Social Media Possibilities

Is there any truth to the following hypothesis? The theory goes that if you are a social media user, you would be stuck using a platform that was predominant at the time. For example, if you subscribed to Facebook and use it extensively, you are likely to be in your thirties and forties. And there may be some basis in this argument. For example, once you have taken the bother to sign up, and interact with individuals with a similar inkling to you, you may form a little clique of followers who hang on your every word. And as each interaction cements the links between you, and other followers join your followers, the web of interconnectivity deepens. Through this process you become hooked. And when perhaps you decide to leave the platform, it becomes difficult. After all, you have spent all that time typing and reading teach others posts. You have formed connections with people you might have even never met in real life. You might have talked or chatted online while never having may met. Leaving the platform becomes difficult because it is like removing a part of yourself that is so entwined and engaged in the fabric of the social network.

Whatever conclusion the discussions about age groups arrive at, there is no denying that social media opens up possibilities. If you were a creator of some sort, such as a writer, jewellery maker or web designer, you could flog your wares to your followers. But even if you did not have a product to sell, you could earn some income selling other people’s products. This is known as affiliate marketing, which takes the fuss of managing the most part of the product out of your hands – you merely sell to your followers. A less overt form of marketing that has developed over the years is social influencer, where there is no direct selling, but where a seemingly successful person impresses upon others the brands they use, so that other followers that aspire to the same level of success may be influenced to use the same brands.

Building a group of followers requires a lot of time and effort and self-determination. But you must be patient with it, and not rush. If you intend to go down the “sell my product route”, make sure you also retain the rights to your creation though, so that royalties can grow to a significant income. The singer Michael Jackson made a fair bit of money by holding the rights to the Beatles back catalogue – you can read about this more in the Piano Teacher Crouch End blog- and the small percentage of an income may seem insignificant at first, but it is a minor thing that might transition to a significant sum!

St Ives is famed for its crafts and being an art hub – why else would we have the Tate here? If you are a crafts person, social media can help you enhance your business.

If it doubt, clarify – don’t ignore!

If there are any lessons to take away from Shubnum Khan’s experience, one to be mindful of is that one should never expect anything for free. Another could be perhaps to be speak up whenever you feel uncomfortable about something, and not to simply brush it away simply because you are afraid of speaking up.

The aspiring author signed up many years ago for what she believed to be a free photo shoot. The photography had been organised as part of a project called the 100 Faces Shoot, where a photographer promised a hundred individuals a free professional portrait shot in exchange for the right to use the images as part of a project. The author signed a disclaimer and agreed to the terms, in exchange for a professional shot which might have been useful for future promotional purposes.
What she had not counted on was that her picture would have been used for many purposes without her consent. Khan found that her image had been used in a Canadian newspaper for an advertisement on immigration, as the ‘after’ picture for dermatological advertisements, and even more alarmingly, as a testimonial image in various websites for purposes such as child minding, as if to suggest she were endorsing the product.

It turns out that the photography promised was not simply for the purposes for an art project, but to build a collection of stock images. Khan had signed up and allowed her images to be part of a stock image collection, which meant that any one could have bought her image and then used it for whatever purpose they desired.

One might argue that the writer has a cause for litigation, but as it turns out the contract that had been signed prior to the shoot listed out these terms. In her rush, excitement or perhaps naivety, she had not felt confident to clarify any terms that might have raised alarm bells, and brushed them aside. Or perhaps she believed it unimportant, or was too naive about the repercussions. The moral of the story could be – if in doubt, don’t be afraid to speak up, or raise an issue. Sweeping it under the carpet is not going to work!

There are things we may not understand – we may not understand why the world economies function as they are, or in the field of music, why musicians would claim to be aliens (you can read about the Mysterians in the Piano Teacher N15 blog, but when you face something strange – clarify!