(By: Angela McLean)
An event where social media and cell phone use is openly encouraged almost sounds too good to be true. However, a recent event for teens hosted at Ryerson was created to celebrate social media and its viability as a professional tool and even career opportunity. So, yes – tweet, Instagram, Snap and Vine away.
The inaugural Hashtag Live event, held at the Ryerson Theatre, brought social media enthusiasts and experts together on June 25 for an afternoon filled with educational panels and talks, exciting performances and engaging trivia and giveaways. The talent lineup included stars from YTV and Family Channel shows including The Next Step and Max & Shred, hot performers like Dan Talevski and The Revel Boys as well as social media mavens from Vine, YouTube and the music industry. To sum it all up, the event was #lit.
RUtv News had the opportunity to chat with all of the social media influencers and performers on the red carpet before they hit the stage and they gave us their insider tips on being a social media pro and taking the PERFECT selfie.
We’re here today at Hashtag Live! What are you most excited for?
Christian Cantelon: I’m really excited to see all these panels and hear what all these other big people have to say. I want to learn something from this and I want to teach people about stuff too.
Dan Talevski: I’m excited to get back on stage and sing! I’m going to be singing two songs – “Guilty as Sin” and “Knock Me Off My Feet” – so it will be great.
Rick Barker: I’m excited to speak and meet some folks. I’m also excited to see what people are here for. You know, are they wanting to be internet famous? Are they wanting to be artists? Did they just want to see people? I’m really curious!
Alexandra Beaton: I’m excited to see The Revel Boys. I think that they’ll be really fun. I’m also just excited to see what everybody thinks about social media.
Ray Ligaya: Meeting fans, the food, the performances…everything!
Carlos Bustamante: I’m just excited to see everyone out here learning. Also, I have a lot of friends that are doing this so I am very excited to see them strut their stuff today!
How important do you think an event like this is for youth and social media enthusiasts?
Carlos: As the host, I think it’s very cool because a lot of people have question marks over their head. The Internet is this weird space where you have access to so much information but you also need insider info and mentorship to get to where you want to go. So, to introduce people that are interested to people that are making waves in a way is a really great thing to do.
You make great use of social media. How do you personally integrate it into your career?
Dan: As a singer, fan engagement is huge. I still do cover songs and I try to always post footage of what I’m doing, whether it’s in the studio or on stage.
Saara Chaudry: I love that people can see who I really am outside of my character [on Max & Shred] and they can see the things I do in my spare time.
Carlos: Social media has kind of become a part of everything. It’s like eating, breathing, walking, talking, Snapping. I Snap and Instagram all the time – @losbot, that’s me – and it gives me an opportunity to connect with fans and followers.
How would you describe your content style?
Kurtis Conner: I’m a Viner so they’re usually pretty short, but I do a lot of puns and clever little jokes. I like to do really weird concepts and then try to bring them back into reality a little bit, but still stay weird.
Andrew Quo: Advice mixed with comedy. I will get good advice across in a video but at the same time I’m going to cut to some skits and make it more entertaining.
Do you have any tips for people who are trying to build their social media persona and following?
Rick: There’s width and there’s depth. I say go for depth. I just recently worked with Trent Harmon who won American Idol. When Trent showed up, he had no following on Twitter, he was locked out of his Instagram account and he had no Facebook. So, he was competing against some guys that had really big followings. What he did is he went and followed more people than anyone else and he got engaged with them. So, my advice is to stay engaged – it’s not about you, it’s about them – and if you go in it for the right reasons you have that opportunity to make it big. Social means let’s be social!
Alexandra: Be positive and be happy! I know you get that instinct when you’re sad or mad to tweet and do things like that, but don’t do it.
Logan Fabbro: Post positive things and hashtag a lot!
Kurtis: Make friends who also want to do it and work together and don’t worry about if people are going to like it or not. If you’re stoked on it then that’s all that matters and the rest will follow.
Andrew: At the end of the day, you have to be very consistent in whatever you post and you have to not be afraid to try new things. If you are convinced what you are doing is working and it’s just not, it might not go anywhere. If you constantly experiment or try new things, you could find something new that nobody’s done before!
Carlos: You can’t be afraid to look dumb and you have to figure out what your voice is so you can find your audience. If you have an audience of 10,000 people, that’s 10,000 people that want to know who you are, what you’re doing and might want to spend money on you as well.
Since this event is all about social media, let’s wrap up with a quick round of #RapidFire! The hashtag that best describes me is…
Kurtis: #happy or #underpressure because I’m really bad at rapid fire.
My favourite Instagram filter is…
Emilia McCarthy: #aden.
Alexandra Chaves: #A6 on [the editing app] VSCO!
Samantha Grecchi: #thefloweronewiththepurplehues [from Snapchat.] It makes you look good no matter what.
Tyson Erlick (The Revel Boys): #custom.
The secret to the perfect selfie is…
Dan: #lighting, #Facetune and #agoodInstagramfilter.
Emilia: #angles and #therightlights – those are very crucial!
Myles Erlick (The Revel Boys): #colour.
Jhaliel Swaby (The Revel Boys): #jaw.
Carlos: #goodangles – knowing what your face looks like so you don’t do the derp face by accident.
A hashtag to describe Hashtag Live is…
Check out more of our snaps of the red carpet and main event!*
Now, let’s get social – connect with us on Twitter @RUtvNews.
*Photo credit for all red carpet photos is Codi-Lyn Dunkley/RUtv News. Photo credit for all main event photos is Angela McLean/RUtv News.