for business works, it will be easier for you to replicate the same steps for other networks.
This step is particularly important if you plan to become a social media marketing professional and offer services to other companies. You need to know how to set up and configure a Facebook Business page and account.
You can use the following free resources to get started:
7. Run Paid Campaigns on Facebook and Instagram
To run successful social media marketing campaigns you need to become an expert on Facebook and Instagram ads.
When you post something on Facebook or Instagram this is shown to a portion of your followers. In most cases, this is not enough to make sales or even satisfy your basic marketing goals so you need to turn into paid advertising to get more results.
To master this important social media marketing skill, you need to do two things:
The first is to learn how paid Facebook campaigns work and going through a dedicated Facebook Ads course is a great starting point.
The second is to start practicing on your own properties. If you haven’t done this already, create an account for your business and set up a few paid campaigns.
Start with a low budget and experiment with different campaign types and ads. Learn how to use ‘Ads Reporting’ to analyze the performance of your campaigns.
If this is the first time you are doing this, don’t get stressed in getting results but spend your time and effort to learn how the system works. There is a learning curve to go through and many things to learn but once you get the idea of how it works, everything will become easier.
Facebook and Instagram use the same advertising platform so you’ll learn both at the same time.
Our course covers this process in detail but if you want to do this on your own, you can start by following these free learning resources:
8. Get to Know How Advertising Platforms Work on Major Networks
You may have noticed that for all steps we’ve recommended learning how to use Facebook and Instagram. This is expected since these two networks dominate the social media market and in the majority of cases, this is where you’ll be spending your marketing budget.
Nevertheless, depending on the nature of your business, you may have to run campaigns on other networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.
The good news is that the process is similar to Facebook so whatever you’ve learned on Facebook campaigns is applicable to other networks. There will be a short learning curve to learn how their advertising platforms work but the concepts are the same so it won’t be too much of a trouble to get started.
You can use these free resources to get more details:
9. Learn Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media marketing is a channel you cannot optimize without the help of tools. So, as part of your training plan, you need to allocate time to learn how to use social media marketing tools.
There are hundreds of social media tools in the market so you have a plethora of choices but the good news is that you don’t need to learn everything from day one.
As a beginner, to get started with social media management you need to learn how to use:
A tool for scheduling social media posts. Frequent posting is a good way to nurture your followers and a tool can help you speed up this task.
For this task, my recommendation is to use a tool like Buffer or OnlyPult that allows you to schedule posts to all major social networks. Their prices are competitive and they have a very good reporting system to track the progress of our organic campaigns.
A tool for managing your paid campaigns. If you plan to work with Facebook and Instagram campaigns then you only need to master Facebook Business Manager. It has all the tools you need built-in and there is no need to use any other additional tool.
If you plan to expand your reach on the Google Network (in addition to Facebook and Instagram) and you want to manage your campaigns from a single platform then Madgicx is a good choice.
For sure there are many other great tools you can use. My recommendation is to select a tool you can actually use its features and not pay for features that are nice to have but you’ll never use.
The best way to learn a tool is to register for a free trial, watch their training video tutorials and experiment with the available features.
Learning social media marketing may seem like climbing a mountain of knowledge but as you have read in this guide, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Yes, it’s a lot of things to learn for beginners but with the right approach and step-by-step learning plan, you can become a social media expert in no-time.
Here is a summary of the plan to follow to learn social media marketing from home.
Step 1: Become an active social media user – Create accounts on the social networks of interest and become a regular user.
Step 2: Choose a course to follow – There are plenty of online courses you can follow. Choose a course that is free or with affordable pricing and start learning the basic and more advanced social media marketing concepts.
Step 3: Follow industry news and influencers – Follow industry blogs to get the news and influencers to see how social media can work on scale. Study their practices and not necessarily what they teach.
Step 4: Start with Facebook and Instagram – Learn how to create a Facebook business account and familiarize yourself with the different options and settings. Create a business page for your website and run some paid ads to get a feeling of how the system works.
Step 5: Keep learning and keep practicing – When you get into social media marketing, one of the things you will realize from the very beginning is that learning never stops. The social media industry is dynamic and ever-evolving. Rules, algorithms, practices change all the time and if you want to stay current, you need to keep learning and practicing.
Hopefully, by now, you should now have a very good idea of what it takes to learn social media marketing. It’s a promising and exciting industry to be in and you’ve just made the first step.