As students cash in on their social media personas, universities are offering courses designed to teach them how to brand themselves and negotiate for higher pay.

TikTok was created in 2018 after ByteDance purchased the popular music-video application Music.ly.

TikTok has been around since 2017; it is owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance. It has over 1 billion users worldwide and is particularly popular among teenagers — though adults also use it regularly as well.

Whether you love it or hate it, TikTok is increasingly hard to ignore. After a record-smashing 2021, the app (and its audiences) are bigger than ever.

Photo by cottonbro

TikTok Statistics you should know about: According to brandastic:

The world of influencer marketing is changing. There are more people than ever getting paid to make videos and post them on social media.

We live in a time where social media has become more than something we do for fun; it’s for our careers, too. Social media influencers are making big money through the likes of YouTube, Instagram, and now TikTok where brands offer to pay you huge sums for promoting their products. So, universities are jumping on board with courses designed to help students cultivate their own online (or in-person) brands.

In order to help its students grow their careers as influencers, colleges like Duke University have started offering business classes to TikTok influencers.

At Duke University, 30 students meet on a Tuesday afternoon in April to take their last class of the school year. Rather than preparing for final exams, they shoot TikTok videos.

This isn’t your average class.

Colleges are offering classes on social media marketing to help students build their brands, hoping that the ability to create content for a following will translate into successful careers.

Newly minted social media influencers are younger than ever before. They’re turning their burst of internet fame into lucrative careers even before they graduate. Universities are taking note, and launching classes designed to help students cultivate their online brands. The ultimate goal? To help colleges stay relevant at a time when viral TikTok videos can eclipse a traditional college degree.

Duke University’s TikTok class — aka Building Global Audiences — curated by Prof. Aaron Dinin, teaches undergrads to make the most of their presence on social media apps. The students in his class collectively gained 145,000 followers on TikTok and garnered 80 million views for videos they produced.

Sophomore Natalia Hauser has 227,000 followers on TikTok, where she generates $1,000 to $7,000 a month through partnerships with brands like Barnes & Noble, Macy’s, Canon and Pepsi. Her posts sometimes earn her as much as $5,000(for each post).

Hauser makes videos centred around her beauty and fashion lifestyle. She also talks about her family in Miami. Hauser said that the class left a mark on her, and as a result, she is able to negotiate with brands and charge a higher premium for the work she does.

Courses and degrees that teach students about social media have become increasingly prevalent in American universities. As platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram became central sources of influencer culture, these classes provide a crucial part of a college education for those interested in following this path.

The University of Southern California offers a program called “Media Arts + Practice (MA+P)” with an emphasis on “digital strategies and social media content creation.”

Northwestern University has dedicated an entire department — the Medill School of Journalism — to studying digital journalism. In addition to working with traditional journalism outlets like newspapers and magazines, Medill students have access

The University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers University both offer bachelor’s degrees in social media marketing, which cover topics like content strategy, analytics, and user engagement. These programs are designed to prepare students for careers in marketing and advertising by teaching them how to use platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to reach their target audiences.

Other schools offer courses that focus on specific areas of interest within the industry. For example, New York University offers a course called “Communication in the Age of Social Media” that focuses on how digital communication has changed over time. Students will explore topics like crisis management and privacy concerns as they relate to current events happening within our society today.

It’s easy to see why: with just a few seconds of video and some simple editing tools, anyone can make a video that will get them thousands of views — even if they don’t have any expertise in filmmaking.

It’s also free to use and easy to learn, so if you’re looking for a new way to express yourself and connect with others, TikTok may be a good choice for you!

With TikTok, you don’t need to be a professional photographer or videographer to make something interesting and shareable; instead, you can just use your phone’s camera to create short videos and add music or sound effects with filters that make them look like they were shot on film! It’s super fun and easy to use; anyone can do it!

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