by Win Kim, Ambassador Camp alumnus
Chances are you spend at least a part of your day scrolling through social media. Especially throughout this pandemic, social media has proven to be a powerhouse to connect with people you may not have the chance to otherwise. Since the 5th grade, I’ve had Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter accounts; I have used these apps literally almost every day since; however, as I grew up in the fast-paced world of social media and in a world where my generation has not existed without the Internet, I soon began to realize social media could create an opportunity for me — if I could figure out how.
Follow this logic: If you desire to work, whether it be at a law office, a school, or literally anywhere else, don’t you have to keep up with what has changed, is changing, and will change in the future? That’s what keeps social media relevant: What is continuously changing every single day? Who posted what and what was their intention? What hashtag is trending right now? What’s the ‘meme of the month’? These kind of questions and details about social media may be overlooked by many. Ok, but seriously, you may think, does the trending hashtag on Twitter on a random Wednesday night truly matter that much? The answer is an absolute yes. However, change is even more integral when it comes to social media — because a change in social media, whether it be a new hashtag or post, a single caption, or even a typo has the potential to make or break your brand, product, company, or whatever you are trying to market to a certain niche. Social media is constantly re-inventing itself. Social media is a newer commodity with endless niches to navigate and market to. And at just 19 years old, social media has given me endless opportunities and is now my full-time job. If I can do it, so can you! Here are the basics:
- Niches: Social media, from an analyst’s perspective, is filled with niches. An imperative here is the word ‘niche.’ Let’s say you have a sports-drink. If you desire to market a certain commodity, service, or brand to a specific audience, such as this new sports-drink, you have to target the group(s) of people who will be drawn to what you may think is the most important sports-drink of your life. Who would that be? Athletes. Whether it be high school athletes, college athletes, or Lebron James, hop on or create a hashtag or curate your captions and branding in a way that athletes or gym junkies will know that your sports-drink will be the life-changing drink that they can’t live without.
- This leads us into branding. (Branding is very similar, and it can be quite complex, so please understand this is a very brief note on branding). Branding, at its core, is all about making your target niche feel or sense something in a way where you — the marketer or social media liaison — wants the audience to feel something in order to receive your niches’ engagement, whether that’s to purchase your sports-drink or to give you an extra view on your TikTok video. (If you desire to look more into branding and are curious, a must-read is Obsessed: Building a Brand People Love from Day One by founder and CEO of Red Antler Emily Heyward. Seriously life-changing).
- Let’s introduce, to this very brief “how-to” article, the final piece of advice: Always know what’s trending and what’s the hottest thing out right now, not only on social media, but among your niche, as well. If you want to optimize your success in social media and want to expand your digital horizon — and specifically to those who are interested in marketing, branding, and social media — understanding pop culture and identifying trends will be critical to growing your brand. Don’t just know pop culture; invest real time in your day-say 30-minutes, and write down specific trends you notice from a social media platform or a comments section or anything that is relevant to digital-users. Identify songs, celebrities, iconic moments, certain color schemes, style of captions, etc. (Advice: Trying to gauge and calculate trends on social media can be difficult, so what I do is open up a spreadsheet and organize that way; try not to get too focused on the numerics, because with social media, whatever is hot and trending will be hot and trending, even if numbers or statistics are off).
Social media is endless, because you can shape your own world and reality — so take advantage of it, break barriers, and always keep in mind your niche.
Win Kim, 19, a former I Want to be an Ambassador! camper ran countless social media accounts throughout high school for school clubs, and helped found a communications and social media strategy for Pittsburgh-based Global Minds Initiative, which has now expanded into more than 25 chapters internationally since Kim’s social media efforts began in 2016. Kim has also been featured in local and national news for his work as an activist mobilizing mass-demonstrations throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania, specifically in the fields of racial and environmental justice. He is currently doing freelance brand management/consultation and graphic design work in both Pittsburgh and San Francisco, all thanks to the endless opportunities found from social media. If you’d like more information feel free to contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org.