The Free Social Circle Academy Provides In-Depth Education for Influencers, Helping to Make the Industry More Trustworthy and Transparent
Influencer marketing platform Social Circle launches the Social Circle Academy, the UK’s first free-to-access online educational platform that teaches essential skills to help aspiring influencers work with brands. The academy aims to provide reassurance to brands that the influencers they work with are educated about best practice and regulation, and can be trusted with brand campaigns.
The Social Circle Academy offers free courses, with unique, up-to-the-minute, essential training and insight from successful career influencers to support current and emerging talent to help professionalise the industry.
There are multiple structured courses to help influencers meet industry standards, ranging from how to be compliant with ASA regulations to how to work effectively with brands, with teaching materials updated and refined with the latest research and new information regularly.
On completion, students can download a certificate signifying the achievement, which will be highlighted on influencers’ profiles on the Social Circle platform, providing reassurance to any brand thinking of working with that influencer.
The World Federation of Advertisers recently questioned multinational brands with responsibility for a combined $59 billion in global media and marketing spend and found that 65% of the respondents have plans to increase their influencer investment, with “credibility, reputation and quality of followers” the key priorities when deciding who to work with. Yet until now there has been no formalised training providing knowledge and skills to professionalise the industry, which is now seen as something of a ‘wild west’ by brands.
Craig Jones, the Director of Communications at the ASA said: “Transparency and truthfulness sit at the heart of good advertising; in turn promoting trust which is good for consumers and good for business. The UK ad rules apply equally to ads in social media and, by extension, where a social influencer is acting on behalf of a company or brand. One of the key rules is that ads should be made clear and consumers shouldn’t have to play the detective to work out when they are being advertised to. We welcome Social Circle’s drive to raise the professional standards of influencer marketing, as it recognises that compliance with the ad rules (the CAP Code) is an essential element of this.”
With recent research showing that the vast majority of young people (75%) would like to become YouTubers over any other profession, it is clear that the need for more education within the industry is vital.
Matt Donegan, the CEO of Social Circle said: “We’re delighted to launch the Social Circle Academy and continue to support both influencers and brands in this lucrative market. Being a career influencer is still a relatively new concept, and there are swathes of incredibly creative, talented people that are building credible businesses out of their online presence. But they are the pioneers, and are in need of education to continue their successes.
“As the medium of influencer marketing grows even bigger, the Social Circle Academy offers brands comfort that influencers who have taken the course are professional, knowledgeable and can be trusted. Our investment in creator welfare and relations aims to help to improve standards and increase overall trust in the industry, making it a more professional and trustworthy industry overall.”
Craig Jones, the Director of Communications, at the ASA continued: “CAP has recently launched an online training module specifically explaining how to keep social media advertising on the right side of the UK advertising rules and we are pleased to offer a 20% discount to Social Circle Academy members.”
Poppy Lepora, Consumer Marketing Manager at UNiDAYS, has welcomed the academy, adding: “In such a new industry, with so few guidelines, there’s a huge need for influencer training. Anyone can start as an influencer without any formal training, without any qualifications, and without really knowing how to interact with brands. If you’re an influencer, and don’t have an agent, you’re heavily reliant on advice from your peers. Social Circle Academy introduces a level of professionalism, and helps influencers to understand their worth and request the right fees for a job.”