Temple University has launched the Student Social Media Ambassador Program, aiming to create a diverse cohort of influencers to produce authentic content about university life, culture, and events. | FERNANDO GAXIOLA / THE TEMPLE NEWS
Ever since Olivia Kincade was in the second grade, she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and get her degree at Temple.
“I’ve been going to campus since campus looked totally different, and there was something special about it,” Kincade said. “I always knew that this is going to be the place for me.”
Now a junior advertising major, Kincade creates social media content for the university through its new social media ambassador program.
Kincade is working alongside seven other students — Omobolaji Falade, Asher Chelder, Rocio Guzman, Quincy Noel, Shimei Brown, Mason Lefever and Angeni Peters — in Temple’s first cohort of social media ambassadors formed this semester by Temple’s Strategic Marketing and Communications team.
The influencers pitch and create content suited to their own personal strengths, from Kincade’s interest in sustainability to freshman political science major Falade’s passion for choir.
The program’s creation comes as universities across the country introduce programs focusing on social media, like Temple’s minor in content creation and Cornell University’s social media marketing certificate program.
“The goal of the program is for student social media ambassadors to showcase their authentic personal experiences and perspectives at Temple and in the city of Philadelphia through video content creation,” wrote Amanda Ferrill, associate director of social media and supervisor of the influencer program, in an email to The Temple News.
The students work with the Strategic Marketing and Communications social media team to develop the content they release. The ambassadors are paid an hourly rate for the content they create and are provided with networking opportunities, including panel events with social media professionals, Ferrill wrote.
Kincade decided to apply for the position because she’s always had an interest in social media and, since 2020, has had an active presence on TikTok and YouTube, where she created cosplay and vlogging content. She has amassed nearly 30,000 subscribers on YouTube, with some videos reaching as many as a million views, and more than 50,000 followers on TikTok.
“Social media is the new frontier, and the only way that people are going to be exposed to what Temple is really like is through social media, whether it be prospective students who are just applying, or if it’s, you know, a graduate student who wants to get more involved on campus,” Kincade said.
Falade has also been making content for years, whether it be home videos with her friends or the coverage of campus events she now creates as a part of her position.
“Since I was really young, like maybe elementary school, I always really enjoyed making little videos and like skits with my friends and stuff,” Falade said. “So that’s just been a passion of mine that I’ve pursued for a while, and I already knew going into college, I knew that social media and content was going to be something I was going to pursue on my own, so I figured why not do it for the university.”
Learning to apply her interest in social media as a freshman has helped Falade further explore campus and gain experience she might not have gotten if her job didn’t require it.
“I feel like it’s a really good way for me to experience the university,” Falade said. “Even though I would say I’m an outgoing person, I don’t necessarily like to leave my room so much, but this opportunity kind of forces me to go see everything the university has to offer.”
Other departments and schools have their own social media teams, but this is the first student-only team part of the university-wide Strategic Marketing and Communications Department.
Shimei Brown, a senior exercise and sports science major, also started the influencer position this fall after making content for Temple’s transfer department last year. Brown has always been active on social media and before this position, she would create comedy content on TikTok.
When Brown transferred to Temple in her junior year, she relied on content creators to get more information on the school. Now, she hopes to be able to make that content herself, helping others with similar experiences.
“Being able to record just the regular experiences and what you do, it can give someone who’s never been here or someone who plans to go here a way to get an in-depth, real-life depiction of what it is,” Brown said.
In future years, Ferrill hopes to expand the program to include more student influencers.
“With the content our student ambassadors are producing, my hope is that prospective students interested in Temple University resonate with it and see that they can have a welcoming home here at Temple,” Ferrill wrote.
Editor’s Note: Rocio Guzman is an Audience Engagement Editor at The Temple News. She played no role in the writing, reporting or editing of this story.