Social Media and the Rise of Modern Day Money Makers

Maya Hirano, Reporter

With the ability to freely access information and instantly connect with others from around the globe, social media platforms such as Instagram and Youtube give newer generations entertainment while also giving them an opportunity to make money. Social media’s large influence on everyone from teenagers to adults makes it a perfect tool for advertising, whether it be to promote a product or a business.

    “Honestly social media I think is more impactful because, especially among teens which are more susceptible to advertisements and stuff, we don’t really watch TV as much anymore. Like YouTube, it’s social media. Instagram — we’re always on our phones; Twitter, everything is all constantly reinforced. So I don’t really think that TV and print ads are as effective anymore,” said entrepreneur Senior Sidney Liu.

    Liu started her jewelry business in August 2017, where she sells dainty handmade necklaces and earrings. The bulk of her customers come from social media, as the business is primarily promoted through her Instagram

@splendorjewelry. While originally creating her business for fun, Liu made approximately $3,000 in sales in 2018. “I think social media’s very impactful on small businesses. It makes a really big difference to get your name out there and you can start selling before you even go out and do craft fairs and stuff,” said Liu. “I asked my friends to promote ads like craft fairs. I ask them to post on their Instagram stories and stuff and they’re happy to do it so it’s good to reach a bigger audience.”

    Along with businesses and entrepreneurs, social media also plays a big role in the music industry. Today’s artists have the ability to advertise their music to an increasingly diverse audience. “Nowadays, social media has been — its role in music promotion for artists and stuff has been growing because now you can have artists that aren’t with any record label. They can just be an independent artist that they just put their music on social media and if it blows up there then they’re famous and they don’t even have to go and make their music with a recording studio or anything. They can just do it at home now,” said Senior Evan Imata, an aspiring artist under the moniker of Evan Kepler. “I feel like social media is a bigger part of a musician’s success than it was before and now people can cut straight to that success without having to go through the process of finding other people to help them.”

    Imata promotes himself primarily through his YouTube channel which can be found under the name Evan Kepler. With three albums currently available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, Imata hopes to expand his following on his channel as he plans to soon release new music that he’s been working on since March 2018. “Starting my YouTube channel a long time ago and putting myself on social media, I mean I kinda cared how much followers I had but not really. That wasn’t really something I thought about. Now I’m trying to get external help, so in the past few months I’ve been trying to work on contacting people and asking people to help me make actual videos — people who have experience making those sort of things so that I can put much more quality content on my channel rather than something I just filmed at home,” said Imata.

    While unknown to most of the public, local TikTok, Instagram and YouTube star Hali’a Beamer also plans to get involved in the music industry. TikTok, formerly known as, is an app that enables users to share videos of themselves lip-syncing to songs or voiceovers. “We’re going back up in LA on Friday. She has three songs already recorded up there with a producer and then a fourth one she’s gonna finish recording when we go on our trip,” said Hali’a Beamer’s mother Beth Beamer. “She’s a little shy about telling people. Very few of her friends even know. When she comes home to Hawai’i, she’s very lowkey and she doesn’t — even at school and stuff, she doesn’t talk about it with her friends.”

    Hali’a Beamer’s large following on platforms like Instagram enable her to make a profit by promoting specific products. Products that she is requested to advertise range from skincare to fashion. “Sometimes they’ll send her products. Sometimes they’ll send her clothing, bathing suits ‘cause she lives in Hawai’i so she gets a lot of swim suit companies, clothing companies. She can select and choose what she wants to promote,” said Beth Beamer.

    A majority of the profit allows Hali’a Beamer to travel; she has visited New York, Chicago, Oregon, Los Angeles and soon Japan. Additionally, a lot of it also goes toward video production and saving for school. “I’ve been to VidCon and then a bunch of meet and greets where I met a lot of people and that was really exciting,” said Hali’a Beamer. “I want to be a model and I want to go to college — to see if modeling doesn’t work, I can be like a lawyer or something.” Beth Beamer added, “It’s expensive to travel, so she does it so she can get her music and her production stuff done. Once she gets into her music, hopefully she won’t have to do so many promos and things.”

    However, social media also has downsides when it comes to fame and popularity. Cyberbullying is commonly found among teenagers and has negative effects on self-esteem. “She gets a lot of — you know with social media — a lot of the bullying and the nasty comments from people. She gets a lot of really good nice positive stuff, but you know it just takes one or two kinds of nasty people to get to you,” said Beth Beamer. “Sometimes doing the promos and stuff — people don’t always like the promos on her YouTube and sometimes she gets a lot of heat for doing promos.”

    Another popular social media influencer is Senior Ava Moniz, commonly known as Ava Jules. Moniz has over 900,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 400,000 followers on Instagram. The social media icon is currently on a month long trip to Los Angeles, where she is filming a new web series for the popular YouTube channel Brat. Brat features original shows starring mainly younger actors and actresses. For Moniz, this is her first show and she is excited to be playing a lead role in their up-and-coming series.

    Making money from social media platforms takes dedication that is often not seen by the eye of the public. Videos and photoshoots along with advertisements all take time and money in the process of preparation and ultimately putting ideas in motion.