Amanda Cerny has amassed a huge global social media following across Vine (4.6 million), Facebook (4.2 million), Instagram (4.2 million) and Twitter (419,000). The former Playboy Playmate is starring in the new feature film from Maker Studios and Lakeshore Entertainment’s Off the Dock, Internet Famous, which is a parody of social media stardom featuring top influencers such as Shane Dawson, Steve Greene, Wendy McColm, Richard Ryan and Christian DelGrosso.
The film, which just launched on iTunes, follows the adventures of five fictional Internet personalities as they travel across the country to compete in a talent competition. The only problem is . . . they have no talent.
That’s not the issue with the real-life Cerny, who plays ditzy Amanda Day in the film. That character isn’t that far removed from the role Cerny plays in her short online comedy sketches, which has led to her signing with Hollywood agency CAA.
The 24-year-old influencer reveals the secrets to her online success in this exclusive interview.
What’s your take on Maker Studios making the leap from social media giant to feature film company?
They’re making the right move by doing that. They’re definitely on top of the game because this is the future. Having influencers in their movies, or creating films starring influencers, is what’s being asked for by the fans. Maker already has a bunch of YouTubers across all platforms on their network, and they’re only growing the company and growing their influences more by reaching out to other platforms such as movie studios. Investing their money into growing the influencers even larger through films is great for their network.
What are your thoughts on the whole mockumentary premise of Internet Famous and what that opens up for fans of influencers like yourself, who are seeing everyone together in a film format?
I know my fans are excited to see the movie because it’s a much longer form of content then what they’re used to from us. The more content we give them, the happier they are. Even moving from Vine, which was six seconds long, to Instagram, which has 15-second videos, and then making longer-form videos on Facebook, made them happy. Everything just keeps growing, so when we’re able to provide them with an actual full-length film, it’s just catering to what they’re asking for.
What are the challenges of creating humor in Vine, which has such short six-second beats?
It’s difficult because if you’re wanting to grow an audience and keep your fan base happy on social medial, you need consistent content. So that’s one new idea for every video that you’re making. In longer-form videos on YouTube you have three to five minutes to make a comedic sketch and entertain people, and you have to post once a week. But for Instagram or Vine that’s one new idea for every video that you’re making, so it’s a lot of ideas and different concepts to think of. And then to tell a story in six seconds or in 15 seconds for those different platforms, you need just to get the highlights of every video in one. It’s difficult because it’s a lot of different concepts that you’re doing every day, and there’s a lot of creativity behind it, too.
The hottest thing out there right now is Snapchat. How have you taken advantage of that newer social platform?
I love Snapchat. I started using it right when they made Live Stories public. I was already on Vine and Instagram, so I did a viral Facebook video saying I’m going to start using Snapchat as well. It’s just more content for my fans, so I started making Stories where I opened it to the public. So anybody who knew how to spell my name could add me and then watch my daily Stories. But with that, it’s also a lot of posting. I’m always on my phone. I’ll either do a Story of the highlights of my day, and then on certain days what got me to grow so much on Snapchat was doing my ACernyStory, which is where I would tell a 60-second ridiculous improv story.
Snapchat is a really difficult platform to grow on because there’s no discovery page. If people don’t know how to spell your name exactly, they’ll never find you on there. It’s definitely an app where you grow by word-of-mouth. It’s just really difficult for people to add you. I got on there at just the right time. And then doing those Stories really helped me with growing on the platform.
What influencer marketing opportunities with brands are opening up from having these huge followings across social media?
It’s crazy the difference now. I remember when I first started Vine, it was the fans who would reach out to give free products for you to post on your social media and you would think, “That’s the greatest thing in the world.” But now that everybody is a bit more knowledgeable about how valuable their audience is, and not wanting to sell out to your audience, any influencer that has millions of fans that are watching them every day — you have an entire network of people. If a brand were to run an ad as a commercial on a television network, they would probably get a guaranteed couple of million people watching the ad. But they’re not necessarily sitting down on their couch watching the ad because a lot of people when commercials are playing, they’re not by their TV, they’re not giving their undivided attention to those commercials. So they’re not guaranteed numbers. But through apps like Snapchat, when I post a Story every day, I have that user’s undivided attention. I have a legitimate connection with my fans because they know I’m not going to post about something I don’t believe in or promote a product that I don’t like.
I want to promote quality products. So I have legitimacy to the brand that way. And then also over 2 million people are viewing it that are on their phone watching that video, and it’s a guaranteed number.