I recently received a question about adult performers and social media. In a nutshell:
“When I look at most models, actresses, and singers in mainstream, I find that I know very little about the person. Many A-listers don’t have an account on Twitter or Facebook, and if they do it’s usually maintained by an assistant or a PR firm simply telling you where to find them next (movie, CD, magazine cover, etc).
But when I look into the adult industry, it’s a completely different story – they’re ALL on social media. Many award-winning XXX actresses take the time to tweet and interact with fans every single day. In many cases, they have just as many (or more!!) followers as mainstream actresses do and they certainly have more than their fair share of trolls and haters to sift through… but they all seem to take the time to go the extra mile for fans and followers.
So, when it comes to social media and interacting with their fans, are adult actresses ahead of the curve? Are these ladies being more intimate with their fan base simply because what they do on camera is more intimate to begin with? Or do they simply know something that the mainstream actresses don’t?”
I had (have) some speculations as to why we see this dynamic between mainstream actresses and women adult performers, but I figured why not ask the people who actually know… so I did!!
I posed the above quoted statement and questions verbatim to several folks; and, in almost proving the underlying point, I got back quite a few insightful responses… so many in fact that we’re gonna have to do this in a couple installments!!
Today, enjoy insights from Adrianna Luna and Katie K, as well as from sex educator and adult social media marketing consultant, Sunny Megatron.
“I like connecting and sharing my life with fans through social media because I want them to see who I really am and what I’m into. In movies, everything comes off so glamorous and most of the time I’m playing a character. I like my fans to see me for me, and I love talking with others who share my interests and passions. It’s a great way to connect on a more personal level.”
Follow Adrianna on Twitter at @AdriannaLunaXXX.
“I like to communicate with my fans via social networking because I just love interacting with them! I love getting to know them, finding out about them and their lives, and getting to know everyone’s individual personality. I want them to get to know me, and I enjoy sharing my life with them on a day-to-day basis. I think it’s nice to truly know somebody, not just ‘Katie K The Porn Star.’ I want them to know ‘Katie K The Person’!
I think other performers will agree with me when I say I want my followers and fans to know I’m not the ‘typical, stereotype porn star.’ Some days I want to sit at home in my pajamas watching TV and movies with my doggies, and other days I do really exciting things… I want my fans to follow me on my exciting journey through life, and I enjoy sharing it with them. I feel like I’m very lucky to have fans who are interested in knowing the real me, and I want to give them what they want because that’s what makes me happy.”
Follow Katie on Twitter at @katiekmodel.
“I’m a sex educator who uses social media to connect with my fans and I share A LOT. Why? My specialty is teaching about alternative sexuality, so many of my classes revolve around kink and LGBTQ subjects. Those new to the alt sex arena are often in the midst of overcoming shame, embarrassment or ridicule from friends and partners. The journey of self-discovery and process of coming out to loved ones can be difficult.
It’s my job not only to educate but to help people become comfortable in their own skin. They need to know they aren’t alone and that the sexual inclinations they have are normal. I’m very forthcoming about my kinks, non-monogamy and pansexuality. I’m also just as open chitchatting about everyday tidbits regarding work issues, stories about my kids or what’s on my shopping list. This interaction provides a real-world example of a ‘regular person’ just like them who has learned to integrate alternative relationships/sexual practices into their day-to-day life. Seeing someone successfully maintaining an existence thought unattainable gives others the inspiration to make changes in their own lives and set goals to maximize happiness.
Social media is also essential because it allows me to maintain my ‘brand’ (me!). I am exceptionally approachable and relatable to people from various walks of life. This is a big part of what makes me so good at what I do, i.e. it’s what makes my brand appealing and unique. People wouldn’t attend my classes or seek me out for private consultation if they didn’t feel at ease and trusting of me. Using social media helps me showcase that part of myself.
Lastly, I use social media to seek out more work. I’ve secured well paying copy-writing jobs, out of state teaching jobs (not only with great pay but all expenses paid travel and hotel stay) and syndicated quite a bit of my writing all through 140 character messages on Twitter. Equally important, social networking has allowed me to build valuable working and personal relationships with others in my industry.
Before becoming a sex educator, I had a 17-year career in advertising working on major global brands. I’m also currently a Social Media Marketing Consultant for adult clients and well versed in the benefits of social media for porn stars. Adult entertainers are much more likely than their mainstream counterparts to use platforms like Twitter and personal blogging as a major marketing tool for a number of reasons.
The purpose of porn is to give its viewers the illusion of intimacy. Before the dawning of the internet, that fantasy was always unattainable. Aside from reading a blurb in a magazine about liking long walks on the beach and puppies at sunset, we never got to really know these mysterious, sexy women. Dedicated fans would go to extraordinary lengths to meet a favorite adult actress at a promotional event or send away for a mail order autographed photo.
Thanks to social media, adult stars can now interact directly with their fans on a constant basis and bridge the gap between fantasy and reality. Because of its loose censorship policy, Twitter quickly became the platform of choice for the adult industry. Of course, the porn actresses who interact most with fans build better followings which, in turn, leads to better roles. The better roles help them earn a higher salary and build a stronger following which starts the cycle again. Using social media is win/win in the adult industry and can make or break a career.
Gone are the porn superstars of yesterday. The small talent pool of decades past has been replaced with thousands of women trying to break into the business. Because the market is so saturated, porn acting careers have much shorter lifecycles and the pay is not near what it used to be. In addition to suffering from the economic downturn, the porn industry took extra hits with the influx of tube sites proving pirated movies to the general public free of charge. With their bottom lines suffering, porn production companies lowered their pay rates and no longer have large budgets to promote bigger name stars. This gives all the more reason for adult performers to have to rely on heavy self-promotion.
Social media is free and, when used properly, gets fast results. It’s the best advertising and branding platform out there. Porn stars also use social media to network with each other which helps them build alliances and secure better paying, higher profile roles. In this day and age, effectively using social media is mandatory for a porn star’s success.”
Follow Sunny on Twitter at @SunnyMegatron.
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This question and series of responses was inspired by Chris Weiler – you can thank him on Twitter at @yman173.
Candid pics from Twitter and Tumblr.
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You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from PVVOnline/Porn Valley Vantage, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.PVVOnline.com).”