Talking about famous people, the first thing you need to know is that there are celebrities and there are social media celebrities. No, they are not the same thing. Yes, sometimes, the lines blur and social media celebrities (or call them influencers, if you like) evolve to become popular in the actual world, but many times, their stardom begins and ends in the virtual space. The known figures on Facebook and Instagram may have a different opinion. To them, they are just as idolised as those who have gained their fame as a result of their work offline, hence, their tendency to view themselves as Lords and authorities whom the average John Doe must not fail to revere.
Perhaps you are an admirer of this category of people. You see the adulation and following they command and you are looking to be like them. Well, today is your lucky day! In this post, I’ll be sharing on what it takes to be a social media celebrity in Nigeria. What really makes social media celebrities tick?
Let’s dive right in!
Explore comedy: Arguably, the biggest social media celebrities are comedians. Through their skits, they have managed to draw the attention of the online audience to themselves. Look, it doesn’t matter if you are funny or not. Some of the Instagram celebrities who have gained recognition today are about as hilarious as the act of watching paint dry on the wall, yet they have managed to hoodwink people into accepting they are the next Bovi or Trevor Noah. People are constantly seeking humour; something to take their mind away from the lacklustre hope Nigeria offers, so you have a ready market as soon as you summon the courage to kick-off your comic career.
Be badly behaved: You see, in today’s world, being morally upright does little good. In fact, you are deemed boring if you hold on to the values and behaviours that were once held sacred. However, if you are uncouth, irreverent and disrespectful of others, people will stan you. So challenge culture, religion, and government, not necessarily because you are convinced there’s a better alternative to what they stand for, but simply to stir up strife. You will attract plenty of criticism, but you’ll also get the sort of attention and admiration most people can only dream of. The more disagreeable you are, the bigger your popularity grows.
Fake it: Okay, no one knows you yet, but, ever heard anything about embodying what you want to become? That’s right! You may not be a famous face now, but you can start to pave the path for the time when you’ll be by acting like one. You have to give your followers the illusion that you are rich or at least on the verge of hitting it big. If you must claim an edifice that isn’t yours, do so. If you have to photoshop yourself in some exotic place to give people the impression that you are living a plush life, it’s all part of the online celebrity game.
Post inanities: The crop of social media influencers that dot the virtual landscape are as discerning as they are daring. They are in tune with the pulse of Twitter streets and Facebook communities where senseless posts attract the most attention. Do something silly and record your shenanigans for everyone to see and you’ll begin to amass followers who can’t wait to see the next incredulity that springs from your timeline. It’s why some of the most popular people on Instagram attained their status through the plethora of nudes and ‘unconventional” stuff they aren’t afraid to share with strangers. If you want to be a social media VIP, this might be the fastest way to grow your brand.
Never shy away from a fight: Insults and retorts are what we term savagery on the unforgiving streets of social media and those who desire to be known must be ready to claw their way to prominence by being masters in the art of savagery. If someone says something not too flattering about you? Find the wittiest and cruellest comeback to decimate them. Sometimes, be the rabble-rouser. This popularity business is not for the faint-hearted; to reap its benefits, you must first demonstrate that you are worthy by constituting a nuisance from time to time.
Roll with your kind: They call it clout-chasing—pay them no mind. Through your (mis)adventures in the virtual community, you’ll find other people who are on the same quest as you to get that blue tick. These are your kindred spirit. Form some sort of alliance with them such that your posse can stand up for one another whenever one of you is the subject of a scandal or controversy. Together, you can also fashion out ways to ride on trends and be each other’s hypeman when necessary. The Big Brother season is here and some people are already exploiting the platform to lay the foundation for their celebrityhood. What are you waiting for?
Execute these pieces of advice and don’t forget to say thank you when you attain online stardom.