Behind the Scenes

Northeastern Student gives us a sneak peek at micro-influencing

Maria Jose Salazar is a college student turned sensational micro-influencer. She was born in Argentina and was raised her whole life on the island of Puerto Rico.

She came to Boston to study business and communication with a concentration in marketing at Northeastern University, she is a dedicated student but began making content on the side — something she did for fun. She did not expect her videos to “blow up.”

Now, content creation has become part of Salazar’s day-to-day routine. Her platform quickly began reaching many, especially viewers from her hometown in Puerto Rico. Maria created a character where that embodies a stereotypical Puerto Rican; this is how she got to grow her platform — she is making relatable content and, most importantly, giving people a reason to get in a good laugh.

Storybench had the opportunity to speak with Salazar about what really goes on in the life of a micro-influencer and share some facts many might not know about.

Q: So tell me, how did your journey begin?

A: My journey began on TikTok, where I started purely for fun, without the intention of gaining a big following and possibly making a career out of it. My first video blew up unexpectedly.

Q: Do you remember when you first went viral?

A: The first viral video I posted was in August of 2022 and since then, I’ve continuously made content and increased my follower count. 

@mariajosesalazargz

Todo bien🐣

♬ original sound – mari💛

Q: Which app do you believe is best for content creation?

A: I believe that TikTok is the best app for content creation because it gives you the liberty to create content of different durations that is catered to a specific audience and niche.

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Q: How long does it take you to make content?

A: Personally, it depends on the type of video. Sometimes I just record myself and make up a skit, which typically takes me around 30 minutes per video. However, if the video is more elaborate, then it can take me anywhere from one to three hours to prepare everything and film until I get it right and it looks the way I had envisioned.

“I believe that TikTok is the best app for content creation…”

Maria JOSE sALAZAR

Q: How is it being a Latina influencer? Are there any difficulties?

A: I have not encountered any difficulties being a Latina influencer besides comments asking me to create content in English. However, I have a big following of mostly Latinos, which has its own audience on TikTok, so I haven’t encountered many difficulties.

Q: Have you had any partnerships?

A: Yes, my first partnership was with Tequila Patron. After the video I created for them went viral, I began getting more partnerships, including PideUva (basically the UberEats of Puerto Rico), Cerveza Medalla, Gustavo Arango New York, Revolve, and some other small businesses.  

@mariajosesalazargz

Gustavo Arango salvando vidas🤩

♬ original sound – mari💛

Q: Why do you think you’ve been so successful?

A: I think that the key to my success on TikTok has been mainly due to creating content that I know will please my audience. Each time making it more creative and always tying it all together. Sometimes, I have to make videos that I don’t particularly like; however, I know that it’s what my audience wants to see. My TikTok embodies a persona, so I’m usually in character. However, I also think it’s important to make videos of yourself so you can show your followers who you are, and they can get a sense of what you’re like. This creates a relationship with your followers, making them feel connected to your content and page.

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Q: Is there a specific strategy you go about when posting your content?

A: I don’t follow a specific strategy when posting because I post pretty sporadically. However, having a creator profile allows you to see your engagement and at what times and dates it’s better to post. I usually follow the insights to see what days and times I’ll reach a wider audience.

“I think that the key to my success on TikTok has been mainly due to creating content that I know will please my audience. Each time making it more creative and always tying it all together.”


Maria Jose Salazar

Q: Do you feel your content is relatable?

A: I feel like my content is relatable because I imitate a group of people from Puerto Rico that fit a stereotype, so many people find the content relatable and funny.

Q: Do you see this as something that will be long-term for you?

A: I do believe this is something I will do long term because it’s fun for me and, thankfully, has also become a job. 

Q: Have you done something in particular to grow your following?

A: Personally, my following grew after posting several consecutive videos that went viral. However, I reached a point where I hit a plateau, so I tried to post weekly and focus on creating two to three creative videos that I felt could go viral and hopefully boost my following.

Q: Is there an influencer/content creator you look up to?

A: There are a lot of influencers that I look up to. However, they all belong to different niches.

Some of her favorite content creators.

Q: And lastly, what would be your dream partnership?

A: In the future, my dream partnership would be with an auto dealership.

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