The world of social media and the internet has created a unique universe in which any company can find itself at the forefront of its industry simply by knowing how and when to strike. The low barrier-to-entry and scalability of digital branding has afforded many the opportunity to make their mark in a way that would not have been possible years ago.
While this is the case, opportunity does not equal execution and many companies lack the ability to capitalize on this era of golden opportunity. This is where Alex McCurry has managed to make his mark.
At the age of 18, Alex has managed to establish himself as one of the premier digital brand-builders in the world. With a background in social media management, Alex learned the value of building a digital presence and has leveraged it to form a social media network that reaches over 200 million people every week. His own Instagram has even garnered a personal following of over 24,000. (@alexmccurryo)
On the subject of social media, Alex stated, "The democratization of marketing caused by the rise of social media is entirely unprecedented. I can distribute information to hundreds of millions of people from my cell phone from anywhere in the world… It's incredibly powerful."
After establishing himself as an authority in the social media world, Alex sought out a way to diversify and expand himself as a digital brand-builder. He quickly began to build ties in the press world, developing relationships with writers at a multitude of major media outlets. Alex told us, " After getting a glimpse into the PR world I immediately realized how valuable having the press on your side can be. I have put a tremendous amount of time and energy into fostering and maintaining relationships with all of the outlets that I have access to."
As the world shifts more and more to one where "perception is reality," someone like Alex can play an incredibly powerful role in building out massively credible digital footprints, with the traffic to match. He shared with us, "The reality of the world we are living in today is that the people who control the press and social (media), control everything. Someone could build a massive social media following and earn press in major media outlets over the course of a decade or someone could funnel hundreds of thousands of followers to someone's social media account and get them published in 30 major media outlets and the difference would be indistinguishable to the average consumer." It is for these reasons that Alex has established himself as such an authority in the digital branding space at such a young age. He has been able to put himself in a position where he can cultivate monumentally powerful digital footprints seemingly out of thin air.
While this seems like a scary reality, it is one that is going to need to be faced. The idea that an individual has the power to influence public perception so easily is not one that should be taken lightly. Luckily for us as consumers, Alex McCurry is an anomaly, not the rule. As perhaps one of the most powerful digital branders in the world, his level of access is not easily attainable. However, this sort of influence begs the question, what can tech companies and the media do to ensure that the content that their consumers receive is coming from a place of legitimacy?
There have been various suggestions by industry leaders advocating that social media companies provide more transparent and comprehensive data analytics, the dynamic restructuring of engagement algorithms, and the aggressive removal of third-party software. While these are all potential options, only time will be able to tell us what to expect of the future of social media. And whatever that future may hold, expect to see Alex McCurry at the forefront of it.