Why do most cosplayers have active social media accounts? We find out more.
At Fan Expo Canada 2019, I spoke to professional cosplayers and digital content creators Dee Rich, Fenix Fatalist, Ivy Doomkitty, MCubed, Nadyasonika, Onyxeia, King Tide, and Karli Woods about how important social media is for cosplayers trying to go professional.
“It depends on what you want to do. If you want to get to conventions, if you want to get picked up for panels at conventions that are very choosy about their panels—you kind of have to have a social media following. You don’t really have a choice. “
“But you really have to have a thick skin if you’re going to have social media. Sometimes people aren’t very nice to you. There’s a lot of negativity about your costumes. It happens a lot.”
“I don’t want people to like get their feelings hurt. I really enjoy having social media because people will send me photos because they saw my Battle Peach so, they made a Battle Peach. It’s the best feeling ever when they send you that. I really like it to come full circle—like, ‘I saw what you did. Let me follow you.’ And I’ll go, ‘Let’s do another one with someone else’. And that’s how you make friends.”
“I think it’s very important. But you don’t need to relate your self esteem to your numbers on social media, because social media works so differently from the art that you do.”
“Sometimes you can make amazing art and you will know that it’s amazing, but it won’t work for Instagram. It may work better on Twitter, instead.”
“The thing is that you need to know that follower numbers are important if you want to make some income. But it doesn’t tell you how good your art is.”
“It’s really important, because, at the end of the day, social media really makes or breaks exposure, in terms of if you’re going to be at a show or things like that. If you get photos taken at a convention, you want to be able to see them. More often than not, people will post pictures on social media.”
“Having a hub where people can tag you, so that you can see the photos on social media is really a wise choice in terms of having some form of page online, where people can always revert back to see the work that you’ve done.”
“Oh, very, very. It’s basically how you get known, by posting on social media. And, it doesn’t always matter how many followers you have. As long as you have good content, you’re posting often, and you try to interact with your fans online. Because, obviously, we’re interacting with fans at cons. But if you don’t interact with anybody online, then they’re not going to want to follow you.”
“I think we live on social media. Now it’s very important because that’s how you can communicate with people that you don’t know.”
“It doesn’t matter what platform you like—it could be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, Facebook Live—it could be a lot of ways, but it’s good to keep posting.”
“That’s a good way to say to your followers, your friends, and your family, that you like this and you’re into cosplay. That you’re working on it.”
“You show your progress and then you post some costumes that you’ve been finishing because people like to see how you’re doing that. ‘What are you making now?'”
“It is so important. But it’s also something that you have to think about carefully. Because you’re going to be judged. Sometimes, you are not going to have the best comments. So, you have to be ready. That’s the only thing I suggest. When you start [on social media], you have to be ready that you might not get always a good comment.”
“It’s good for networking.”
“It’s the platform where you get recognised on. There’s no other way. It’s gotten harder over time, especially on Instagram, the algorithm isn’t so good. My reach has just plummeted. So, it’s getting harder but when it’s been good, it’s what people see you on.”
“Social media is so important, for any brand. You just get online and that’s how you are marketing yourself to the public. That’s how you get your exposure out there.
“You can do ads and boost your posts. But posting every day and just letting people know that you’re still relevant and you’re online is the best way to let people know what you’re doing.”
Cosplay and social media are intrinsically linked. If you hope to become a professional cosplayer one day, you need to work on your social media presence.
But don’t focus on your follower count, or on the negativity that is bound to come your way. Do your best and showcase your costumes, and you may eventually get into the big leagues.