With today’s social media platforms, there comes an opportunity for anyone to give themselves a voice and make their name known.
2010 graduate Ross Smith is now a social media star with millions of followers on Facebook and Twitter. He first made his mark on the app Vine where users post six second videos of themselves that play on a loop.
“I would say I kind of blew up, but it also took a lot of time and work to build up my following. It was kind of a snowball effect. My Vine career was a big reason that I took off, and my first big video was of me blocking my grandma’s basketball shot,” Smith said.
Some people might say it’s impossible to make a living out of being a social media entertainer, but for Ross Smith it’s a full time commitment.
Smith never planned on doing entertaining videos as a full-time job, but it replaced his original plans for what he wanted to do for his future.
“My videos going viral changed my life completely. I didn’t plan on making videos for my job at all because it just didn’t exist as an option at the time. I actually wanted to be a pro football player and then do creative advertising and after I was done doing that. I was in college studying business at Dayton when I found Vine, where it gave me a voice,” Smith said.
With such a massive opportunity to spread one’s opinion, viral stars have to be careful with what they say.
This can really make it hard to stay out of trouble with not only one’s fans but the general public.
“I have a voice now, but I also have to be careful. I like to portray a lot of positivity and good vibes to my fanbase. This really makes me able to work with cool brands and people.”
It can be said making your way to the top of something definitely doesn’t come easy and will have some bumps in the road.
On Jan. 17, 2017, the Vine app that Smith first made his appearance on was shut down. “In a weird way, it (Vine being shut down) broke my heart. But it was also the greatest thing because it opened me to other platforms. I’m actually going to pitch my show to MTV soon because I really want to focus on TV/movies and grow my brand,” Smith said. In social media, there can be “viral” hits anywhere from local viral videos that are only confined to a certain area and then bigger videos that hit a global scale.
Junior Sergey Safaryan would be an example of someone who went viral locally when he got his head stuck in a chair in class.
“He (Sergey) was acting out in class. Two seconds later, I turned around, and he was stuck in the chair so I started recording it,” said Yvonne Agbor, who filmed the video. When someone posts a video and their social media starts blowing up, they may wonder what happens.
If the user’s account is not private, anyone can see it not just your followers so having an open account makes you a lot more prone to more attention.
“I got a lot of people messaging me asking about the full story of how it happened and how he got out of the chair. He ended up having the janitor to cut it off,” Agbor said.