Written by Heidi Yu
The challenge of finding more meaningful ways to engage and interact with fans is one of the main problems facing social media influencers today.
Social media stars are contributors whose followings can run into the millions on platforms like SnapChat, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. These folks have traditionally been confined to the use of these applications as the exclusive ways by which they are able to connect with their followers.
Content creators will soon have the power to cast off the yoke of traditional social media platforms and digital distribution services with the arrival of blockchain technology. Blockchain technology uses dApps (decentralized applications) to introduce innovative ways of supporting the smart economy made up of influencers, followers, developers, and brands.
Authenticity Leads to Greater Follower Engagement
Affording content creators greater control over how they connect with their audiences is of cardinal importance. According to Instagram influencer Alex Tooby, creator of the Instagram account @menandcoffee, a genuine presence is crucial in engaging a following. In his article 6 Tips to Becoming an Instagram Influencer, half of the items on the list are tied to authenticity. Number one “Capitalize on Your Uniqueness,” advises wanna-be influencers to look at “What makes you different than everyone else on this earth?” Number two, “Don’t Be Shy,” implores influencers to “…ditch any insecurities you have and get ready to BARE IT ALL.” The third point about authenticity, “Choose & Stick to an Aesthetic,” strongly implies the need to find your own aesthetic, i.e., your own true voice as an influencer.
In keeping with this sage advice, it is critical when building trust between social media influencers and their communities that fans are able to identify with personalities as real-life humans. It is left to the influencer to create trust with posts that add value, are sincere in reflecting their brand, and present honest representations of at least some aspect of themselves.
Blockchain technology can help to foster authenticity by facilitating the sort of engagement that easily allows content creators deeper, more substantial contact with followers, even one-on-one, if so desired. Blockchain-based technology and open-source dApps run on a decentralized network of computers, instead of on a central database.
Influencers will soon be able to partner with developers in this environment to create dedicated apps that are uniquely tailored to their needs, allowing them the ability to offer performance-based services to followers, like classes or private coaching sessions. The use of smart contracts on the blockchain makes it possible to enter into partnerships with a greater level of safety and trust than ever before, giving influencers myriad options in monetizing their talents, like selling personalized services and products from brands that they have partnered with, for example. This capability to offer performance-based services or sell products can be built right into the dApp.
Custom-Tailored DApps Give the Power Back to Influencers
BOOSTO.io is an innovative, cryptocurrency-enabled, blockchain-based, decentralized app store that allows social media influencers to generate unique, personalized dApps that makes it possible for them to interact more authentically with their fans. With specialized applications specifically created to serve the individual needs and preferences of each influencer, it becomes possible for content creators to interact more creatively with their followers. For example, a yoga teacher could offer classes via livestream, or sell her favorite gear in an online shop of her own. A life coach could offer group accountability webinars. The capacity to offer webinars, set up online stores and livestream can all be built directly into the personalized dApp, which renders middlemen unnecessary, and allows profits to go directly to influencers and dApp developers.
There are other companies developing exciting new platforms that use blockchain technology to enhance trust and inspire open and honest interaction. Verisart is a platform which allows users to “create secure digital certificates for art and collectibles,” and to keep detailed provenance records via the immutable public ledger system of the blockchain. Another is FreshWorks, which, according to its website, “creates smart and elegant mobile applications, seamless product strategies, responsive web applications, and story-driven user experiences for bold entrepreneurs.”
These startups use blockchain-based technology and dApps to give agency to the influencers so that they may stay true to themselves and more consciously shape their brands, creating healthy, transparent relationships with their communities and fans.
Heidi Yu is a serial entrepreneur, influencer marketing evangelist and AI enthusiast. An MBA graduate from Seattle University, she successfully founded Boostinsider at the end of 2014. As one of the few women leaders in blockchain adaptation, Heidi founded BOOSTO.io, an influencer driven decentralized app store that returns power to creators and makers. Heidi speaks to audiences around the world about the adoption and the benefits of the blockchain.