I don’t pretend to not be a fairly avid user of social media. I am, and I do get amongst it. I’ve been friends with Face Book for many years now and although I am still very fond of it, it probably needs to know I’ve found another.
Its name is Instagram and just like I did with Face Book years ago, I turned my nose up at it every time I heard someone mention it. In fact, I’m sure I’ve actually got frown lines purely from my pre-Face Book days, and more recently, pre-Instagram.
I fought the Instagram phenomenon for a long while, thinking it was going to be full of attractive twenty year olds, all uploading minute by minute selfies. The whole “hey look at me being invited to this event!”
Sure there was a time when I probably did some of that thing but not now. It kind of makes me cringe. So why do I need to be jumping on the Instagram wagon when I have enough RSI in my life?
I now know it’s because it’s mainly about creativity and a lot of the time about building a brand. Especially if that brand is you!
So speaking of building the brand that is you, and anyone can do this by the way, you don’t need to have a newspaper column or have spent any time on radio or TV, you just simply need have love yourself to bits or pretend that you do.
Then package that little essence into as many social media comments, pictures and videos that is physically possible for you to do. Just like Face Book, Instagram, Twitter are all major cultural phenomenons, so too is the cultural tsunami of completely normal people, who are consciously and ferociously turning themselves into the next big thing. Albeit a lot of the time that may just apply to their friends, or even simply their direct siblings and their cat. But there are tens of thousands, of girls and guys around the world that are very cleverly branding themselves Team Beckham style.
Thanks to all these different social media hubs, loads of people, who as I said, have possibly not kicked any major career goals but are gorgeous and have an eye for fashion and photography, are starting to gather a following and as such are gathering actual physical brands who want to throw them lots of free stuff, or will sponsor them financially in exchange for a plug.
I went to a fashion parade the other week which was literally bursting at the seams full of the sort of people who I just described. They were young, seriously beautiful and decked out in all the latest cool gear. As the parade kicked off, and I watched a few outfits coming out, I suddenly realised that most of the first row, was looking down at their crotches. Model after model sashayed past and many of these hot front rowers did not look up once.
Was this because they’d suddenly got all coy and embarrassed about being up front? Or were they putrid that they hadn’t been picked for the show? What they were doing is feeling compelled to update their ‘social media fans’, about the fabulous moment they were at.
As the final line of models came down and the show was over, up came their cameras from their laps, as they were now videoing themselves with the models whisking past them. Kind of like they were part of the show…
Whether you hate this Kim and Kanye generation or not, the selfie and the hashtags are not going away. There is actual money to be made out of building a brand out of yourself and working your guts out to be the Pied Piper of social media.
It may seem all very shallow and vacuous I know, but these little buggers are potentially having the last laugh all the way to the bank. Which will be posted as a selfie very shortly no doubt.