Trend Alert: Influencer Universities

CATEGORY / education TAGS / education, social media, trend alert Fractals LAB / Forma DATE / November 29, 2019

Trend Definition:

University degrees preparing students to become influencers. 

Trend History:

As influencer marketing is taking over traditional marketing, the lack of preparation of those approaching this profession is alarming. The idea of making a living by posting photos on Instagram is appealing to many, but having a smartphone and some spare time is really not enough. Promoting products on social media without knowing anything about marketing, communication and sometimes even about the products, leads to bad practices, misinformation and in some cases (especially for health products) it could even harm a brand’s image. That’s why Universities and private companies are starting to offer degrees that help students gain the technical skills needed to pursue a career as an influencer.
The trend is really fresh, but since influencer marketing shows no sign of slowing down, we predict it will spread during the next years.

Trend Evidences

The very first University Program for influencers was born in summer 2018 in Spain. The degree, named “Intelligence Influencers: Fashion and Beauty”, is offered by the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), and it has Agatha Ruiz de la Prada as its Honorary Director. Its goal is to provide influencers with all the abilities they need to do their job, which credibility and sustainability are threatened by the widespread bad practices.

Ara Katz, co-founder of health startup Seed, created the Seed University: a credentialing program where any influencer who wants to work with the brand is asked to learn not just about their products, but the science behind them. At the end of the course, there’s a final exam hosted on the Seed website. Once influencers have passed the exam, they are allowed to sign up for the company’s affiliate program. 

In Italy, online university eCampus recently launched a new, three-year program to earn a degree in social media influencing. The aim of the degree is to “fill the current educational gap” by teaching students everything they need to know if they really want to become influencers. They will have to study fashion psychology, semiotics and the philosophy of language, TV history, intercultural communication and information technology, among others subjects. 

Schermata 2019-11-28 alle 00.41.24

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