In a study, titled ‘Influence of TikTok Video Advertisements on Generation Z’s Behavior and Purchase Intention,’ the authors found that, “TikTok, a widely utilized social media platform owned by ByteDance, has become more incorporated into several marketing strategies because of its fast-growing market and engagement reach.” Here, the authors have outlined the marketing power that TikTok holds. However, subtly embedded into this analysis is the underlying cause of TikTok’s reach: community.
Social media has achieved many things, but the most obvious, and arguably the most important, is the ability to connect individuals from all around the world. This means that a community can be created despite distance or nationality. This sense of community has allowed members to form bonds, and share in their common interests. Above this, community in the online space has become a profitable market. Influencers that possess an authentic and engaged platform, can dictate and influence the consumption habits of their followers. This has made the influencer industry a lucrative venture.
Sai Karra is a TikTok influencer that has used his online platform to build a community, and aid him in creating business opportunities. Karra has launched a new NFT project named ‘Metaversity,’ alongside BuiltGen, his marketing agency.
Social Media as a Community
Karra has amassed almost 5 million followers on TikTok, with nearly 30,000 followers on Instagram.
The influencer’s TikTok feed is an interesting space to delve into. Karra combines storytelling with historical narratives to both educate and entertain his platform. Similarly, he also posts videos dedicated to interesting and fun facts, as well as pop culture. Followers watch his videos for lighthearted watching.
Being a macro-influencer, Karra could monetize his platform even further by posting sponsored content, and paid advertisements. However, it is interesting to note that Karra rarely does this. It would seem that sponsored videos are not aligned with his content, nor his followers. As a result, the influencer is able to build trust amongst his followers by not inundating them with paid promotions. These promotions are an integrated facet of social media, but consumers are shown to only benefit from them when they are aligned with the influencer’s brand, and their representation within the community.
Further Formats for Community
Karra has used his community and platform to build and fund other ventures. These ventures are not only to the betterment of the influencer, but also to his broader community.
Karra founded the marketing agency, BuiltGen, with his brother. The influencer operates as the company’s COO. Karra noticed that he was able to provide helpful advice to his peers when they wished to investigate the online space as an entrepreneurial pursuit. His peers, with his help, were able to quickly amass a sizable following. Subsequently, Karra decided to monetize this process, and built the agency to help businesses grow their brands and followings on social media.
The influencer understands the value of community, in both the human sense, and the financial sense. In continuing with this idea, Karra started the NFT project, Metaversity. This project helps connect like-minded people with each other. The project operates as a Discord server. Here, followers can interact, share information, and promote the trading, selling, and buying of NFTs. Metaversity’s Instagram account posts news and information on the topic of NFTs. This is a further way of building community.
Karra is also invested in the concepts of the metaverse and web 3.0. He believes that through this space, individuals can monetize their work fairly, and operate within a community that mutually benefits from success. With Metaversity, the influencer hopes to support the metaverse, and encourage youthful entrepreneurs to build a portfolio of assets, and succeed within a market that does not require rigorous labor.
Social media has allowed creators to not only build their wealth, but to create online communities with their followers. This is beneficial for both the creator and their followers, as they can experience human connection in the digital world. Sai Karra is a TikTok influencer turned entrepreneur who has harnessed the power of community to further the lives of his peers, and himself. Though the influence does not rely on sponsorships, paid promotions, or advertisements, he has been able to build financial stability through clever expansions of his community and platform.