Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dear Celeb: The Entertainment Industry Has Evolved Get With Programmme


Say what you will about talent taking the back banner when it comes to star quality these days, but you can not ignore the fact that people who put in the most on social media to build their brands are reaping the rewards. 

Gone are the days when creative practitioners can sit on their laurels and expect that only their job titles will get them the recognition they deserve. Do that, and you get forgotten quickly. 

Sitting around and moaning that social media seems to be the catalyst for job opportunities in this business, only renders you and your work irrelevant. Hear me out. I would be the first to challenge the power of social media. 

Let's face it. Majority of the viewers and buying public are not on Twitter. That is a statistical fact. Look it up. Twitter only has about 8 million registered South African accounts. When you factor in the fact that a big chunk of the 8 mil are dormant accounts and multiple accounts from single individuals, you really aren't left with much in terms of active users . 

The reality though; is that social media runs this business now and you better get with the programme. That having a million followers doesn't mean those people will watch a your show or buy your brand, doesn't really mean much in the big scheme of things. 


Social media is where the conversation is happening and brands wants to be talked about. You can argue that a person who has thousands of followers but can not pull the same pool of audiences should not be given top billing in the media. Yes, I did that – wait for it, it will come to you if you missed it. But that person gets media attention because of those followers and that is what the brands want — visibility!

What is sad and needs to be checked is when you are on the number 1 show in country or have the biggest selling album but you can not attract endorsements, use that platform to start a business or do not even have a website. That is what is holding the industry back. Don't play yourself, respek the game!

An unnamed producer recently told [or so they claim] Drum magazine that "Bonang is easy to work with because she is so organised. She has a people ready to dress her with exactly what she wants and the look she wants. She is also on time and very professional. She is usually mostly on her phone though in between takes, but when the time comes to shine, she gives it 150 per cent,"

The important words in that quote are ORGANISED, On TIME and VERY PROFESSIONAL. Time is money in this business and people like to work with people who will bring no hustle to table. If you are organised and can deliver, people will call you up for jobs. They may not like you or find you insufferable but if at the end of the day you can do the job with less costs and hustle for them, ka-ching you get paid!

The second part to interrogate from that quote is; "She is mostly on her phone". Depending on where you sit on good etiquette line, that might be a problem. But a quick glance at Bonang's twitter feed you will realise that she is one of the most engaged celebrities on Twitter. She retweets and engages with a fans everyday. 


Making your fans feel like they have access to you is very important. That reply or retweet to a fan is a huge validation for them. The connection can yield some very positive points on your favour. Trust, they will come back for more and that only keeps you actively entrenched in their social media experience. What brand would not want to tap into that fan loyalty pool?

My point is very simple. The industry has evolved and so should you as an artist. Marvel at the majesty of the Queens and Kings of social media, bow at their throne for they control the future. We may criticise the media for being trapped in this fodder of trolling social media for content when majority of the country is not on that platform, however, this is where we are now and only those who get it will reap the rewards. 


Take a moment to appreciate the new media stars who run this industry because of their social media reach. Give 'respek' -> That most in our current celebrity landscape aren't laying it all down like dem. That no one is delivering in the same way or pushing the envelope as far. 

Instead of complaining, hop on or get left! You will thank me later. 


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