Social Media, Transmedia, & Self Promotion
It’s no secret that pop culture has experienced a major shift due to social media. Artists are able to build their own brand, network, and build a following without the help of a label. This is creating opportunities for talent that may not have been discovered otherwise, but it is also putting a lot of control in the hands of the masses.
Pop Culture: modern popular culture transmitted via mass media and aimed particularly at younger people.
Social Media: websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
The definition given for Pop Culture is a bit ambiguous. How old is a “young person” ? In terms of advertising, one might argue it’s not so much the age as the maturity level.
Young Person: (in the UK) a person generally between the ages of 14 to 17.
However, we are in the US and not the UK.
Thus; for all intents and purposes, the term “young person,” is open to interpretation.
Throughout the duration of this post, I will address a number of factors that play into the world of social media, and I will ask a few questions along the way.
In speaking with other students in my WSP101 course, I found that some of their favorite social media accounts are the following:
As you can see, a few of these accounts aren’t so much a platform of a particular persona, rather continuous advertising. For example, the TooFaced makeup brand is constantly posting about various uses for their products, whereas Drake is constantly promoting themselves. Refinery29 is a creative, lifestyle platform, and the others are comedic.
From this, I’ve been able to identify a few trends. The first one being that these popular social media users are all highly active. By this I mean these users are posting frequently, almost everyday, and some even as often as every few hours.
Another trend was that there is no real preference of one gender over the other. From a point of view that is strictly superficial, each one has it’s benefits over the other in appealing to the masses. However, one may argue there is no substantial power dynamic between the two in this case scenario seeing as, at the end of the day, a ‘medium’ (no pun intended0 cannot have a gender.
This touches on something I wanted to discuss briefly, and people find themselves discussing quite often.
I was interested in hearing the opinions of other students about this, but I didn’t get the chance to.
Are women over-sexualized on the media?
But is this occurring more than ever? Or in a different way?
An example I had is singer/songwriter, Niykee Heaton. (Social Media Page is linked). Similar to how certain brands will post again and again about their products, Heaton posts extremely provocative and sexualized photos of herself. On the one hand, she is proud of her body and her beauty, and exhibits a multitude of confidence. On the other, it begs the question of whether or not she would’ve gained the following she has now without the use of sexualization.
Do people with a large following of any sort have a responsibility? If so, what does this responsibility entail?
Another interesting topic that the idea of social media and marketing, relates to is the idea of Transmedia.
The examples of transmedia beg the question of the sort of skills required in order to build a brand.
Statistics show that 47% of Facebook users say Facebook influences their purchases. Earlier when I asked people to share their favorite social media accounts with me, I didn’t specify through which platform. It is interesting to note each person assumed Instagram. I wonder if the results for people and their opinions on marketing through media would be much different for Instagram.
From speaking with other people about social media and branding, we got on the topic of the future of media. Below I have placed a slide indicating a handful of topics I found really interesting.
Some final things I’d like to note about Social Media drift away a bit from the marketing aspect and touch on the reality of it. I spoke with my sister, Caitlin, who works at Facebook currently. I asked her opinion on social media and ways to take advantage of it. In short, she said that whatever goes on the internet will never go away. This means there will be no “hiding one’s past-” as she put it, which is likely to be both resourceful, all the while prompt some pretty tough conversations.
My final point of information, is in reference to a TED talk given by reddit founder, Alexis Ohanian. He sums up a lot about how social media works, in just 3 minutes. Take a look: How To Make A Splash In Social Media
Not only does this show the amount of influence and power people have on the internet, but this is an excellent example of transmedia!
I thought that Ohanian’s TED talk was unique in that it wasn’t the typical conversation about social media. With almost everything, people talk about ways to take control of certain factors of their life in order to be successful, and his main take-away was to do the opposite and lose control.