I think we need to make a stronger distinction between Social Media and Marketing Media, because the gap is getting wider every year.
Tumblr: Social Media. You are in control of the content you see. No pressure to have real names or photos. You CAN be a content creator on tumblr, but the site is just as enjoyable and usable if you’re only here to hangout.
Twitter: Marketing Media. The site itself is in control of the content you see. Lots of pressure to have real names/photos. You are encouraged to be a content creator, to constantly be hustling and monetizing. If you aren’t doing that, the site becomes overwhelming and hostile because everyone else IS doing that.
And as a content creator? I’d pick Social Media over Marketing Media any day of the week. I EARNED these followers. Y’all are here because you WANT to be, because you actually LIKE my content, not just because you’re chasing numbers and engagement and trying to appease some algorithm to boost your own content. Tumblr followers would follow me into hell. Twitter followers would sell me for one cornchip.
Sadly, there really...isn’t much Social Media left? Tumblr is the main one. Reddit, despite all its faults, is one as well (and many subreddits actively ban marketing). But aside from that? All the major sites have completely shifted to Marketing Media. There’s smaller places, obviously, but this is more about the big names.
The Importance of C.U.N.T.
Author Note: What inspired me to write this post is helping my friend with her K-pop audition. She’s been trying for years to no success. So, I made a point to investigate what exactly is being looked for and how she can improve, but realized these tips could be used for success in so many other areas of a career, so here I am. But if it seems to be more garnered towards auditioning and have K-pop references, you know why.
Yes, I said it. C. U. N. T. As RuPaul explains it, it stands for charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. When RuPaul is looking for the next American Drag Superstar, these are the categories being evaluated. It’s an acronym I have on constant repeat in my mind (and not just for the catchy spelling), but because it really does lay the groundwork to success. Whether it be an audition, building a brand/business, whatever it is, we all could use a little bit of C.U.N.T. Therefore, allow me to break it down.
Charisma: Compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.
Uniqueness: The quality of being the only one of its kind.
Nerve: A person’s steadiness, courage, and sense of purpose when facing a demanding situation.
Talent: Natural aptitude or skill.
(Definitions provided by Oxford Languages)
Each category can get quite lengthy, so this will be a series, with each section being broken down across multiple posts.
Let’s start with C: Charisma
Charisma, as defined above, is “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.” Charisma is your appearance, your personality, your persona/character. This is the first impression and therefore, the most important one because perception is reality. I will be breaking this down into three sections: digital appearance, physical appearance, and manner.
Digital Appearance: What is it?
When creating a business, the first page(s) in your business plan is your executive summary. Your executive summary should condense the major points of your plan for the audience, while still offering just enough information that the reader know what you’re offering and is eager to read on. It is essentially a snapshot of the business, encompassing your vision, your purpose, your target audience, the highlights, etc. that should sell the audience on your business.
Much like your social media.
Your blog, your Instagram, whatever your preference is, it offers a snapshot of who you are, what you offer, what you aspire to. It tells us your interests and disinterests. We can know you so intimately without even seeing your face all from the collage of posts you make. (Which is why Joe Goldberg could read Beck like a book and why our parents told us to be careful what we post only to turn around and not take their own advice). It is your very own brand.
This is your digital appearance. Yes, that’s right, you have a digital appearance as well, thanks to how much social media has been integrated into our daily lives. It acts as a extension of you that reaches to parts of the world that you’ve probably never even heard of. No matter how small your platform, you are being seen. All the more reason to take extreme care of this image.
Digital Appearance: How to Better Curate One?
The way to curating a better brand is by first knowing yourself. Do you know yourself? What do you genuinely like and dislike? Do you have goals? What life do you aspire to? What are your hobbies? What/who inspires you? What is your aesthetic? Who are you in your most authentic essence?
As an example, let’s take a look at my archive.
If you were to say that I was a bad bitch and a main character, you would be correct. But notice how you can get a very clear picture of what my personality, character, my interests, my style is like? My blog let’s you know what exactly I stand for and don’t. It gives you just enough information about me that you don’t need to know me irl. (I take great pride in my blog). When creating your platform, take all of this into consideration because it’s taken into account when building a following. Offer quality posts that speak to your “brand”. Whether it be on TikTok, IG, SC, whatever. So, perhaps you’re auditioning to be a dancer. Craft your brand by posting quality videos of you dancing. Invest into your content and production. Include various tags to reach a wider audience and engage with other popular creators within those tags. You want to appear as professional as possible.
The great thing about social media is that you can create who you want to be and not be limited to show what your life is currently, if it doesn’t live up to those standards. It’s called speaking things into existence. Get into it.
Digital Appearance: Consequences of a Negative Appearance
In this day and age of influencers and content creators, companies are asking for your social media. In this day and age of screenshots, you don’t want to be on the end your carelessness blows back on. For example, Jay Park’s Twitter scandals and MySpace situation that couldn’t get him out of Korea fast enough. And for those who are unaware of the MySpace scandal, let’s just say it’s not wise to rant on social media about Koreans being stupid while working in South Korea for a Korean company with Koreans and trying to build a fan base amongst Koreans.
