Social media has given the upcoming generations the ability to share their world with others. But sharing is not what it used to be, because now everyone is trying to become the social media maven and influencer.
Brand deals, free-products, clout, first-class travel, thousands to millions of devoted followers and the luxurious lifestyle all shown through people who communicate their life over social. A profession that is driven by sharing who you are as a brand.
People today crave the dream of being popular on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr. But how did this market of influencers actually get to where it is today? And how can the everyday person in their own way become an influencer?
We can pop onto social media, scroll for a minute and see our favorite personalities featuring products, events and clothes. Of course in an ascetic way that makes followers trust their choices. And the more likes and followers an influencer gets, the more reliable, fascinating and credible the media makes them out to be.
Even though everyone wants this social media fame, is it realistic for the everyday person to achieve?
Verge had an exclusive interview Emilie Sobel (Instagram @emiliesobel – 17.9K Followers). Emilie is a Miami Beach-based blogger and Social Media Account Manager at Social Thinkking Miami. With a focus on beauty and lifestyle, Verge set up an interview to understand what the modern influencer is and how she achieves success an oversaturated market.
Hey Emilie, thanks for talking with us today! To start, how would you describe your profession? Like would you consider yourself an influencer?
Of course, I’m so happy to be talking to you! Okay to start, I really hate calling myself an influencer because I’m more than just a face that posts content and gets brand deals. And the word influencer… I don’t know is just a category that is negative to me. If I were to put a name to it like on LinkedIn, I would call myself a Social Media Manager. Because it is not just something I do for the hell of it or for fame. It is my job.
What is your main social media platform and why?
I have to say Instagram. I started out blogging when I was in college, but no one really reads blogs anymore and it was a natural transition for me over to Instagram. It’s like a visual blog where I can still write and communicate my brand and life but to a larger audience and following.
I started Instagram when it began and saw it as an opportunity to make my dreams and goals a reality. I worked really hard from the start to learn and create quality content. People think so much of what I do is just given to me, but they don’t see the amount of work that took years to get me where I am today.”
So, you started out this journey when you were in college writing a blog? How did writing a blog transition into who you are and what you do today?
Yeah, I honestly started my blog in college for fun and it turned into something so successful I never thought it would. And it wasn’t just the blog. Every summer in college my friends and roommates would go have fun and travel and party, but I went to NYC to work in magazines to learn that world and make those connections.
Very cool! So obviously your Instagram is doing amazingly, how do you personally decide what content to share and create better engagement?
I really post content that I personally love and only work with brands and companies that I feel speak to my brand and who I am. And people don’t realize how much effort goes into the engagement.
Like I make sure to go through and try to comment and like on every person that comments on my post. For my more consistent or loyal followers, I make sure to always engage with them when they interact with my content, and then I’ll make sure to put in the effort to comment and engage on their page to show there is that real relationship there. It takes time and effort, but it works to ensure people stay connected to my content.
What do you recommend to those trying to become a Social Media Manager? What do you think they need in their work/life arsenal?
Two things. One is to focus on what goals you have for yourself and organize them into ways to make them become a reality. Like every day right when I wake up, I’ll make a list of let’s say five things I need to do that day and I won’t leave my office until everything on that list is checked off.
And two, it’s important to know what you want and who you are. What is it that you want to share and communicate because you’re putting yourself out there and creating your own brand. Like I’m personally not going to change who I am and edit myself ridiculously because I am who I am compared to these people who will change their image and who they are to fit this influencer mould or just for the followers and benefits.
I keep repeating this “Not Give a F***” attitude, otherwise you lose who you are and what makes you genuine on social and to yourself.
What types of posts and content that you create receive the most attention?
It’s kind of funny because it’s the stupid selfie posts that I’ll take in my house with like good lighting that gets the most likes. And this is compared to the photos that I’ll pay a professional photographer to come in and take like incredible shots that we put so time and effort into. But then a stupid selfie that I post that took two seconds will get so much attention!
Emilie’s Instagram caption “Purple 👁 for #MMW ✨ Wearing @artistryus eyeshadow and mascara 👁💜☯️🚺”
Is living this social media lifestyle as glamorous as it seems?
I feel like sometimes I live this silly life. I mean, it is glamorous sometimes yes, but when I go to an event I’m not doing what everyone else is doing. Like, you know I’m there posing for pictures and getting content. I’m making sure what I’m capturing at the event looks good or even will be great for editing later.
And I’ll take the time during and after the event to make sure the content I’m creating is quality and is exactly what the brand or company I am working with wants so that they are happy. You know, people don’t see the hours I put in editing at my desk. They only see what is on my feed. But it is fun and glamorous, but people don’t realize it is still hard work.
How has the changing algorithms on Instagram affected you and your followers’ engagement?
Oh my god! It’s was really messing me up. I used to care so much about planning when I post and how I post and working to try and get my content to fit Instagram’s algorithms. But it’s honestly become too hard to follow any change in algorithms now. I just post when I want to and how I want to and keep it on my time. So far it’s been working out for me even though it’s annoying when things get switched up on you.
Emilie’s Instagram caption “That feeling when your wearing @rommanelus 😍 #Rommanel makes it easy to dress up for any outfit.”
On a more personal note, how has becoming this Social Media Maven changed your social life? Is it hard to separate real from fake friends because of your Instagram presence?
Honestly, it’s so sad but yeah. For example, when a big event in Miami like Art Basel comes up, all of a sudden I have these “friends” that are like, “Oh hey Emilie, I saw you’re going to this event do you have an extra ticket I’d love to go with you?” And it’s someone that I met let’s say once or twice. If they asked me to hang out or get coffee a month ago, I totally would have. But I know people like that are just using me.
When my grandfather died, certain people who I thought were friends didn’t reach out. The people that did just showed me who my real friends are. Obviously, I’ll go to events and while I’m there make Instagram friends and make connections which is great. But at the end of the day, it’s interesting because you learn who is really there for you. But also, you have to remember that’s with any industry.
What do you think the next big movement will be in your field of work?
I am not one hundred percent sure. I do think people need to start being more creative with their content and not so cookie cutter. But I really am loving Instagram right now. For the moment I am going to be keeping most of my content and work there.
Well, that’s all we have for you today Emilie. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us!
What are your thoughts on the current state of social media and the influencer market?
Let us know on Twitter @VergeMagOnline.
To and learn more about Emilie Sobel, you can follow her Instagram @Emiliesobel.