Eunice Victoria is an Integrated Marketing Communication Consultant and Founder of Skills to Grow Africa.

Influencer marketing has become one of the most powerful tools for driving sales in 2023. In fact, According to The Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2023, influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth USD21.1 Billion in 2023.

With this trend, more people and organisations are getting serious about content creation with some coming up with desperate challenges to get followers and engagement. In September, a 14-year-old teen died after eating a notorious spicy chip in a viral challenge on social media.

You see Just like food; you should not consume everything that you see on social media. Every viral challenge is not something that you must try. Here is how to watch what you watch.

First, social media will share with you content that you watch and search often. Avoid doctor Google or getting advice online. Reach out to spiritual leaders, physicians, counsellors and those who love you when you need any advice concerning your mental, physical, and emotional health. Ensure that you vet any person who is sharing information with you, especially about your health.

Secondly, consume content just the way you would consume food. Not all food is good for you and it is upon you to choose what you eat based on your taste, culture, beliefs, and even upbringing. 

I do not eat pork and I will avoid even a place where it is cooked. I use the same principle to choose who I follow online, I avoid overly dramatic people, people who deceive others, and those who do not share the same values as I do. This will help me not to consume their content.

Third, be a master at fact-checking. I take a cab often and because of that, I understand the fare I should pay to places that I go to often. I also know the time I am likely to pay less. I apply the same principle when shopping for groceries, electronics, and furniture.

In the same way, you need to know which viral challenges to get yourself into. Never allow yourself to be naïve. Never follow people online just because they have many followers understand the type of content and what it is supposed to influence you to do.

Finally, produce your own content. When you want to see change you have to be the change. Put out content that you would want to see out there. Think about the person who will be influenced by your content.

Check out organisations that offer content development and learn how to create content that will add value to people who consume it. An example is the Everyone Influencers Incubation programme which trains individuals to become responsible influencers.

-- The author is the Managing Director of Skills to Grow Africa  

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