The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

‘Study girl’ grows Tiktok following

Savannah Smith’s ongoing advice, resemblance to Rory Gilmore increase her social media presence
Kaya Miller
Phone in hand, senior Savannah Smith shows her Tiktok profile. Smith currenty has 116K followers, and 14.9 million likes. Her profile is @savannahlsmith.

“I recognize you from TikTok.”

“I love your videos.”

“You’re the Rory Gilmore twin.”

For senior Savannah Smith, these first impressions from strangers are no longer rare.

“I really started posting more on Tiktok during quarantine when everyone was at home,” Smith said. “And so I saw all of those aesthetic videos of day in their lives, and vlogs. So I wanted to post like those, and then I kind of just posted whatever I wanted after that.”

Smith started posting on her @savannahlsmith TikTok in December of 2018 and currently has acquired 116K followers. She has expanded into sponsorships, as well.

“It wasn’t viral to today’s standards,” Smith said. “But my first video that hit over 10,000 views was just me doing one of the trends at the time, and people liked my outfit in the video, so I think that was why it did well.”

Although Savannah has such a large following, she doesn’t boast about it or use it as a token of superiority. Once you get to know her, you wouldn’t even know that she’s such a celebrity in the digital space. She’s very humble about what she does.”

— Rayaan Hameed, senior

Since then, some of her videos have surpassed three million views. She does not follow a regular posting schedule. She tries to post as much as she can in her free time.

“I think for someone to go viral in any sense, you have to actively want it for the most part because you have to be really consistent about it – especially when you’re first getting started,” Smith said. “So for me, I would post recipe videos, and I would post vlogs and all these kinds of aesthetic videos in the beginning. Then once I found things that started to go viral, I would post more stuff like that, because I wanted to build that platform.”

She began posting “preppy” and “aesthetic” content, and then Harry Potter-themed videos.

“That was when I actually got more traction because even though my content was Harry Potter, people would always comment things like, ‘You look like Rory Gilmore,'” Smith said. “And then I remember I did these kinds of videos, where it was studying in the Harry Potter common rooms, like Griffindor. People really liked those. And so after that point, I adapted to study content more because people like them.”

Lately, Smith has posted more life vlog content rather than study vlogs due to the lightened load of senior year. She wants to continue her study content in college.

“I remember the first time like, I remember James Kim texting me – ‘This girl recognized you from my story,’ ” Smith said. “It was a little off-putting at first for sure. While being cool, it was still like, ‘Oh, these people actually know I exist.’ And so that was a little frightening. Especially when I went to visit UT, I got recognized like eight times. It was weird because I’d never been recognized in person before. But like, it’s really cool to meet people that know who you are, even though you don’t know who they are.”

Smith has connected with other TikTokers, and people who hold similar interests as her.

“Oh my gosh, I remember when I first hit 10k,” Smith said. “It was in the spring of sophomore year, and it was super big for me. I remember I went and I bought a cake. And I put 10k on top of it because I was so proud of myself.”

For a while after Smith plateaued at 30k followers.

“Then before the school year started, for some reason, I had a bunch of videos blow up all at once,” Smith said. “Then I started getting brand deals with companies like Big Future and College Board. That was a symbol to myself that not necessarily that I made it, but that what I was doing was worthwhile. So that was definitely something I was very happy about.”

She hit the 100k milestone before her senior year began.

“It’s a weird industry to be in because there’s no one telling you how to do it,” Smith said. “I remember the first time I had a negotiated contract, I was scared. I was like, ‘How much do I ask these people for?’ because there’s no one, there’s no guide on the internet and there’s no definitive metric to base your own traction on versus someone else.”

Senior Rayaan Hameed has helped Smith with key metrics and contracts, and he refers to himself as her “Social Media Manager.”

“Savannah is very forward-minded,” Hameed said. “She is very mindful of the companies she works with since they do represent her image, and it’s very important to uphold that in a society that in a digital world that can be very easily corrupted.”

She likes to choose companies that are utilities she would use herself and are related to her study and fashion content.

“You don’t realize how much people will hate you for no reason,” Smith said. “That was something I had to deal with because I used to take everything very personally. Adjusting to that and not taking the mean comments to heart was certainly a big hurdle.”

Aside from learning the ways of traction and social media management, Smith has encountered the hurdle of negative feedback.

“I mean, it’s definitely more fun than a job, I would say,” Smith said. “You can never count on it as a dependable stream of income, for sure. But, I’ve enjoyed expanding on my fun hobby and exploring the unique ecosystem of Tiktok.”

Smith plans to pursue an engineering career field at UT Austin, and she will continue providing her fans with content on the side, however, the ongoing debate of the TikTok ban does alter social media plans for Smith.

When moving to Texas, I was already aware of Savannah through her study vlogs. I saw them every now and then, finding them really relatable and inspirational to watch.”

— Jaxon Tan, senior

“In the case of a full ban, that would certainly be unfortunate for me as a creator,” Smith said. “The financial aspect isn’t as concerning for me personally, since I rarely do paid collaborations anyway.”

The possible TikTok ban could shift Smith’s passion to other platforms.

“The only real impact would be the loss of my platform, which of course would be really sad since I spent such a long time building an audience of amazing people who’ve supported me throughout the years,” Smith said. “I think the loss of that creative outlet would certainly be disheartening, but there are always other platforms that I could branch out to.”



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About the Contributor
Kaya Miller
Kaya Miller, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Kaya Miller, originally from Los Angeles, California, moved to Prosper, Texas in 2017. She attends Prosper High School as a senior. This is her third year on staff, and she is co-editor-in-chief of Eagle Nation Online and editor-in-chief of the print newspaper Eagle Nation Times. Miller is on the Prosper debate team as historian. She is also president of the Spanish Honor Society. Miller is also on the Dallas Rowing Club Juniors team. In her free time, she enjoys baking and playing guitar.
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