Miquela Sousa, more popularly known by her handle as @lilmiquela did it. 1.5 million Instagram followers later and still no known pulse. Odd, right? Apparently not in today’s “influencer” market. An influencer (thank you Claira’s Monday blog) is someone who gets paid to promote a brand, typically due to their extensive following.
At first glance trust me, it’s ok to do a double take. Lil Miquela is perplexing to the eye. She’s a computer-generated 19-year-old Brazilian-American model who is often mistaken for any other living, breathing Instagram star—and the best part is that nobody really knows who the magic behind the account is. In recent posts, she has been sporting brands like Baauer and Ugg, been hanging with the Olsen twins, and even been encouraging the citizens of United States of America to vote. Lil Miquela has a voice and people are listening. To a “girl” who even refers to her own self as a robot, WHY do we keep engaging?
Influence marketing is becoming imperative for branding products and Lil Miquela is a stellar example of how anyone can gain a following large enough to lead them to the land of influencers. We want to be her. We want to know what she does, what she wears, where she gets her pepperoni pizza. Everything. And often times our own brand choices and perspectives end up reflecting Lil Miquela’s own. But how did she get here?
Going from zero to hero takes a plan and whoever is behind Lil Miquela’s persona had a lot to consider before taking on this project. In order to become famous on Instagram, it is crucial to tell a story—a unique personality is key (think Kardashians). According to Caroline Forsey, who researched 14 people that gained stardom simply by their social accounts, some tips to consider when trying to make yourself competitive are to set an aesthetic tone from the beginning and stay consistent, quality is what keeps followers coming back, and engagement is literally everything. If your followers feel like they know you, whether you exist or not, they will gain trust and want to be like you. Integrated Marketing Communication is essentially optimizing the communication of a message and Lil Miquela has created a picturesque platform to fascinate over, leading us to question the reality of our own lives along the way.
Good luck and don’t forget me when you’re out there on a private jet eating KFC with Tana Mongeau 😉
I thoroughly enjoyed your post and actually have never heard of Lil Miquela. That is something interesting, that someone gained a following through a fake model. I have seen things that are blatant characters just for social media influencing. One that I can think of just off the top of my head is Lil Mayo, an alien that hangs out with rappers and smokes in most of his posts. I do not follow this person but have heard of the character. I like how you included the tips from Caroline Forsey, giving us more insight into how to do this ourselves. Great post and keep it up!
This has always been interesting to me from the aspect of what are some of these “instafamous” influencers really influencing, and also, how many of those 1.5 million followers of lil Miquela are anymore real than her. I have always been interested in the numbers or facts behind some of those millions of followers in some situations. Are a good percentage of her followers bots themselves? Maybe, maybe not, either way though the ad revenue is coming in and people are biting. The other point that I think you may be kind of proving is that with the internet today and Instagram especially, its so easy now, and almost detriment to some young people in because it paints this picture of some un-attainable look for the average person. Honestly I would be willing to bet there may be people that still follow this CGI girl and don’t know or care to know she isn’t real. Yet, either way again, the ad rev will come in when they throw Nikes, or Levi’s on her.
This was a short but very to the point post. In my opinion it’s really true and that a lot of people don’t want to accept- the work or finesse behind gaining a big and loyal social media following. People really just think that they blow up for their antics but most of the time these people had to ideate or even formulate a strategy to attract a mass amount of people. IMC plays almost an integral role in the branding of oneself on social media.
This is a fascinating article! I had not yet heard of Miquela Sousa and I am intrigued to know that she is computer generated. I think the idea is awesome and it’s impressive to know she has such a large following! Indeed, today’s society has seen influencer marketing become a hot-topic and we all can think of at least a few personalities who use their own personal branding to build a following then monetize it by working with other brands. One reason I believe influencers have become such a big deal is the value of relationships in marketing. Customers today are much more likely to engage and even buy when they have built a relationship and feel like they have a close connection. Big brands recognize this and partner with influencers in their niche, immediately putting themselves in front of their target audience alongside a respected influencer who already has a relationship with their following.
This blog was at the top of the page and I didn’t even scroll down to see what the others were because I was already intrigued by your title! Before reading this article, I was not aware of this computer-generated Insta-influencer. It is incredible that she looks “so human,” is not a real person, and has this much influence and voice. I thought it was particularly interesting that whoever is behind the scenes thought to use her to promote American citizens to get out and vote. Do they really think she’s THAT influential? She must be! I wonder if we will begin to see more and more of these “non-human” influencers around Instagram?
Now, I am going to finish my coffee and look this chick up on Instagram!
I have been able to notice that you need to be unique to tell a story on social media in order to gain more followers. The Kardashians have always had an influence on their followers, because they have always been able to have a story. They also have many brands that are known just because it is made by them. I believe it is a very competitive area but many known social media accounts do set a aesthetic tone from the beginning. They also stay consistent with it. Also if you have followed a “famous” person for a while you feel as if you are connected with them because of their personal engagement with their followers. I personally wish I had a more unique page on social media, but it is too time consuming for me.
I think it’s really interesting how the creator managed to craft a character and utilize social media as well as they did. It says a lot about how effective influencers are as marketing tools. Other than the Superbowl it might be the only time that people seek out advertisements.
