Social Media in the Entertainment Business

If you know me, you know that I am a Dance Dad. My only daughter, Alexandra 'sparkles' Lund has been dancing since she was 3 or 4. She jumped into competitive dancing at age 7, and won Hollywood Connection Icon Dancer of the Year at age 9. Last year her goal was to enhance her strength and flexibility to go along with her showmanship. She worked out a lot with her trainer Marco Cruz and Keara Blake. Sparkles also launched her professional career as an actress (commercials and video), and as a dancer (Just Dance Kids shipping this fall).

The world of child dancers and actors is insanely competitive. Most of these kids are home schooled, and they train and go to auditions every day. What was a real eye opener for me was the presence that these children have in social media. In my career as a consultant, I jumped onto social media early on. Not so much as to market my services, but to understand it so I could develop effective strategies for clients. What I have learned is that social media can play a significant role in product marketing. If I write a blog and socialize it on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook - it reaches an audience of about 10,000. If I include links to others, they get hundreds or thousands of visits to their website. In my role as a consultant, we do not ever endorse products or services - we research and educate. We need to be very careful about this stuff.

The world is different for young Sparkles. She is 10. In my opinion, 10 year olds should not be on social media at all. It is debatable if they should even be on computers or the internet at all. However, my consultant side knows that she needs to have a social media presence if she is going to network in her industry. She needs to stay in touch with other dancers to share experiences. She needs to stay connected to choreographers and to her agent and other agents so they think of her for auditions or jobs. She needs to develop her brand.

As I surveyed the world of 10 year old talent, I was shocked by what I found. In my world, you are a beast if you have more than 10,000 followers on anything. If you have over 20k, you are a superstar and probably somewhat affected.

11 Year old Jordyn Jones is a remarkable dancer. She has 247,000 followers on Instagram. Her handle is jjjordynjones. Every time Sparkles auditions for a big job, Jordyn is there, along with about 10 other kids that are unbelievably talented and have enormous social media presence. Sparkles is always one of the top dancers - but does not have any measurable social media presence at all (400 followers). By the way, these kids with 200k+ followers have real followers too. When they post, they get 2k+ interactions - likes, shares, comments from other kids. Sometimes, when they post about something cool, they will get 40k interactions.

That is the rub. As a marketer shooting a commercial, or a TV show looking to build an audience - I would care less about talent and more about social media presence. Recently, Jordyn Jones did a shoot for Jordache Jeans with none other than the lovely Heidi Klum. Jordache does not even have an instagram page. They have 1400 followers on Facebook, 250 followers on Twitter. This is a legacy consumer brand that has been around making jeans since before I was a teen. Not only was Jordache excited about hiring someone with the level of social media voice as Jordyn, but even Heidi Klum was envious of Jordyn's instagram following. By the way, Heidi has 1.7M followers on twitter.

So here is the deal. Sparkles is going to need to blog, instagram, tweet, and facebook if she wants to build a professional career in the entertainment industry. I do not like it, but I do not see how it is avoidable. Moreover, Marilyn and I along with all of our friends are going to need to pitch in and make sure that she is safe.

So please do me a favor - follow sparkles on social media to boost her numbers and help us to make sure that creeps stay away. Here social media links are below.



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