I’m famous – on Instagram. Micro-celebrities, Self-Branding and Social Media

“I’m famous on Instagram….” With self-branding and “micro-celebrity” status becoming ever more important (especially for marketers to “hook into”), this article, written from a cultural studies perspective, has some interesting insights into the phenomenon.

What does the article examine?
The article examines how the concepts of self-branding, the rise of the micro-celebrity and social media are intertwined – and critically examines both the foundations of these ideas as well as their impact.

The interplay between markets, (micro-)celebrity and (social-)media in one paper. Click To Tweet

Which concepts are discussed in the article?
Much of the article is based on branding theories (especially personal branding). However, the main focus of the article is not immediately to extend the theory, but rather to critically examine the impact.

Self-branding is not as innocent as it seems - and this article examines the potential outcomes Click To Tweet

Where is the data from and what methodology is being used?
The article is mostly a review article and uses some prolific examples of micro-celebrities to highlight the points it is making. It is thus not a “scientific study” of the phenomenon.

What are the main outcomes?
There are a myriad of different implications of the rise of the self-branding, the seeming replicability of micro-celebrity status and how they are underpinned by the technological framework of social media.

If you are looking for a primer on micro-celebrity status this article is a good starting point Click To Tweet

What are the implications and why should you read it?
The article is an interesting and very well written summary of the micro-celebrity phenomenon. While it doesn’t particularly examine any marketing-related theories (apart from being based on branding and self-branding, of course), the article could be a great background reading for a class on social media, especially when discussing how marketers can potentially “hook into” micro-celebrities and discussing potential consequences.

Full Reference: Khamis, S., Ang, L., & Welling, R. (2016). Self-branding, “micro-celebrity” and the rise of Social Media Influencers. Celebrity Studies, 2397(September), 1–18. http://doi.org/10.1080/19392397.2016.1218292

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