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Cotton influencer campaign

Making connections with cotton

Competition gives students a feel for the fabric of social media influencer campaigns

Contact: ​Jeff Johnston


An industry grant is bringing Central Michigan University students new lessons in the ways of social media influencers. 

And they're putting those lessons to work in a competition to create their own promotions on Instagram, with $2,700 in prize money at stake.

Winners of the Ultimate Cotton Influencer Challenge will be presented April 6 at the Threads fashion show.

Human environmental studies faculty members Joy Lee and Ian R. Mull received a $33,000 grant from Cotton Inc. to support the competition and online learning modules. Students will learn how to create effective images and videos for Instagram and increase followers' engagement. 

The challenge is open to all current CMU students and provides an opportunity to create social media content for a worldwide trade organization, Cotton Inc. This platform gives CMU students — especially in fashion, business, marketing, advertising or art — a chance to demonstrate their skills and social media savvy. 

The competition deadline is March 31. Rules and learning modules are on the competition website.

Mull, Lee, graduate student Lauren Agnew, and undergraduate students Nick Sullivan and Natalie Zainea began devising the challenge in January. 

"The objective of the challenge is for the students to incorporate the learning modules by creating impactful and compelling posts that can be uploaded to Instagram to promote cotton," Mull explained. "Students will submit their images, hashtags, emojis and written content to be entered in the competition."

The challenge kicked off March 14 with a campus visit from Kia Marie, the New York-based beauty and fashion influencer known as The Notorious KIA, on Twitter as @theNotoriousKia.


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