Iggy Azalea Quits Social Media and I am Glad: Here are several social media lessons we can all learn from it
After years of racist, bigoted and controversial statements, losing feuds with rappers (here and here) and even Papa John’s, the Australian entertainer,Iggy Azalea, decided she has had enough. She turned over her social media accounts to her management team.
Azalea decided to quit because a media outlet shared an unflattering picture of her. Some are sad. Others are wishing she’d quit rap too. Honestly, I think that is the smartest move a celebrity can make. It is a move she should have made a long time ago. Why? Many just do not know how to control their image and they cannot handle criticism. They are human. Aside from the body image issues, (there will be plenty think pieces on that) in this post we will focus on social media and how Iggy Azalea handled it.
Some celebrities and companies, like Azalea simply do not they realize the business aspect of social media. Let’s get one point out of the way. Social media is not a diary where you share all of your pent-up feelings. If you are business or personality it is a tool to communicate, promote your brand, and draw people to your products. When you consistently, positively and clearly communicate on social media, your audience will grow. Eventually, that same audience will reward you by sharing, liking, and retweeting your social media posts. That of course, leads to people purchasing your products. That is what good management does, and it is what they will rightfully do for her.
So here are a few things we can all learn from Iggy Azalea’s social media journey:
Before you make it big don’t be a racist or bigot online. Before Iggy Azalea became big, she said horrendous things on twitter here.
- The truth is that nothing on the internet disappears, and it always catches up with you. She cannot escape her past statements and there is a sizable amount of people who think she is a racist bigot.
- Racism and intolerance are abhorrent. Besides looking like a horrible human being, these things turn off loyal and potential sponsors, companies, customers and fans. Your bigotry and racism will inadvertently limit your career and potential revenue.
The best thing you can do is to keep your opinions about other human beings to yourself. Here is an even better solution. Find out why you feel this way and seek some help.
Stay away from internet fights; especially ones you can’t win. Iggy was taken down many times by other more established rappers on social media here and here. It was because of her “runaway slave master” line, her ignorance about rap history, taking comments personally, her indifference to social justice movements and, of course, her inauthenticity. Why did she lose to other rappers online every time?
- She doesn’t know how to play the rap game. Because of it, long-time rap fans and her colleagues do not respect her. When other rappers stepped to her, she publicly on social media wondered why and played the victim. Sadly, her mentor, T.I. (watch it here) then came to her aid. This is a huge no, no in rap. If she knew anything about rap, she’d know rapping is more than putting words to a beat. It is about lyrical skill, word play and being uber competitive. “Clapping back” or “playing the dozens” has part of the rap game since rap’s inception.
- She does not have respect for legends nor did she know the history of her craft. Aside from not knowing how to “clap back,” when a rap legend, Q-Tip, tried to teach her on Twitter about rap’s history instead of saying you are right, she backhandedly dismissed him and rejected it.
- When asked by colleagues and potential fans about her opinions on White privilege online she refused to recognize that one of reasons she got where she is was because of her identity. Many of her White colleagues here and here and who have been accepted have bluntly admitted privilege. She refuses to see that being a rapper from Australia and not knowing the historical impact of your industry but mimicking a Memphis/ Atlanta sound may make you a lot of money, but is not authentic.
- Some of her colleagues even have used their social media platforms to promote and support social justice movements aimed towards the community that created rap music here and here. She refused. Because of their honesty, commitment and respect for the African-American community, which is the origin of rap music, these rap artists have garnered the respect of their more established and legendary colleagues.
Her comments, not playing the game, the disrespect of her industry, dismissal of raps origins and its community and ultimately her inauthenticity has limited her social media reach, audience and lost her potential fans and customers. It also contributed to the belief that she is an opportunist. One more thing; internet fights, especially the ones you won’t win are distractions. It takes you off message and ultimately hurts your image. All of this may lead to a very short career. Just ask Vanilla Ice.
Social media accounts are far more than valuable you think. One tweet or post online could sell an unknown product to legions of loyal followers in an instant. It can cause you to lose a bunch of people too. Use that power wisely. Most importantly, you are in a business, and ultimately the goal of a business is to provide a service or promote a product. Everything else is a waste of time.
What do you think? Is there anything else she could have done better?
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