This is a very interesting blog post on a topic that everyone knows but no one really thinks about. Where did these famous Instagram stars come from? How did they get so famous? When did they decide social media fame is the thing for them? Something that is also insane to me is that this girl is a computer-generated model and nobody knows or can really tell the difference. There is clearly a lot of deep and dirty secrets about the world of social media, and this is just one of them.
That was a neat story regarding Lil Miquela. I had two thoughts that stuck out to me as I was reading this article. That concept of creating a persona that doesn’t exist reminds me of a Vice documentary I watched. There’s this guy who’s famous for hoaxes and he ended up making up a high-end restaurant that didn’t exist and getting it to the #1 spot on Yelp. He did this by rejecting calls for reservations, increasing demand by decreasing supply (reservations) and putting out convincing media. It was like “negging” if you will.
My second thought had to do with Gary Vaynerchuk, an internet entrepreneur, and the connections many of your proposed strategies had to his own. He’s a big believer in putting out content, even if it’s not extraordinary stuff. He likes being consistent across social media platforms and engaging with his followers frequently. These tactics have been the background behind a lot of his success, tactics that you’ve emphasized in this article. He doesn’t work with brands like an influencer, however, IMC for him is similar to that of an influencer.
This is such a great idea for companies to use this Instagram “model” to promote their products. Companies should use these computer-generated models more often, she is appealing to the eye and she isn’t stick thin. I think companies could do a lot of amazing advertisements using computer-generated models to promote all sorts of things. I think it is great that she is promoting voting and I think instead of paying people to model companies could save money by generating their own custom looking model for the company. I think Instagram models are fake enough, editing their photos and bodies, so why not have a fully computer-generated model advertise for companies.
Instagram has become a popular platform for people to share information about his or her life, as well as promoting brands and political opinions. A user of Instagram, I have noticed people sharing their own personal views in hopes to sway the opinion of other users. I am shocked that there is an account of a animated girl that is stirring the decisions of viewers. Integrated Market Communication is growing around social media, making it easier for people to express themselves through brands.
In this day and age, social media has become a very big part of many people’s lives. Social media has become more than just a platform to socialize with peers, but it is now a place where people become influencers and companies can promote their business. Along with Miquela Sousa, there are many instagram influencers like her who help companies promote their brand. Alexis Ren is one of the biggest social media influencers that I follow and she is able to promote many athletic companies and clothing companies. She has even gotten so big that she got on dancing with the stars and has her own athletic clothing line. I think it is essential that companies utilize social media influencers to help brand their products because it is a very easy way to get attention and have people interested in their product. I believe that influencers are much more needed than tv commercials for a company.
I really enjoyed reading this article. I think it hits a huge crowd, it appeals to college students, anyone on Instagram, Millenials and so on. It is something that I know I have been curious about, how do these random people all of the sudden gain so much attention on Instagram. I also loved the tip “quality is what keeps followers coming back” its true. It was a very interesting article!
I found this article very interesting, I actually had no idea that she was a robot or a model. I found this very informative I also liked the wording she doesn’t even have a pulse. I read that and didn’t understand until I read further it definitely kept my interest. I also think its crazy that she has 1.5 million followers I wonder how many people think she’s real.
This article, How to Become Instagram Famous…Even When You Don’t Exist, struck me at first as funny, as I expect the author intended to do with this title, but as I read and critically thought through the article I realized the reality of society in this day and age is centered around this knowledge that includes how to better social media. In fact, this topic is more serious than a joking matter, which may even be unbelievable to an older generation who did not grow up in the social media era. I found this article very fascinating in the sense that it is very helpful in today’s society. This article was both informative and entertaining and as a communicator, I feel educated on understanding the platform of mass media.
I really enjoyed this blog. I totally agree that IG is the new future of entrepreneurs. Anyone can make money now from branding on a popular instagram page. This just proves that you don’t even have to be a real person to obtain followers. It’s all about building your page with pictures that are inspiring and aspiring. Then, once you have gained a respectable following, it is time to start teaming up with brands to promote on your page. Promoting these brands will increase your following and allow you to make commission from outfits sold that you are promoting. Basically every girl with a body now is trying to obtain this status. It is much too easy to fool the public into thinking that these girls look how they do on the APP. After reading this, it is obvious that people can look totally real but be completely fake.
On the imcclass.com link I read a blog post (pasted below) called How to Become Instagram Famous…Even When You Don’t Exist. By reading the title of the blog I was expecting an article with steps and tricks to boost your Instagram account to reach fame. Instead, the meaning of “don’t exist” didn’t mean that you lack followers, it meant they are literally are not human. Yes, that seems bizarre, but the article brought up a point about whoever created this mystery “robot girl”, Miquela Sousa. By creating a unique story line about a robot, the creator of the account was able to lure people in due to curiosity. Now, Miquela Sousa is Instagram famous and is considered an influence. The blog suggests that to become Instagram famous you must draw your audience in and bring them into your life so they feel relevant following you. Once you reach that influenced stage then brands will most likely reach out to you to have you post using or wearing their products to promote their business. The “Instagram Famous” people that we follow tend to influence us personally as well. If they are wearing certain clothes, then we tend to be drawn to the brand they are sponsoring. It is a very interesting concept that this robot has now influenced many followers to do, wear, eat … etc. what she eats. With that said it goes to show that if you have an interesting enough story or “image” … you too can be Instagram Famous.
The post above is for UNCW – COM 231-001 – Jess Kelly