Unfortunately, he’s yet to learn how to stop putting his foot in his mouth.
(Why are the cute ones always so stupid?)
Actual footage of me seeing why Jay Park is trending yet again every other week.
A great role of thumb is not to be racist, sexist, colorist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic…just aim to be the opposite of Donald Trump…and Jeffrey Star. It should not be hard to not make jokes about SA and pouring acid on black women. Don’t throw support behind abusers. Don’t say slurs to be cute or funny or edgy. It’s honestly that easy (and if I just described you as what not to be, perhaps invest into therapy and not a Twitter account). Just don’t be offensive.
Another way a negative digital appearance can accrue is beefing. It’s 2021, why are you engaging yourself in internet brawls? You don’t need to respond to everyone that has something to say. (In the case that you’re rightfully being called out is a completely different situation). Remember back in 2018 when Nicki and Cardi felt the need to respond and fight with every tweet that mentioned them? Yeah, no. We don’t do that. There are companies that will refuse to work with you and it simply puts a bad taste in everyone’s mouth when you act like that. It makes you look insecure and troubled, and there’s nothing charismatic about being insecure and rattled by posts on an app that you can simply log out of.
Sometimes, the best clap back is indifference.
Just because you can post whatever you want onto the internet doesn’t mean you should (this is not a dig at SWs who use their social media to promote their work, but to people who post themselves in blackface and expect no blow back, for example).
Digital Appearance: Example
A great example to follow is Beyoncé and Rihanna. Beyoncé understands the importance of a brand with every event, every brand she aligns with, every photo shoot, etc, which is why every post is CAREFULLY vetted and she doesn’t do interviews (where clips can easily become edited). She’s vigilant and protective of her image and you need to practice doing the same. Rihanna is another, as her IG and Twitter personify exactly who she is as a bad gal and is a great extension to interact with her fans, exactly how social media should be used.
Be more like Beyoncé and write your story (specifically with as few words as possible), so somebody doesn’t end up writing it for you on some trashy blog, like Perez Hilton.
Take Aways: Begin to run yourself like a business because that’s exactly what a brand is.
my inbox is always open 🧸🌸
how is it that mister Hanyu Yuzuru looks better in random moments on the ice than he does in professional photoshoots, like this man is out here sweaty, no makeup, shit lighting, in the middle of intense physical activity and looking like a god, yet put him in a room with stylists, makeup artists, lighting, sets, professional photographers and all the time in the world and he comes out still fine as hell but kinda meh in comparison; he’s just out here in the wild existing as a a god
but put him in a controlled environment and
how does this happen
how does this beautiful angel go from This
look at him he has the vibes of a boiled potato
literally anytime he exists near someone with a camera produces some of the most ethereal, amazing shots known to man
LOOK AT HIM HE’S BARELY DOING ANYTHING AND YET
but as soon as you get him in a studio
this MILQUETOAST MOTHERFUCKER appears
What is this 2000s j-pop styling
OH WAIT WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS
admittedly this is kpop BUT MY POINT STANDS. I swear this is always how they style his hair. WE LEFT THE POORLY DONE FLUFFY LOOK IN THE 2000s FOR A REASON.
look at him he’s trying to sell me toast
here he is trying to sell me chocolate. this is Uncomfortable. this man is trying to sell me chocolate but all he is doing is making me Uncomfortable. he looks Uncomfortable. we are all Uncomfortable. please free him
here he is still trying to sell me chocolate. sir. SIR. it is not working. he is trying to sell me chocolate by being Sexy but he is exuding the sex appeal of a mormon.
Sir please stop. don’t hurt yourself
oh god this is so awkward. I feel like I shouldn’t be here.
dear yuzu you are not a good actor. it’s okay.
look at him, he’s so stiff.
oh my god that person on twitter was right. he looks like a gay househusband.
NOOOOOO he looks like he goes golfing on the weekend. he looks like if Bermuda shorts made a humansona. he looks like he’s about to drop a sick disstrack on sharon at the next PTA meeting. he looks like he’s about to get cast in a car commercial.
NOOOOO YUZU WHAT ?HAPPENED TO YOU YOU ANGELIC FIEND. WHAT DID THEY DO TO YOU BLINK TWICE IF YOU NEED HELP. I AM NOT BUYING CHOCOLATE FROM THIS MAN. IF YOU WANT MY MONEY USE THESE PICTURES
LOOK AT THIS ARTWORK.
LOOK at this cutie. I trust him so much. I will buy so many chocolate bars from him.
A GOOD-ASS YUZU IN THE WILD. NATURE IS HEALING
LOOK. this is just his natural state. what kind of EFFORT are people putting in to make him look like a Costco shopaholic. level up advertisers.