Whether you go into it kicking and screaming, the elephant in the room of any robust media profile, is, dare I say it, social media.
React to the news agenda, or alternatively push out your own practive content, using both traditional media and social media is fast becoming a given.
The Berlin Wall that divided the country from 1961 to 1989 eventually came crashing down. And so too will the wall that still divides traditional media and social media.
As King Soloman, who reigned Israel from 970 to 931 BCE, once said: “This Too Shall Pass”.
Traditional media outlets that publish by both analogue and digital is one thing. Like The Guardian, who back in 2011, announced their adoption of a ‘digital first’ strategy. That’s still traditional media as far as I’m concerned.
But instead I’m talking about equally harnessing social media in all it’s various guises – as well as pushing your profile into traditional media outlets like TV, radio, newspapers and magazines and their online equivalents.
No mean feat.
TikTok, once for pre-pubescent kids to sing into hair brushes – is now used by the World Economic Forum.
In terms of reverse-engineering a mainstream media profile, there’s no one as formidable as KSI, which stands for ‘Knowledge Strength Integrity’.
KSI’s real name is Olajide Olayinka Williams “JJ” Olatunji.
Born in 1993 in Watford, it all started out in 2008 when KSI started providing gaming commentary videos of the FIFA video game series.
As of September 2022, he had over 40,000,000 subscribers and over 8 billion views across his three YouTube channels. 88.6% of KSI’s followers are young males.
Who would think, one individual whose harnessed social media – namely YouTube – would have more media reach today than the BBC, ITV, GB News and TalkTV?
In May 2020, The Guardian sat up and took notice with the headline ‘KSI: Money Gravitates Towards Me’ stating ‘KSI is as recognisable to teenagers as Tom Hanks is to the rest of us’.
Today he owns ten properties around England worth over £10 million.
The Sunday Times estimates he makes over £12,000,000 per year. In 2020. The Times rank KSI as Britain’s biggest influencer.
This is the same man that used referred to girls as ‘sluts ’in his content. He was widely criticised for his self-described ‘rape face’ in 2012 and 2013.
Microsoft even cut ties with him and he was banned from Eurogamer events after third party allegations of sexual harassment of female staff.
But today, a more grown up KSI is both a social media and traditional media crossover Superstar.
And he’s pretty much the CEO of all of businesses that he’s leveraged off his profile.
Becoming a Professional Boxer generated $8.5 million from pay per view and $3.5 million for ticket sales.
In 2015, he published his biography titled KSI: I Am A Bellend.
His solo album Dissimulation was released on 22nd May 2020 debuting at No. 2 on the charts. His second album went straight in at No. 1. He owns his own music company called ‘The Online Takeover’ and has been signed to BMG, Atlantic Records and MORE.
He’s also a comedy actor, featuring in the British comedy film, Laid in America (2016).
The Sidemen are like his family business. They own their own food company called ‘Sides’.
Prime Hydration is a drink company created with his boxing rival Logan Paul and they are official sponsors of Arsenal Football Club.
The Sidemen who he is a part of also own XIX Vodka and a restaurant chain known as Sides.
But most interestingly, he’s now properly crossed over into traditional media. – even though he’s totally born of YouTube.
He did The Great Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off. He appeared on an episode of BBC’s Blue Peter in July 2021. He was on Channel 4’s Celebrity Gogglebox from 2020-21.
Then there’s the one and only British YouTube fitness sensation, Joe Wicks, The Body Coach.
The Lockdown was good to Joe where he have us his daily diet of remote-fitness classes via YouTube. His Twitter is now 428,100 followers. YouTube is 2.81 Million subscribers. Instagram is 4.5 Million Followers. Facebook is 4.5 Million Followers.
Joe Wicks MBE became ‘Dr Joe’ at a Graduation Ceremony at St Mary’s University, Twickenham in July 2022, receiving an honorary doctorate in Sport and Exercise Science. He’s now as much a darling of traditional media as Jamie Oliver – becoming a true household name.
Another entrepreneur whose stepped from the social world and embraced the traditional media world is Steven Bartlett. Steven Bartlett’s Twitter is at 212,000 followers. Linkedin is 847,258 followers. YouTube is 482,000 subscribers. He founded Social Chain. Now he’s on BBC Dragons’ Den is an investor.
Social media is exposing and hanging out to dry some of the pre-internet icons – or at least showing they’re somewhat ‘challenged’ by the social media world.
Some winners and some losers. A quick audit.
Lord Sugar has used his mainstream TV profile to build a big fan base on Twitter and delivers them his brand of nonsense witticisms. On Instagram he’s less prolific.
Chairman of Amshold Group, owner of @Amscreen and Amsprop.
Born March 24 Joined June 2010
Chairman of Amshold Group. Owner of @Amscreen and Amsprop. Host of The BBC Apprentice. amsvest.co.uk
Robert De Niro, one of the biggest stars in the world had one brief foray with social media. Below is his first and last tweet, which was on May 16, 2014.
Robert De Niro
Official Twitter Account of Robert DeNiro / Actor, director, producer, voice actor & father.
Joined May 2014
May 16, 2014
Hello Twitter! Unfortantly its official and I’ve given into the blue bird! #myfirstTweet #RobertDeNiro #official #sharethenews
Rupert Murdoch, the most powerful media tycoon in the world had a burst on Twitter, but then was never to be seen or heard from again since March 2016.
Joined December 2011
3:31 PM · Mar 4, 2016·Twitter for iPad
No more tweets for ten days or ever! Feel like the luckiest AND happiest man in world.
The most daunting aspect of starting out on social media is the sheer scale of content production and distribution that is required.
Production of content. Then scheduling. The ask is enormous.
It’s the modern equivalent to making the film, Ben Hur.
President Barack Obama may look like he’s getting idea popping into his head and posting it on social media.
But its actually a team of around 50 people handling his personal social media posts.
Back in 2009, Barack Obama was one of the first people to truly embrace the power of social media properly. Back then he had 115,000 Twitter followers and used 14 social media channels. Today, he has 133 million Twitter followers.
Canva simplifies the process of designing beautiful posts and then resizing them for all the different size requirements.
Then there’s a flood of AI tools that now author a multitude of pithy posts en masse, all spell checked, nothing plagarised that could upset Google’s algorithms.
So rather than a team of 50 to keep up with Obama on social media, you can keep up much easier with AI augmentation. ‘Yes you can’.
The key when unleashing ‘augmentation’ of your social media activity, is to still give it your own defined style and feel.
Everyone, armed with AI tools is starting to look and sound very much the same even though their supposed ‘high quality content’ is prolific.
There’s a soup of samey ‘high quality’ well-designed social media content out there.
Remember to always adhere to the single minded proposition and your ‘sales objectives’ when planning.
But particularly for social media, there should be around 30 themes or hubs with all the content falling within it– whether it’s article links, videos, retweets falling in a repeating fashion into each of these hubs.
Wakelet is the world’s best tool for organising all the these content pillars and storing online all the tweets, PDFs, PJpegs, MP4s you find and want to push out across all your social channels later.
Well timed out and scheduled regularity builds an organised pattern and slowly but surely pushes the single-minded proposition which sits behind it all.
The dividing wall between social and traditional media is fast coming down – Love or hate social media, ignore it at your peril