Porn Stars Share Secrets of Social Media
LOS ANGELES — It’s no longer enough for a porn star to have the best body, be sexually ravenous or star in hundreds of movies to assure her success in the sex game. Today, it's social media that makes a star.
So what are the tips and secrets every performer should know? XBIZ asked adult star Vicky Vette (who’s personally chalked up more than 635,000 Twitter followers since 2010) and some of the girls who make up the Vette Nation Army (VNA) network of stars’ sites — one of the industry’s major social media powerhouses that consistently blasts news into cyberspace at a lightning face pace — how to use social media tools for success?
Vette put it bluntly — if a girl doesn’t work on their social networking skills, she’s crazy.
“The business of adult has changed dramatically. It used to be that girls would shoot five or more times a week and those videos and box covers would go into the local neighborhood video stores where every single man would find out who the newest star is.
The companies did tremendous '’star’ promotion with beautiful box covers. With DVDs no longer being made as much, there are less and less glamorous box covers.There are barely any local stores for consumers to walk into. The producers no longer promote girls like they used to. A video is 'released' online as a scene and the hoopla is done in a couple weeks with very little benefit to the girl,” Vette lamented.
She added that social networking is a critical way for girls to connect with new fans and have direct communication with people who might buy a DVD, cam show or website membership. “Everyone from club owners to producers of adult look at a girl’s social networking to make decisions on her 'value' to hire. If you have a ton of followers... trust me... they know it.”
Coming as no surprise, Vette said that a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat are necessary. But she recommends Twitter as her favorite, pointing to CNN as an example of its power, adding that it’s the only place adult content can be included.
Starlet Angelina Castro described Twitter as “the voice inside my head.” “I reach people on Twitter in ways I could never reach in person. It's freedom of speech and reach," she said.
And Sara Jay said Twitter has been "massive" for getting her media attention, noting that she’s always looking at what might be the next social media fad.
But Vette thinks fads may not be the best idea, pointing to SnapChat as a limiting example. She’s also lukewarm about Facebook because it doesn’t permit adult and limits followers. She does like Google+ however, garnering herself more than 4 million views with little effort, and also likes YouTube if a girl can get around restrictions and keep her own channel.
Getting a huge network is tough, requiring a mix of of luck, popularity and tremendous work een for a vetran like Vette. “I have been on Twitter since 2010 and now have more than 635,000 followers. That's 150,000 followers a year or 12,500 followers a month on average gained.It's been a steady climb of about 300-600 followers every day. Every now and again I have a big story in the press," Vette said.
She added, "I was in the main papers in Norway for example and got about 4,000 in a day. I was in the news in Indonesia and picked up about 3,000 a day for a few days. By and large though, followers are gained by fans retweeting links, and other people seeing those retweets. If the fans don't like the tweets they don't retweet them. I do ‘followback’ fans at will. Some girls hate following fans for fear of getting dreaded personal messages for them or having to read what they tweet. I don't mind it in the least... a personal message to a fan inviting him to come to a cam show can be very effective."
Adult star Sunny Lane has also embraced social media to the tune of using it as her "virtual publicist." She told XBIZ that the impact it's made for her business is mind-blowing. "The fans have an opportunity to see us in a different and more personal light [because of social media],” she said.
Nikki Benz also gets closer to her fans outside of adult (a huge part of her success) by using the tools — a method by which she said helps push her brand and “stay ahead of the game.”
But Vette noted that some girls still buy followers, retweets and likes, a practice she dislikes, pointing out that fake followers can't buy anything, can't vote in contests, can't show up in clubs and don't retweet girls’ pictures. “Work hard on your fan base... not your ego,” Vette recommends.
When asked for real world example of the power of social media, Vette said that everyone from club owners to porn producers to fans look at your social media these days. She pointed to adult star Puma Swede who recently landed a TV gig after the producer found her on Instagram. “Girls are their own publicity. The producers don't do it as much so it's part of the game. If you are not promoting yourself, your chances of success in the business are dramatically less.”
Swede told XBIZ, “It's important to have a place where to post my #selfies #tittytuesday and #tbt pics. And of course an awesome way to stay in touch with my fans and let them know what I'm up to — or down to... #buymybook #mylifeasapornstar.”
So what do fans want and what can catch star makers’ eyes?
Vette said stars should keep it simple, sexy and entertaining, and noted that fans are fans for a reason and don’t really want to hear negativity. “It always surprises me when girls post terrible pictures, or tweet things like 'I need my prozac today,’ or ‘I got my period, I feel terrible, I'm so tired.’ Fans have a certain image of a girl. Why tear down that image?"
Adult star Deauxma likes chatting with fans — about everything. She admitted to being a big sports fan and rattles on about music, cooking recipes, politics, anything that comes to mind. Surprisingly, she doesn’t talk about her professional life, and revealed that she views that type of chatter as “commercials” — and fans hate commercials. Talking about everyday stuff lets the fan know she’s a real person, the girl next door and “not some stuck-up bitch just trying to get their almighty dollar.”
But what if a star is just too busy to cyber socialize? Can they enlist a service to help out?
Vette said although they may exist, she thinks girls need to run their own careers. “How hard is it actually take or post a picture? A tweet takes 20 seconds of your life. Do you really want to trust someone else with your career image?,” Vette asked.
Deauxma added she’s not aware of any services and instead enjoys the interaction, tweeting every day. Starlet Trisha Uptown agreed and added, “No one can convey your personality better than you.”