With social media platforms no longer restricted to just socialising, even universities have started to recognize their growth potential in the near future. Duke University in the US is offering TikTok classes as part of its ‘Building Global Audiences’ course.
With the introduction of the course, Duke is aiming to teach undergraduate students the skill to optimise their social media presence and build successful brands around it. The course helps students amass significant followers on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok and familiarises them with the potential of these digital spaces.
According to the Duke University website, the course is a “collaborative, experiential workshop” which expands students’ knowledge on social media marketing. In the course students are tasked to work in two tracks namely individual creators and teams. They then brainstorm and develop social media strategies, create goals, and even design editorial calendars to maintain the social media pages.
In addition, participants also study other successful content creators and take notes to apply the strategy to their pages. With this, the students engage with each other and update their classmates on progress and metrics while also providing valuable feedback and ideas to improve.
The Building Global Audiences course is taught by Duke University Innovation and Entrepreneurship instructor Aaron Dinin. According to Dinin, he was a senior at the university when Facebook came into existence. He highlighted that initially the platform seemed useless to him but now admits that he “may have been wrong.”
Students at the university are making the best out of the course and utilising it to get a better hold on social media. For 23-year-old Ben Chipman, who is a sociology major, the course helps him with his “self-designed marketing and brand development curriculum”. Other students are either working on their YouTube channel or blog page while utilising the knowledge gained through the course there.
Underlining the capability of social media, Professor Dinin said that the students realise the massive reach they can get through these platforms just by sitting in their dorm rooms. He insisted that the classes are not just to make someone TikTok famous but to create a space where students can “think about leveraging social media to help improve the world.”