Do you follow anyone on YouTube or Instagram?

Do you follow anyone on any social media channels?

One of the newest trends in social marketing  is using”influencers” to promote new products. Influencers, as described by the CBC podcast included in this post, are people who have an ‘organic’ following on social media channels like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Linkedin. They are people, like you and me, who have gathered an audience of followers because of their ideas.

I guess you could say that it’s not unlike having a hero or a mentor or a model, but I think it is slightly different because they can be anyone and everyone and have complete strangers follow them.

I would like to preface this lesson by saying that the podcast is geared toward a more business English discussion on marketing and sales. But I think it can also feed a more general discussion about the place of social media in our lives as well as critical media literacy. It’s up to you to angle it the way it can work best for you.

Pre discussion

  • Do you have an “influencer”? In other words, someone you trust for wisdom and advice.
  • Do you follow any social media groups or people?

The Podcast

The podcast uses a lot of business vocabulary, so if you are using this post for a more general discussion, you could skip the listen portion an go right to the questions.  Otherwise listen to the podcast (11 min.) to flesh out some of the main ideas and key vocabulary.

  • What are some of the features of an influencer?
  • What are some of the dangers of using an influencer to endorse a product?
  • Why use an influencer instead of traditional advertising?
  • How do you know that a source or influencer is reliable?

What was better then, what is better now?

Do you ever find yourself thinking “things were better in the old days…simpler, less stressful.” Well Coca-Cola knows that you are thinking this and has made a funny ‘then and now’ video depicting the changes in our daily routines.

The video is short and has no dialogue, but I think it might be fun to have students describe the actions in the video. You could even ask them to do in the past and present tenses–for an added language challenge.

Pre discussion

  • Think of your daily routine (work, transportation, what you eat, how you relax), what did we do differently 40 years ago?
  • What was better in the past?
  • What is better now?

The Video: Coca-Cola Advertisement Grandpa-Living a Healthy Lifestyle


  • Tell Back all the actions in the advertisement.
  • What are the common elements?
  • What is the advertisement trying to tell us? And do you think they are right?

Let me know how it goes…