Social media is one of the best tools that online course creators have to drive traffic to their course. Anyone can set up a social media account for free, making it an accessible option for any course creators, regardless of budget. But social media platforms also offer fantastic paid ad options that allow those with a budget to run highly targeted ad campaigns. On top of that, you don’t need extensive marketing knowledge to create and post content on your feeds.
With some basic social media hacks you can reach your target audience, build a community around your niche and create a buzz about your online course.
Choosing your platforms
The quickest way to become overwhelmed with social media marketing is by spreading yourself too thin. Resist the urge to set up accounts on every social media platform out there and instead focus your efforts on the places that your target audience hangs out.
For example, if you build a course on “How to bake the best vegan brownies” then you likely won’t find your target market on LinkedIn or Twitter. Where do people search for recipes and cooking tutorials? Most likely you’ll reach your audience on Pinterest, Instagram and maybe TikTok.
Once you’ve identified one or two platforms where your target audience is hanging out you can start crafting your content strategy using the tips below!
Facebook offers more marketing opportunities than any other social media platform. Not only does Facebook have over 2.7 billion active monthly users, but it also has three main streams for connecting with your target audience: Facebook Groups, your Facebook business page and Facebook ads.
1. Facebook Groups
Regardless of your course topic, you can find Facebook Groups full of potential students. There is a Facebook Group for just about anything these days, so whether you’re hosting a marketing course or one on training your dog there are thousands of prospects hanging out in the groups.
Search for groups that are relevant to your course and start engaging. Don’t post about your course right away since you’ll look like a spammer and risk getting banned from the group. Instead, establish your expertise by posting valuable and helpful information, such as tips that relate directly to your course topic. You can also comment on others posts either answering their questions or offering up your course as a possible solution.
Once the other members are familiar with you then you can begin directing them to your course.
2. Facebook business page
If you run your own business then sharing your course on your Facebook business page can definitely help to boost your enrolments. An online course is both a source of passive income and a way to increase the customer base of your business.
If you have a brand selling eco-friendly yoga pants, then you could create an online course for yoga fundamentals. Those that follow your brand page on Facebook are likely interested in yoga as well, so they are the perfect candidates for your course.
3. Facebook ads
Facebook ads offer super specific targeting options which enable you to get your online course in front of the people most likely to enroll. You can choose how much you want to invest in your ad spend based on your budget, but you need to be strategic about the type of ads that you run.
A common mistake that many new course creators make is to start by running purchase campaigns right away (ads that say “buy my course!”). Would you invest in a course from someone you’ve never heard based on an ad alone? Maybe. But probably not. The key to successful Facebook ads is creating interest and establishing your expertise with a traffic campaign first and then nurturing those leads.
One thing to note is that because Facebook owns Instagram, all your Facebook ads will also run on Instagram which will help you optimize your delivery.
Instagram also provides many opportunities to promote your online course to your target audience. Since Instagram is such a visual platform, it is the most effective for courses in niches such as beauty, health and fitness, cooking, fashion, travel, and lifestyle.
People head to Instagram for inspiration, and to keep up with their favourite influencers in their topics of interest. If you can build up a dedicated following on the platform, by posting valuable content and engaging with your community, then you can convert those followers into students of your course.
Don’t give away all the gems from your course in your Instagram content, but include some teasers to build interest. Make sure all your content is good quality (such as avoiding blurry images or video) and write captions that will actually provide value to your followers. Users value authenticity and want to follow people who they resonate with, so be yourself!
Make use of the various types of media available to you within Instagram such as feed posts, stories, reels, and live streams to create diversity in your profile. And don’t forget to use relevant hashtags! You can also call on influencers in your niche who may be willing to mention your course on their own profile in exchange for a small fee, or free products.
LinkedIn is more than just a platform hosting your resume and finding jobs. Many of the people who are on LinkedIn are looking for opportunities to upskill and learn from experts in their chosen field of interest.
LinkedIn is a great place to collect student testimonials, both written and video, which will show those who land on your page that your online course is effective and worth taking. Although you can’t actually sell your course directly on LinkedIn you can generate leads and use it as part of your sales funnel.
Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn also has groups, where you can target like-minded individuals and use your expertise to create interest. You can also post valuable information and content directly to your LinkedIn feed as well, using relevant hashtags, so that those who are searching for specific topics can find you.
Other social media platforms to consider
While the above three platforms are universally the most effective for marketing your online course you may also want to make use of your other social media feeds to generate interest. If your course is something hands-on that might require lots of visual aids, like crafting or cooking, TikTok or Pinterest could be a super effective marketing tool for you. But there are also many course creators using TikTok now to provide useful little snippets of what you can expect in their courses for niches like marketing, business, ecommerce and more!
Regardless of which social media platforms you choose to market your online course, pick one or two and become a wiz at them. As Socrates said, “It’s better to do a little well, than a great deal badly.”