Why you should be following Shaquille O’Neal on Depop

Social media influencers are a unique bunch- on paper you expect them to be young, with dip-dyed hair and a dedicated peer following of Gen Z consumers (think Kylie Jenner). But then DJ Khaled happened, while every retailer, merchant, buyer and consumer was trying to get to grips with Snapchat, and find out who the latest young, cool, key influencer on the platform was, DJ Khaled, the 40-year-old DJ and producer became an overnight social media sensation.

Khaled had previously been hustling away for years on the music scene and more recently making cameos in Drake videos, but thanks to his early adoption of the playful social channel Snapchat and his love of emojis- the key symbol being his calling card- DJ Khaled became a social phenomenon, profiles in the NY Times followed and the cover of AD Week, plus commercial related partnership deals.

But last week during a brilliant panel I overheard at the Fash Tech London Summit by the VP of Growth and Marketing of Depop, it became clear to me that DJ Khaled is not the only older man making his mark on social media networks and e-commerce.

Shaquille O’Neal, of Basketball Hall of Fame (class of 2016), is a rising star on Depop. Depop, if you don’t know, burst on to the e-commerce scene in 2011 and has risen to become one of the coolest shopping apps (it’s part shopping app and part social network for buying and selling), with global expansion plans. And while it’s the power of fashion bloggers, and influencers that drive sales and build communities on Depop, one of the biggest rising stars on the platform is the unexpected 90s sports hero Shaq, with his account selling sporting memorabilia.

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With over 132k + followers on Depop, Shaq’s selling strategy is much like Dj Khaled’s appeal, it all lies in their approachable tactic. No hi-res polished imagery here, instead Shaq uses on-the-fly, slightly blurry real time imagery, tapping into the moving consumer appetite from polished Instagram style imagery, to accessible real life (flaws and all approach) images. He also pushes Depop items from his personal Twitter account where he has 11.9m followers.

“With Shaquille O’Neal’s Depop account, he sells all his memorabilia with a selfie, on his personalised @BuyitfromShaq account…At Depop the way that you grow a following is all about making great content and using great hashtags to sell products,” says Nick Lisher, VP Growth and Marketing, Depop.

So the next time you are on Depop, getting rid of last season’s sneakers from your closet, go check out Shaq.

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