In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing and the use of social media, a new trend is taking college campuses by storm: the rise of college influencers.
Sacred Heart University happens to be among those with influencers on its campus, many of whom began their career posting just for their enjoyment, never thinking they could be recognized for it.
“I started posting with filler pictures to make my feed aesthetically pleasing during the second semester of my sophomore year. I was just posting for fun at first, and then brands started reaching out to me,” said senior Briella Novello. Novello’s platform mainly covers fashion, but also touches on beauty and lifestyles.
One of the main reasons behind the success of college brand ambassadors is their ability to influence and connect with their peers. Young consumers often trust the opinions and recommendations of their friends and acquaintances more than traditional advertising.
“One of the most rewarding feelings about being a fitness influencer is being able to inspire others to want to become the best version of themselves. My platform has enabled me to create my own online fitness coaching app called ‘The LivFit Guide,’” said senior Olivia Jordan.
Jordan is a fitness influencer and posts content on all aspects of wellness, including training videos, recipe ideas, and inspirational messages for her audience. She has over 300,000 followers on TikTok and 140,000 on Instagram.
These young and dynamic individuals, like Jordan and Novello, are not just students, they are the voices and faces of some of the biggest brands, forging a path that is changing how companies connect with the next generation of consumers. Some of the brands that they and other university influencers have worked with are Clinique, Edikted, Bearpaw, Dossier, Bloom Nutrition, Fanfix and more.
Being a college influencer offers students practical experience in marketing, event planning and networking. According to Novello, she’s been able to network with a multitude of individuals in the fashion industry thanks to her social media presence. This has led to her being invited to New York Fashion Week during the past two seasons.
The key word in student influencers is student. These young influencers are still in school, so it is important for them to learn skills on how to manage their time.
“Becoming an influencer has helped me further develop time management skills. I have a content calendar that I make at the beginning of each month with ideas for posts and any collaboration I have that month. This helps me stay organized and on top of it while also being a full-time student
who’s very active on campus,” said
There are many positives for campus influencers. However, they must also contend with some adverse aspects. At times, people on social media face many discouraging comments and hate on their content.
“As much as social media is a great source, it can also be very dangerous. I have received comments or direct messages that bring me down. People say hurtful things, and you may never know the reason why, but it is always important to stay positive and continue something if you believe in it and love it,” said sophomore Paige Rivera, influencer on Instagram and TikTok.
As a student influencer, it is important to engage with fellow students on campus. This engagement fosters a sense of community and brand loyalty among college students. “During recruitment, some girls told me they have recognized my sister and I from our TikTok platforms, which was funny because I still forget at times that I have a bigger following on TikTok,” said TikTok influencer and junior Michela Costigliola.
Keep an eye out for these influencers on campus, you never know who the next break-out star could be!