From blogging about new digital technologies in 2009 to writing an entire book on TikTok and the new age of social media, there isn’t much Amélie Ebongué can’t tell you about social media culture. Find out below about how Gen Z interact with socials, current trends and Amélie’s creative future plans.
Tell us a little bit about how you got into working in social media?
I started writing on the Internet in September 2009 through a Skyblog. I wrote about new technologies and digital early on. I’m fascinated by innovation and as my professional experiences have progressed, I have refined my expertise on the subject. Deeply passionate about technology, I have a sensitivity to social media usage and how brands innovate on platforms.
I started my career in a Parisian fashion office supporting brands on their identity as well as strategic issues. Strategic planning was on the rise and I was fond of understanding how this profession came to life in an advertising agency. I joined Young & Rubicam to develop the positioning of different brands. Following this professional experience, I wanted to explore my second passion for social media within the UZIK agency.
I was able to develop content strategies for a range of brands in spanning beauty, fashion, food, sport and hotels, working for a while with AccorHotels group, and ibis brands. Afterwards, I wanted to see how my profession lived on the media side. I then accompanied the launch of two media on the French market: Forbes and HYPEBEAST.
As my profession is constantly evolving, I wanted to explore it from all angles and independence was an excellent experience to understand this change that accelerated in the middle of the pandemic.
What do you think is most interesting about the way that Gen Z interacts with social media?
Gen Z were born into social media, and it shapes their identities. Social media is a space of infinite expression in the search of growth and personal development.
How influential will GenZ be in influencing the future of social media?
Social media is an extremely time-consuming hobby and it’s not just about GenZ. It’s hard to separate from social media when you’re born with new technologies, and that’s especially true on platforms like TikTok. Indeed, it’s a space that is useful in every area of daily life. News, society, politics, education and even job searches. Few of their activities escape social media! Social media are an integral part of the lives of young people, they even work on them in a collaborative way as part of a school project for example.
Tell us a little bit about your book! What are the key themes explored?
It’s a book for all people who want to learn how TikTok works, and who want to integrate the platform into their content strategy on social media. In this book, I talk about the history of the app, its marketing influence, its impact on the music industry and the features that make TikTok unique today!
What are your creative hopes for the future?
An acceleration of the practices observed during the crisis with a desire to have more transparency. The pandemic has allowed multiple content creators to speak out on topics they have never discussed before. Even more, they can now enjoy their financial income from the creation they have distributed on social media. They retain the will to be the bearer of a message that has more meaning.
As for brands, they will continue to invest more in creation budgets and promote co-creation to be as close as possible to content creators who matter and who are closer to their identity. The winning brands will be those who have understood that the creation of content is a real lever of acquisition and in-fine sales by placing it at the heart of their business strategy.
How do you think employers can better support Gen Z?
In order for companies to attract Gen Z, it’s necessary to understand their habits and behaviours. Honesty and transparency are fundamental values for them. They are educated, realistic and pragmatic.They are also a generation that has an extraordinary openness to the world. Companies have every interest in speaking the same language in order to offer them a place in their organisations. This new youth are in search of more professional freedom.
What would you consider your career highlight so far?
In my 10 years of experience on social media, I have witnessed the birth (Discord, Snapchat and TikTok for example) and the end of some of them (Myspace, Vine and Google+). Vine was launched in 2013 and was a huge success with over 200 million monthly active users. Vine has been eclipsed by other social networks like Instagram that have quickly followed the same innovations. In 2021, writing the first book on TikTok is a testament to a time when we are living to the fullest in the age of social media platforms.
You can follow Amélie Ebongué on Instagram here