Wet Seal Hired a 16-Year-Old—Not for Store Sales, But for Social Media


When it comes to social media expertise, some brands are going straight to the source. 

That’s what teen retailer Wet Seal did ahead of Christmas when it recruited 16-year-old vlogger Meghan Hughes to run its Snapchat account for two days. 

“We wanted to be thoughtful about how we could exponentially increase our reach, so we partnered with an influencer in the teen space,” Leslie Hall, president at Wet Seal’s digital agency ICED Media, told Ad Age.

Hughes, who goes by the username MissMeghanMakeup, has 200,000 YouTube subscribers, 49,000 Twitter followers and 101,000 Instagram followers thanks to her fashion and makeup tips. 

Hughes handled the Wet Seal account the weekend before Christmas, inventing a Snapchat “story” comprised of multiple snaps that were broadcast to Wet Seal’s and Hughes’ own audience. The snap story was visible and replayable for 24 hours.[more]

Her Snapchat story drew 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views of the story, significant for Wet Seal, which had just 2,000 followers when Hughes took over. Hughes added 15 snaps to the story (which each expired after 24 hours) during her two days at the helm, including scenes of making Christmas cookies, playing with her dog, a light show and outfits from Wet Seal.

“I don’t really see my audiences unless I have a meetup or see people outside at the mall or something,” Hughes told Ad Age. “But being able to open the Snapchats and see [fans] get so excited was so, so cool.” 

Other brands experimenting with Snapchat include 16 Handles, Taco Bell, Acura and the New Orleans Saints.