How Social Media Is Redefining Celebrities & Branding

In this modern world where celebrities can share their lives and communicate with fans like never before, social media is playing a huge role in our culture. Now, more traditional ideas surrounding the famous and their lives as well as branding and advertising have been completely revolutionised. Some social media platforms have even created celebrities, with Instagram and YouTube stars being paid millions just like movie and television stars just to appear at events or advertise a product. You could even argue that the majority of celebrities are now online personalities in this new culture where we see our favourite celebrities’ dinners alongside our friends’ cat photos.

Social Media Celebrities

These days, when Beyoncé wants to announce a huge, life changing event she posts an Instagram photo, which is exactly what she did when the world found out she was pregnant with twins. Posted on February 1, 2017, the post currently has over 11 million likes and almost 547,000 comments, which is just a little more than the post revealing her twins, though Sir and Rumi’s debut is quickly catching up.

It isn’t just world-famous personalities that are using social media to attract attention though. One of UFC’s most famous celebrities Conor McGregor has an extremely active Instagram account with well over 1,200 posts. Though McGregor posts about cars, family and fashion quite often, since his match with Mayweather later this month was announced, 55% of his posts are about it while 34% were about training according to research by Betway. Needless to say, McGregor uses his Instagram account to create a narrative surrounding his career and lifestyle, similar to how traditional media used to before Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and all the many other platforms.

Kim Kardashian (who also has a huge Instagram following) has an extremely active story on photo sharing app Snapchat, as does her half-sister Kylie Jenner and thousands of other famous individuals as they share their everyday lives. Of course, as these celebrities are all on such huge platforms with so many followers, fans and critics alike are even able to send them their own pictures and messages thus creating an entirely new, approachable dynamic.

That said, you don’t necessarily have to be famous to become a celebrity on social media nowadays. Anyone with an iPhone, a camera, some good looks and innate branding ability can quickly become famous with a few good posts. Whether they use blogging, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter or Facebook to attract more publicity, individuals with no famous background are now considered celebrities once they gain a following, often being paid to attend events, partner with brands and promote products alongside the traditionally famous.

Famous on YouTube

For instance, YouTuber Aspyn Ovard has 3.1 million YouTube followers while her Instagram account has attracted a further 1.9 million people. She gained fame through sharing videos and photos with her fans and over time managed to build a career for herself online. In March 2015, Ovard was sponsored by cosmetics company Benefit to visit Hawaii and share pictures of their products on Instagram. Though Ovard never addresses the deal directly, it is easy to garner from the posts’ captions such as “More Hawaii pics are up on! Link is in my bio #HoolaStateOfMind @benefitcosmetics” that the trip was paid for by the massive company.

While Ovard’s fame is undeniably legitimate, before social media, the only way regular people would have been able to gain this sort of once in a lifetime experience was by working their way up a more traditional career ladder or by winning a prize. Plus, Ovard is just one of hundreds of internet famous individuals who enter into these brand deals after achieving success online.

Really, it appears that, whether it’s a worldwide phenomenon trying to get personal with their fans or a genuine, regular person rising up through the ranks, fans will always gravitate towards an authentic personality who is willing to share their lives online. This is why the “Internet Famous” gain so much attention and why traditional celebrities are now doing the same as them to remain relevant. The internet has revolutionised fame in much the same way as it has just about every other aspect of modern life.


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