Olivia Tumino COM 107 10/06/18
Word Count: 849
An Influencer's Approach to Social Media
Lauren Elizabeth Luthringshausen first emerged when she began her blog
in 2011 (Luthringshausen, n.d.). Since then, she paved her own path to success by embarking on business ventures and elevating her entertainment content. She has attracted many devoted fans which is evident in her 1.2 million YouTube subscribers. Lauren dubs herself as a “lifestyle blogger,” specializing in fashion and beauty and advocating for the “girl boss.” She empowers women with her fierce dedication to her work and raw honesty about the realities of life.
Lauren Elizabeth has cultivated her image through her presence on media platforms, including YouTube and Instagram. In fact, Lauren Elizabeth's messages across Instagram and YouTube show stark differences as she utilizes YouTube for entertainment and Instagram for business promotion.
As mentioned, YouTube is Lauren Elizabeth's central hub for entertainment and intimacy with her fans. YouTube may seem like just a video sharing website, but it is actually a space where viewers can get a realistic
glimpse into the lives of others. This is because creators post “vlog” videos or sit- down style videos where they are speaking directly to their audience. This creates a bond between the viewer and the creator and feels like an intimate conversation. In fact, “7 out of 10 YouTube subscribers relate better to their favorite YouTube content creator than to traditional television or movie stars” (Barker, 2018). Lauren Elizabeth's content on YouTube reflects her bubbly personality which many viewers find relatable and interesting. This intimate relationship would be much tougher to generate on a less personal platform, like Instagram.
In addition, YouTube videos are not constricted to a time limit – this allows for a lot more creativity. Lauren Elizabeth is able to freely express her ideas or opinions without being cut off after a sixty-second-time frame – like she would on Instagram. YouTube gives Lauren Elizabeth the flexibility she needs to create content that she enjoys. The more laid-back set up of YouTube, combined with the length of the videos, allows Lauren Elizabeth to use YouTube as a more personal, entertainment space.
Instagram, on the other hand, has another purpose for Lauren Elizabeth. Over the years, Instagram has evolved into a smart phone app dominated by photo sharing. Yet when specifically using Instagram for business, as Lauren Elizabeth is, the platform becomes a powerhouse for capturing customers (Alkhowaiter,
2016). This is because “Instagram was basically designed for mobile phones, and since smartphones help to connect people...on the move, it makes it easier for a business to reach its customers wherever they are.” Currently, “more than 50% of businesses use Instagram to market their products” and it is quite obvious why (Alkhowaiter, 2016).
One particularly important feature on Instagram for businesses is that anyone can purchase an advertisement. This can help a new business, like Lauren Elizabeth's, “grow where they already have a present community,” said Kati McGee, a Brand Development Lead at Instagram (Leary, 2016, p. 46). Instagram makes it incredibly easy for new businesses to showcase their product quickly. For example, Lauren Elizabeth can quickly choose an image or an ad within her page and have it show up on the feed of thousands of potential customers in a few clicks. This is essential to helping her brand grow and is exclusive to Instagram.
Further, the layout of the Instagram app itself allows a brand to create an aesthetic that is not achievable on YouTube. The Instagram algorithm sets up each profile's content in rows of three. Brand owners use this layout to create a presence that reveals the essence of the brand. It has been found that “having a curated Instagram aesthetic is one of the best ways to grow your account...and show off your brand's unique style” (Carbone, 2018).
Lauren Elizabeth currently owns two businesses that each headline their own Instagram profile and a unique aesthetic. For example, Lauren Elizabeth's
home line, Feel, has an Instagram that is highlighted by rosy pinks and soft tones. This is to create a feeling of comfort and warmth that one would want in their home. Lauren Elizabeth's other brand also follows the same marketing plan. Business owners deliberately plan out their Instagram feeds in order to sway customers towards their products.
Screenshot from @feelbyle. Screenshot from @xlethelabel
(https://www.instagram.com/feelbyle/?hl=en) (https://www.instagram.com/xlethelabel/?hl=en) These important features on Instagram make it more suitable to promote a
business than YouTube. However, note that while Instagram accounts like Lauren's may look pleasing, it is still an advertising tool. Every post on a business account is premeditated. Brands use Instagram less for interaction and more for making their products look “picture perfect” in order to sell them to the consumer. Conclusion
In conclusion, Lauren Elizabeth utilizes YouTube to showcase entertainment videos and Instagram to grow her businesses. Yet, it is evident that
Lauren Elizabeth's success with her business on Instagram would not have been possible without her supporters from YouTube. By starting off on YouTube, Lauren Elizabeth grew her following to the point of being able to start a successful business. Lauren Elizabeth is a perfect example of a new influencer who used the growing social media world to her advantage in order to create a brand for herself.
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