Seneca’s YouTube Sensation is Proof that Personality Sells
Business Admin–Marketing grad Sylvia Ta (known on social media as “Sylvia Jade”) quit her job as a marketer last year because it was taking time away from her more lucrative profession as a YouTube star. With 193,000+ subscribers, who tune in for advice on fashion, lifestyle and beauty, the demand for new content is high. Sylvia produces all her own videos and also posts a steady stream of photos on Instagram, where 32,000 followers comment on her travel experiences, new outfits, hairstyles and the service she gets at restaurants – good and bad.
Sylvia began posting on YouTube when still in high school, talking about make-up products. Now, at 23, she is a social media brand ambassador for companies like Town Shoes, P&G, Unilever and Lancome, whose products she discusses, applies or models in her videos. To maintain a genuine conversation with her viewers, Sylvia is selective with her brand partnerships, choosing only those she loves. It’s a fine line, considering these companies are employing her to make them look good in the wild west of social media marketing.
“If I feel like a brand doesn’t want things said in a natural way, then I don’t work with them,” says Sylvia. “If it’s not in my own words, my viewers are going to see that.”
Sylvia is a savvy businessperson and knows that the world of social media is fickle. She half-jokingly laments that one day she’ll “be old and no one will care about her.” Her education has given her a strong foundation for life post-YouTube, unlike many social media personalities who forego school. Sylvia continues to grow as a performer and hopes her viewers will grow along with her.
“Being on YouTube isn’t about being an expert. It’s about having personality and being able to connect,” says Sylvia. “My value comes from knowing that I am changing and affecting someone’s life that I don’t even know. A lot of them consider me the sister they never had.”
Sylvia Jade has developed a niche following of young women, aged 19 to 25, who, like her, are building their identities and their lives in a time of drastic change in how we communicate and relate to each other.
“I have YouTube friends who have more subscribers than me,” says Sylvia. “But you have to remember that your content is different than everyone else’s, and so is your market.”
Sylvia Jade’s online presence
20M – Video views on YouTube
193K – YouTube subscribers
9,616 – Facebook page likes
8,361 – Twitter followers
Product associations: Town Shoes, CoverGirl, Pantene, Olay, Dove, Tresemme, Nexxus, Disney, Google, Microsoft, Lancome, Unilever