How dancer YvngSwag uses social media to connect with his fans
Fame may not have been possible without social media for up-and-coming musician and viral dance sensation YvngSwag.
YvngSwag got his start on Vine years ago, and now at age 17 has amassed a huge following across platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. He's known for his creative dance moves and unconventional song choices -- but it wasn't always easy for him.
When YvngSwag was getting started, he hit a few road blocks with followers and video views, but persisted and now has over one million fans across his accounts, and millions of views on his videos.
Now, YvngSwag is exploring the music space, and recently dropped his single "Fall in Love." Clearly, on top of his game when it comes to social media, YvngSwag recetly sat down with us to chat about his strategy with videos, his fan interactions and more. Check out the interview below!
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Social media has taken an even bigger leap forward in the last few years, but how did you first decide that you wanted to put your videos and dances online?
I was on the phone with my friends and they were telling me that I had the potential to get a lot of followers on Vine because of my dance moves. I wasn't sure at first, but I looked into it and I noticed that a lot of people were getting exposure by being on the platform, and I saw a few dance videos and I thought to myself 'I can do that dance too' -- those videos were getting a lot of likes and re-Vines. I just started doing it, and it started to fall in place for me, and then I just happened to create a business out of it along the way. It actually helped me get noticed by record labels, record labels would contact me to help their artists get more exposure for their music. Then, I started getting connected with record labels and they would pay me to do that as a promotional piece for them. From there, I ended up signing with a label.
How has social media really helped you propel your career forward? What has having all of these followers allowed you to do?
It's allowed me to experience the world more, and make a change and impact people and inspire them to strive for something that they really want.
What's your relationship like with your fans?
I DM [direct message] and FaceTime a lot of my fans when I have free time. It'll be random too, they won't expect it. I'll just start a conversation with them, and they'll kind of freak out. It's fun to contact them, because without your fans you can't do anything. They're the ones that are helping you get to where you are. I like FaceTiming my fans. They ask me to dance sometimes, and I'll do it.
People have underestimated the skill that goes into putting videos up on social media -- what goes into your videos to make them come to life?
When you're trying to make it, you have to be creative. You have to do something creative that will make that video stand out to draw attention to it. Once you gain a fan base, you can dance to normal songs that show off your talent. My technique was dancing to the different genres of music, and that's how I started my Stop Racism campaign too. I actually ended up liking other genres of music in the end. It's all about being creative and being different.
You also do challenges on YouTube -- how does that work?
Yeah, I do a lot of challenges. I feel like giving prizes away is the key. That's what makes my challenges different because I give prizes away each time. Whether it's money or shoes, or gift cards. Fans love it.
What advice would you give to people who are just starting out in this space?
My advice is to keep the mindset that if you really want it and it's your passion, then strive for it. You'll get negative comments no matter what, it's going to happen, but you can't let that phase you. Stay humble and if you're my age, do your schoolwork first. Schoolwork first, then after that, focus on social media and the dance world and all of that. Block out the negativity and strive for what you want. When things aren't going as fast as you want them to, don't give up.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I see the brand YvngSwag being big, like cologne, boxers, water bottles, and everything like that. I want to branch off and franchise products, and have my own music studios in other cities.
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