Written by Breanna Pianfetti
More than 9,000 future business leaders roam the halls of the Culverhouse College of Business every day and each one of them has a story. With the new “Takeover Thursday” campaign on the College’s social media channels, Culverhouse is providing a platform for students to share their stories with peers and prospective students about their lives at the Capstone.
The campaign launched on Culverhouse’s Instagram with Abby Asselin, a student double-majoring in finance and accounting. Asselin, a third-year student, recently created a “Day in My Life” vlog for Culverhouse’s YouTube channel where it attained over 13,000 views.
Asselin, who aspires to be an accountant, has grown to love what she does online. With a following of over 65,000 subscribers on her personal YouTube, Asselin does not see a future without posting about her life on the video streaming service.
“I’ve been watching YouTube since I was 15. I knew creating video content was something I wanted to do,” Asselin said. “I don’t think I could survive without doing YouTube, since it has had, and continues to have, an impact on my life in such a positive way.”
Recently, the campaign continued with Katie Horan, a friend and colleague of Asselin. Horan has also garnered a following on social media with over 157,000 subscribers on her YouTube and over 14,800 followers on her Instagram. Last week, she uploaded a “College Day in my Life” video on Culverhouse’s YouTube.
“I started my YouTube channel without telling anyone and had such a rush when I posted my first video,” Horan said. “I felt that I finally discovered a passion of mine. I love the process of filming, editing and uploading content for the world to see.”
Horan, a third-year student in the marketing program at Culverhouse, is currently studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. She represents the college as a Culverhouse Ambassador and is involved in the Culverhouse LIFT program as a class facilitator.
Although neither student expected their channels to grow as quickly as they have, both evolved into their roles of social media influencers. They each work closely with several companies, promoting positive relationships between their niche of followers and their favorite brands. Susan Fant, a marketing instructor at Culverhouse, defined social media influencers as someone who has achieved a certain amount of followers in an industry or demographic that a company wants to reach.
“Ideally, we can utilize influencer marketing to do something called native advertising,” Fant said. “That’s what influencer marketing is. [Asselin and Horan] are utilizing their own profiles, their own selves, to advertise something that’s basically set up as an ad.”
Even though the idea of influencer marketing is not a new concept in the marketing industry – the practice is a mainstay of modern advertising – the role and use of social media influencers has become more popular in recent years. With advances in technology allowing for easier and more effective communication, businesses are able to create a more genuine connection between themselves and consumers.
“The idea is that when we see someone we trust, like an actual person that has created this following for themselves and that is putting information out there, we as customers see and are more likely to accept that information,” Fant said. “I think [Takeover Thursday] is a great thing. The more viewpoints there are, the more realistic organizations become…. [Consumers] want something that is realistic, that is the truth, that is transparent, and we have the ability to show them that with social media.”
Culverhouse is opening the Takeover Thursday campaign to any student within Culverhouse College of Business. If you want to begin your journey as a social media influencer and share your story with current or prospective students, fill out this form for your chance to be selected!