What it’s like to be a social media influencer: Nydia Piao ‘18

Whether working as a client solutions manager for TikTok or building her own lifestyle brand on Instagram, SUNY New Paltz alumna Nydia Piao ‘18 (Psychology) is building a career as a social media marketing maven – a career that started while she was an intern here on campus.

Before amassing thousands of followers on her @parkedonbliss account, which focuses on fashion and wellness in New York, Piao found a training ground at New Paltz. She learned that being an influencer is not as easy as it looks, and that having work experience in curating social media brands for companies and organizations is good practice in forming your own.  

“Working for another company or organization in crafting social media posts is key to anyone who wants to create their own brand online,” she said. “New Paltz gave me a lot of creative freedom to work around my class schedule and understand what it takes to make great content.”  

In the classroom, Piao complemented her Psychology major with a minor in Film & Video Studies, another asset in her efforts to build her brand. 

“I’ve always been a creative person, so it seemed like a natural transition to pursue doing photo and video content for social media as a career,” she said. 

She launched that career in New York, forming relationships with a variety of companies she admired and promoting their products on her accounts. The proximity she had to the home bases of these companies helped her form critical partnerships early on.  

Recently, she secured a partnership with Skin Fix Inc., her favorite skincare brand, resulting in an opportunity to model for one of their products and help shape the campaign aesthetic.

Piao’s skills running her own accounts led her to a role at TikTok, which was among the fastest growing social media platforms in the world when she was hired in 2022. As a client solutions manager, she supports mobile gaming apps meet their objectives in advertising on the platform. She also gained marketing experiences through opportunities at advertising agencies EssenceMedia and VaynerMedia. 

“I think staying organized is crucial in maintaining a social media brand. Having a full-time job at TikTok allows me to not only stay on top of trends, but it gives me a sense of structure,” she said.  “You need to work with other brands to build your own and do your due diligence to make sure these brands are a fit for what you want to promote.”

Click here to learn more about the Film & Video Studies minor at New Paltz