LaurDIY and Her Social Media Tactics
Lauren Riihimaki, or as we all know her, LaurDIY, is an extremely popular YouTube creator with over two million subscribers, whom has a huge influence across all social media platforms. She has her own main channel as well as a vlog channel. Riihimaki specializes in everything DIY, from accessories, clothes, décor and beauty on her main channel. On the vlog channel, she allows fans to follow her through her everyday life of being LaurDIY, including going to school, living in Toronto and moving to LA, and even things as personal as her break ups. She even has a Bachelor of Technology degree from Graphic Communications Management from Ryerson University. Her career started to flourish in 2012 when she posted her first video on the LaurDIY channel. She started to regularly post videos on YouTube in 2013, with her first successful video being one named “Ariana Grande” where she basically just dressed up like her.
Although LaurDIY has great talent and a degree, she claims to have fell into YouTube by complete accident.
“[In 2012] I started a blog, just as a creative outlet and break from university. I was doing DIY tutorials using photos and text blurbs on a WordPress website and eventually I was like, Oh, I should use video as a medium to show what I’m doing. It would be more interactive and make it easier to see what’s going on. I didn’t realize YouTube was a platform where you had subscribers and people posted weekly content. I was only using it to post a video and then embed the URL into my blog! So, I eventually realized that you can monetize your content and post weekly content and I made the transition [away from blogging] (A. Thomson).
YouTube for LaurDIY may look easy, as she is seen has the queen of DIY, but it was a hard task at first. As YouTube was a small niche in Toronto when she started her channel, she did not know of, or have any youtubers she could ask for help from, therefore she had to learn everything by herself. The video inspirations come from a variety of places, and can even come from viewer’s requests. The DIY’s filmed are usually done by Riihimaki herself, using a tripod in her condo. At some points, she has a videographer help, but in most cases, everything was done on her own. Along with her videos that are solely made and shot by her, she did all the editing, uploading, as well as managing all her social media all by herself. As she has gotten more and more popular, she is now managed by Select Management, an agency run by Adam Wescott.
LaurDIY may just be any YouTube celebrity to you, but she earns about $160 thousand dollars a year, just from her videos on YouTube… I want to be a YouTube star. Not only is she successful on the YouTube platform, but she also has a following of 978k on Twitter, and more than 1.5 million followers on Instagram. Where does the name LaurDIY come from?
“I have absolutely no idea. I knew DIY was the direction I was going to take my YouTube channel, so I guess I tacked it onto my nickname and called it a day!” (LaurDIY.com)
Although she has great success, sometimes I’m unsure why. I get that she was the first person to really “DIY” on YouTube, but everyone is doing it now, and I think they are doing it better than her. In some cases.
I personally watch LaurDIY’s main channel videos, as well as her vlogs just as Lauren, and to me she has somewhat shied away of her DIY lifestyle. I am now constantly watching her and her boyfriend Alex Wassabi (another YouTube star) together, and it’s taken over her channels. One video will be them talking about how they’re going to miss each other, and the next video they will be back together… so I’m not sure as a viewer I would want to watch that. I believe her videos used to be largely creative and original, and now the trends are just followed. I do like one thing she does which is make videos with fellow YouTube creators that aren’t her boyfriend, and are her friends — such as MyLifeisEva, MamaMiaMakeup, Alisha Marie, and Aspyn Ovard. By Lauren making videos with her friends you get to see the real original her, and who she is as a person, where when there are videos with her boyfriend it’s like a full-on show of “watch me with my boyfriend, I love him”. The videos done with her friends are like the old DIY’s we all love and remind us of the good ol’ days. Her main channel videos recently have also been “hacks”, or “what’s on my iPhone”, normal trends that we see every day on any YouTube creators channel, no OG LaurDIY… DIY’s.
An interesting quote to me from a Flare article interviewing Lauren regwarding her Youtube was:
Now that you’ve had a few months to be fully immersed in your channel, what’s next?
This is such a hard question to answer! I just want to keep making content that people want to see. It’s hard to know what’s coming next because you never know how things can change. And it can happen so fast. (A. Thomson)
My response to this: I WANT TO SEE DIY’S- thats what people want to see.
On to her Instagram, I can’t say I don’t love her Instagram. Lauren is definitely extremely creative in all aspects of video and photography. Her Instagram isn’t too pushy on any brand deals, and most of her pictures are all fun and colorful filled with her looking joyful. She also maintains a consistent theme of bright, high quality images that make her followers excited for the next photo she posts. I personally would love to have her Instagram, there’s a clear vision and I can’t see one thing wrong with it. Through the lens of Instagram, she is captured as creative, with a fun bubbly personality, that loves colour. It screams DIY, that’s for sure. She also markets herself not as LaurDIY, but rather her full name Lauren Riihimaki, which I am a fan of as she doesn’t piggy back on the well-known LaurDIY name. She also simply just has her YouTube channel in her bio, along with the management company she is represented by. Clean and simple.
Lastly, her twitter. Her twitter handle is @LaurDIY, showcasing her YouTube name rather than her own. In her bio, it states “love my 5.3 mill +”, which is her culminating following on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. To me, this is a little strange to have in one’s Twitter bio. Cocky maybe? Self-absorbed? A couple names come to mind. She also only tweets her videos, and the links along with the tweets, and replies to her fans to the most part. The original tweets are photos of her as a young girl or “send me questions for a Q&A”. Obviously, it’s really nice she replies to her fans, but I’m still really stuck on the culminating follower count being in her bio. Also, her tweets are always about Alex her boyfriend, along with her YouTube vlogs, as you can see below.
It’s clear I am currently only a fan of Lauren’s Instagram, as she is truly herself. I believe a lot of the time YouTube stardom and fame changes people and the way they look within their social media, or even how they use it. Her boyfriend Alex, has also ruined her social media channels for me, as I want to hear about HER life, or I want to watch HER videos. Not videos of her with him or videos about him.
Overall, I believe YouTube and other social media channels have greatly affected society both positive and negatively. In the case of LaurDIY, her DIY videos helped DIY to be an actual thing people do, and it gave people ideas on what they could do themselves, rather than buying. In general, YouTube allows people to upload their opinionated perspectives, and that persuades an audience. Lauren will continue to be successful, there is no doubt about that as she has the fan base and was one of the original YouTubers to make a big splash on the platform. She also has a successful Instagram that allows fans to see how she represents herself and pictures that she is proud of. She also makes her Instagram aesthetically pleasing, something people are absolutely obsessed with in our day and age. The only thing regarding Lauren or LaurDIY I am concerned with is her Twitter, I’m not sure if she cares about the platform less as some people see it as a “dying social media”, but having as many followers as she does on there, she should probably put as much time towards it, as she does to her other platforms. On an ending note, the LaurDIY YouTube channel in my eyes needs to go back to being like the original LaurDIY YouTube. I’m not sure if other fans, or viewers feel the same way I do, but I want to see less Alex on the main channel and more DIY. By all means, videos on her vlog channel with her boyfriend are great to see as she is living her authentic life, and sharing it with her fans, but LaurDIY, needs to be more DIY.
About. (2016, December 22). Retrieved April 05, 2017, from http://laurdiy.com/about/
Thomson, A. C. (2015, August 10). YouTube Star LaurDIY on Building a Business From Scratch. Retrieved April 05, 2017, from http://www.flare.com/celebrity/youtube-star-laurdiy-on-building-a-business-from-scratch/