There are few arenas bigger and brighter than the one many of us have on our phones.
“I have learned how much power social media has, where everything that’s posted is a representation of who I am as a person,” says Lauren Kubiske, (BA Marketing ‘19) an Eli Broad College of Business student who, beyond being a full-time student and a student-athlete on the MSU Cheerleading Team, is recognized as a social media influencer. Her Instagram account, @lokub is standing at more than 122,000 followers.
Through social media, she says she has increased brand awareness for various business partners like Cholula Hot Sauce, Flat Tummy Tea, Uscape Apparel, and FabFitFun through paid social media content, according to her LinkedIn page. She can generate between $200 and $500 per posting session.
Kubiske’s Instagram account originally took off in 2013 after she was featured in the YouTube series “Cheerleaders” by AwesomenessTV. The series followed the lives of world champion, competitive cheerleading team members of the California Allstars. It captured members’ practices, competitions, and personal lives.
“It’s not every day where 15, 16-year-olds are told to sit in front of bright lights and cameras to be interviewed for thousands of people to view,” said Kubiske. While being in front of the camera was nerve-wracking at times, this experience came with its share of lessons.
“It taught me how to be articulate, be fearless in an interview setting, and how to be careful with my words to avoid any misunderstandings. Reality shows like to twist your words and I had to make sure I was clear in my responses,” said Kubiske.
While Kubiske is no longer a part of the series, her Instagram account only continues to grow. Her continual growth stems from her efforts to keep her content interesting, as well as staying relevant in the cheerleading community by posting MSU Cheerleading content.
To remain engaged with her followers, Kubiske partakes in Instagram Live streams and publishes YouTube videos on her channel, which contain more interpersonal and lengthier content.
Being a Broad College student has helped Kubiske in maintaining her strong following on social media as well.
“I look at my followers as consumers who are buying into my social media sites by following them and being involved with them,” said Kubiske. “My marketing classes about consumer behavior help me to know my audience, while my management strategy classes help me to identify my target audience and understand how to differentiate my social media brand from others.”
Kubiske’s YouTube channel, while rather new, is rapidly taking off much like her Instagram account. She credits this to using strategic moves to build her YouTube channel off of her already well-established Instagram account.
“First, I did many live stories on Instagram and posts that opened up my followers to the idea of a YouTube channel. I asked what type of content they would want to see in these videos. My first video was cheerleading-related, which brought in my initial followers over from my Instagram page. From there, I made videos that showcased my personality more in order to grow a following that wasn’t cheerleading-focused,” said Kubiske.
Cheerleading is what shed initial light on Kubiske, and continues to do so as she partakes in the sport at MSU, deeming it the, “highlight of her college experience.”
“Not only are we seen as cheerleaders, but we are also seen as ambassadors to Michigan State University. We represent our university at various different events, and are face-to-face with the fans, community, and alumni,” said Kubiske. The sport has taught her time management, as well as how to be a good teammate and leader.
Post-graduation, Kubiske plans to move back to her home state of California where she will work for a year before pursuing law school. With this degree, she hopes to work in the field of sports or music by working in agencies or labels.