Boost your social media following with these skills

Social media influencers need a variety of skills to succeed.

By U2B Staff 

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Social media influencers are more than attractive faces that appear on your feed. Beyond the beautifully created content or witty words you find on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or TikTok, are hours that went into shaping and moulding content that keeps readers glued to their screens.

Take Safiya Nygaard, for instance. The 27-year-old fashion and beauty YouTuber is a Stanford graduate with an estimated US$3 million net worth. Clearly, there is money to be made if you’re a successful influencer, but not every Tom, Dick and Harry can boast having close to nine million subscribers on YouTube.

Reaching this level of influence requires arming yourself with the right skills, making it pivotal that aspiring social media influencers do the necessary homework to ensure their success.

Marketers look for a variety of things in social media influencers, including their audience and quality of content. If you’re eager to become a social media influencer yourself, you’ll need to ensure that your skills are up to scratch as this isn’t a short-term commitment.

Here are some areas worth beefing up on.


Digital marketing 

Creating and posting relevant content is one hurdle, but getting people to read or consume your content is another challenge in itself. A solid understanding of marketing will help you drive traffic to your website or page and help you build your audience. 

You don’t necessarily need to enrol in a degree programme to build your knowledge in this area. There are many certificate courses or microbadges that you can pursue online, either for free or at an affordable rate. 

Depending on your area of expertise, you can easily find beginner, intermediate or advanced level courses in digital marketing on microcredential providers such as Coursera, EdX or Udacity, to name a few.

Coursera, for instance, offers a digital marketing specialisation course that covers several topics such as digital marketing analytics, search engine optimisation, social media marketing, and 3D Printing. Upon completion, you’ll have a richer understanding of the foundations of the new digital marketing landscape.



An Instagram caption that tells a story behind a beautifully captured photo. Witty tweets that get plenty of retweets. A blog that pulls in thousands of readers per post. A moving script that gets people clicking on a video. 

Regardless of how long or short your content is, as a social media influencer, writing plays an integral role in persuasion.

There are many courses that can help you become better at your niche, be it travel writing, creative writing, and the like from both universities and microcredential providers. For instance, you can find courses such as a Certificate Program in Writing at universities while Coursera also offers a creative writing courses.


Shooting and editing videos

What’s the strategy behind TikTok videos that get millions of views? Not all viral posts require advanced video editing skills, but the fact that the app has over two billion downloads attests to the influence of videos in today’s world.

If you don’t already have some basic skills in shooting and editing videos, now may be a good time to do so. You can gradually build your video editing skills by using free apps such as KineMaster, but if you prefer something more structured, courses are the way to go.

You can find a variety of video-related programmes on platforms such as LinkedIn Learning, Coursera and Udemy that will give you pointers on shooting and editing videos.

Photography and photo editing

Photography plays a major role on platforms such as Instagram. Many influencers take painstaking effort to get the perfect shot, so it helps to learn the tricks of the trade as a picture paints a thousand words. 

Many universities offer certificate courses in photography. Alternatively, Coursera also offers numerous digital photography courses to help you get started.

Without a doubt, becoming a social media influencer is a lot of hardwork, but with the right skills and enthusiasm, success doesn’t have to be out of reach.