In reference to your brand, the whole idea of social media is to connect with taste makers, like minds and other influencers. Social media is a magical place where you can showcase your talents, products and business usually for FREE. Despite this, I’ve noticed for a few years now that the idea of social media has become a race to see who can get the most likes, followers and subscribers in the shortest amount of time…even if that means coughing up $10 or $20 to create the illusion that you’re popular. Looking at girls with over 1 million followers on Instagram, they literally wake up and decide seemingly out of nowhere to create a makeup line or even DJ with little to no background or foundation. To go even further, do you remember the boys that were involved in the “Damn Daniel” video earlier this year? “Daniel now has over 700k followers and growing on Instagram and is now being approached by a variety of companies due to the video’s viral status. In today’s culture, an extensive social media following can literally catapult you into your dream and almost any career avenue that you may be interested in. Do companies care more about your social media following instead of your actual talent?
I used to be a strong believer that quality content and talent was the driving force in getting recognized for collaboration opportunities and sponsorship from larger brands. Though quality and original content are both extremely crucial, the amount of followers you have on social media may be the one thing that locks in a deal for your brand above your competition. According to Variety, talent agencies and casting directors are required to do research on YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms as a way to discover the best fit for their projects and in other words the “next best thing”. If the competition is down to you and someone that has 4 million followers on Instagram and you have 900…the company will easily pick the said Insta-Celeb even though you may be more talented in your work. It’s no secret that companies aren’t necessarily looking for exclusive talent and in many cases it means nothing to them. They don’t care that you can sing and dance like Beyonce, if you aren’t marketable and able to make them more money. Larger brands are more concerned with their direct access to free promotion and people that have displayed the ability grab an audiences attention…even if it’s through selfies and strategic thirst traps.
You probably think that it’s unfair that even though your ideas are innovative and your talent should speak for itself, but the reality is that in most areas of the industry it doesn’t matter. Think of all the music artists that are up and coming that are not only talented but, actually have an original sound….not mention write their own music. Despite this, their social media accounts aren’t over saturated with likes and follows, and in return they get overlooked by the masses. It’s almost like sometimes your social media following determines how much respect you get from others.
What is one to do in a world where your social media following can determine your success. No one wants to be the loser that talks shit and bought an illusion of their popularity. The best advice is to understand from the beginning how important the development of your social media is for your brand. It doesn’t matter if you are an entertainer, a musician, a model etc…..the use of you accounts have the ability to generate money, productive connections and develop a solid marketing strategy to get exposure. Your online reputation and social engagement will determine if an audience will buy into your ideas and what you’re selling. You never know who’s watching your social media, who’s listening to your music or who watches your videos on social media faithfully. Instead of feeling like Instagram models and randoms with viral content are stealing all the good opportunities, give more attention on developing your image and ideas.