Social Media Courses Promise Insta Stardom, But Delivery Falls Short
If you’ve ever wanted to become a social media star and considered taking a class to learn how, then please heed this advice…
Classes are mostly crap. It’s all about luck and creativity.
Social media camp
The Social Star Creator Camp in located in Los Angeles, California.
Nichelle Rodriguez, the director of education at the Camp, describes it as a sleepaway camp for social media creators. Rodriguez created the Camp after discovering that many social media stars were enrolling in her other camp, which is an acting camp that’s also Los Angeles-based. In addition to teaching social media savvy, the course teaches business savvy.
“The amount of money and merchandise being thrown at these creators is crazy.” Rodriguez says.
“They need to learn how to make the very best out of this business venture.”
Attendees can pay $429 for three days of training or $2690 for 10 days.
According to Dazed Digital, Camp creators promise it’s “the fast track for new and early social media content creators, true entrepreneurs, who are completely dedicated to learning the best practices for exceptional platforms that result in earning money and viral fame.”
Social media experts weigh-in
We reached out to a handful of social media experts to find out if a camp like this is worth attending. The answer is “no”.
Miranda Mendoza, a beauty and lifestyle influencer at SlashedBeauty.com, says that courses such as these often sell quick success. The truth is that no one becomes a social media star in a week.
“There are literally millions of people trying to make a name for themselves on social media — it’s not as easy to stake your claim as it was in 2009,” Mendoza says.
“It can take years to have your moment — [the moment] when a brand notices you, or offers to pay you for ambassadorship. Sharing content on social media has to be a passion that you’d do anyway and a career move second.”
She also adds that social media platforms’ ever-changing algorithms mean there isn’t one fool-proof formula that applies to true success.
Andrew Selepak, PhD and professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Florida, adds that no one person can truly promise the secrets to internet fame and fortune.
So, when a self-proclaimed social media expert alleges they know how to make content go viral, or make someone famous, remember that if they had the secret formula, they wouldn’t share it with others. “Instead they would be working for Facebook or Google,” Selepak says.
The keys to social media success
Sydney Liu, co-founder at Commaful, a short story site that reaches millions of readers, says internet fame comes down to three critical elements: Amazing content, great distribution, and luck.
The bigger the distribution and the more amazing the content, the less luck plays a role. However, Liu notes that amazing videos and images usually don’t go viral without some initial distribution. And luckily, a person can learn and build on distribution skills. But learning how to create amazing content is difficult.
“While it is certainly possible to drastically improve content creation, there is an art to it,” Liu says.
“Take any famous YouTuber as an example, perhaps Ryan Higa (nigahiga). Watch his early YouTube videos and compare them to the ones today. The quality is night and day different, however he always had a good taste in what his audience would like.”
Yogin Patel, the founder and CEO of YP Social, an influencer management company, adds that these types of courses only work when a student continues to work once the camp is over.
“The course is going to teach you the basics and maybe advanced-level stuff regarding content creation and how to show off your personality over social media,” Patel says.
“However, nothing is going to happen overnight.”
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