A bunch of social media applications displayed on a smartphone (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

The Secret To Social Media Stardom

Three years ago, Prajakta Koli, known on social media as ‘Mostly Sane’, was a struggling radio intern. A job as a radio jockey was her dream. And when she landed that, it wasn’t what she had hoped for.

Then came a lucky break. She was spotted by a scout from a multi-channel network. Today, the comedienne is one of India’s biggest social media influencers with over 1.6 million subscribers on her YouTube channel.

“There isn’t a fixed road map,” she says. “The only way you can stand out is if you have your own unique personality that comes through (the content you create).”

Trial and error is the only way to find your niche. So, if you want to tell a story or are good at speaking to people, you might want to try it out. Consumption of digital content practically is exploding. And that can help you get noticed. As Koli says, there’s no bad content. There’s audience for everything.

Is There Money In It?

Gurpreet Singh, co-founder of One Digital Entertainment, India’s largest multi-channel network, says there is. His firm discovered Koli and several others. It’s one of the new-age companies in India that’s grooming and nurturing talented content creators and turning them into social media influencers. There’s money to be made for both parties, he says.

Just like any other business, there is a journey and a cycle to it. You don’t start making money right on day one. First you need to build your content, you need to build an audience. You need to create an engaging medium for your fan base, which eventually becomes lucrative for brands to come on board and start spending money on your content.
Gurpreet Singh, One Digital Entertainment

Brands are increasingly shifting budget that was originally dedicated towards traditional media to burgeoning social media platforms. Digital advertising in India, according to a recent report by Indian and Mobile Association of India, is estimated to grow 30 percent to over Rs 12,000 crore by the end of 2018.

Once you’ve built a loyal fan base, you need to start monetising it. Social media influencers the world over have entered tie-ups with brands, and even created their own merchandise to do just this.

Also Read: That Yummy Food Post On Instagram Can Fetch You Rs 20,000

Paid Views

Moreover, being successful on social media isn’t all about the views, though they are important. More crucial, according to Singh, is the engagement. That’s why spending money to boost your contentan option that platforms like Facebook and Twitter provideis not a guarantee for success.

Spending money, if at all, should be done smartly. Rather than a sledgehammer approach, it should be more nuanced. Determining what your target audience is and what platforms they’re likely to consume is a good way to start.

And if your unique content is unique, waiting for it to catch on might just be the best way to go about it.

Which Platform To Choose?

It doesn’t really matter. There are plenty of subscribers to be found on all major platforms. According to Prajakta, you have to find one that’s your mainstay. For her, it’s YouTube.

She then uses all the other platforms to feed traffic to what she calls her “mother ship”.

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