We often talk about social media being used for building personal and company reputations, networking, and job scouting. While we try to figure out how to fit in, but remain unique enough to stand out, we sometimes forget that social media is a great tool to launch you into the fame you’ve always (or maybe never) wanted. Although proceeding with caution may be a great way to build a professional reputation, taking risks and hoping for the best is sometimes necessary to gain that ever-so-desired interaction. Here are 8 people who took a risk, showed something different, and were able to reap the benefits.
8. Rebecca Black
“It’s Friday, Friday, Gotta’ get down on Friday …” If you are like most of us, this song is now forever seared into the depths of your brain fighting to get out. Rebecca Black, a 15 year old living the dream in Southern California, decided to record a professional music video in which she starred and sang vocals. Shortly after uploading it to YouTube, the video went viral, sending this high school student into the national spotlight. Although the hype was short lived, there is no doubt social media helped to make Rebecca Black a name we won’t soon forget.
7. Sweet Brown
Although this YouTube video-turned-meme sensation didn’t expect any of her celebrity or star-status attention, fame is what she got shortly after a news story featuring Kimberly Wilkins or “Sweet Brown” as a distressed fire victim aired. The way Kimberly put so much soul into her eyewitness account didn’t go unnoticed, making her the perfect example of how social media can launch a personality simply for being unique. Now, a star of every social media outlet, and potentially the big screen (paired with Tyler Perry), this woman is living proof that one can go from woman in distress to beautiful starlet in three minutes. What would I say to anyone who thinks she doesn’t deserve the sensationalism that she has received? – “Ain’t nobody got time fo that!”
6. Antoine Dodson
In a similar story to Sweet Brown, Antoine Dodson received accidental fame after a news report starring his testimonial was posted on YouTube. In response to a sexual predator attempting to assault his sister, Antoine warned everyone to “Hide your kids, hide your wives, and hide your husbands.” With that comment, alone, a star was born resulting in endless memes, video remixes, and TV coverage of his unique attitude. Antoine went from being a normal guy on the street to a familiar household face where he will stay in our hearts for years to come.
5. Laina Walker
Laina Walker earned instant fame after sending in a surprisingly different video to a Justin Bieber fan contest. Knowing many would be entering the contest, Laina decided to take on a creepy note by presenting herself as an excessively devoted girlfriend. Laina did more than just stand out amongst the fans, she caused a viral uproar on YouTube. Since the contest, Laina has posted more spin-off videos, showed up in many a meme, appeared in commercials, and even hosted the American Music Awards in 2012. It doesn’t look like our relationship with this overly attached girlfriend will be ending soon (but when it does we will need some help with breaking the news).
4. OK GO
Remember back in the day when YouTube was just starting to pick up more traction and you spent hours watching and sharing the careful choreography of OK GO’s “Here it Goes Again” music video? Seeing how they moved from machine to machine was mesmerizing and earned them the respect of viewers and fans, alike. By posting something out of the ordinary, OK GO was able to create a low budget video that would land them the same amount of attention that any superstar paying thousands to videotape their single would receive. I’m not saying that social media single-handedly was responsible for their Grammy, but hey – it didn’t hurt.
3. Carly Rae Jepsen
Although Carly Rae Jepsen wasn’t exactly discovered on social media, there is no doubt that YouTube parodies helped to skyrocket her now infamous “Call Me Maybe” single. Jepsen is the perfect example of the power social media has over the nation as a whole and proves that one post, like, or share has the power to take your small idea and propel it forward for everyone to see. Will Carly Rae ever write another song that lives up to her first American single? – We will see; but what we do know is that we will forever have the perfect pickup line and the perfect song to sing out loud to in the car.
2. Felix Baumgartner
Felix Baumgartner was destined for greatness whether or not social media was there to document it. After his plans to partake in a 24-mile high sky-dive, that was sure to be the death of him, got out, every news station, paper, and individual was talking about it. Felix successfully jumped from the stratosphere, breaking the sound barrier in the process, and posted his journey online. It’s no wonder that his video went viral as people shared it through their social media networks and newscasters through their broadcasts. Felix was able to make America as a whole feel that they were there, first-hand, as history was being made. Although he would have eventually gotten the fame he deserved through traditional media channels, YouTube and social media networking made it possible for Baumgartner to share his unique experience with the world and gain the fame he deserved that much more quickly.
1. Justin Bieber
To end this list of social media stars and starlets is none other than the king of YouTube himself, Justin Bieber. If we learned anything from this child prodigy it is to “Never say never,” and to never give up on your dreams. Justin had been posting videos of his musical talent since early childhood and it was only a matter of time before a music manager would see his full potential. With Scooter Braun as his talent agent and Usher as his mentor, Bieber is now a worldwide superstar. Although his trademark hair swish is no longer necessary, Justin owes his success to his YouTube viewers and is still showing gratitude to this very day.
Copy By: Dana Andersen, Creatine Marketing