Social Media and Personal Branding of Gospel Musicians in Kenya
The paper investigated the influence of social media on personal branding of gospel Musicians in Kenya. The objectives of the study were to establish the forms of social media used for personal branding, to identify the factors influencing the use of social media for personal branding, to evaluate the extent to which social media is used for personal branding and to measure the effectiveness of social media use for personal branding. The study was guided by the self-presentation theory and the perception and visual communication theory. Mixed methods research approach was employed. 25 gospel musicians who topped the charts in the music industry in Kenya in the year 2018 were interviewed and data from their social media sites reviewed. Data was analysed qualitatively and quantitatively. Findings indicate that various social media sites offer differing advantages with regard to personal branding. Some social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram could offer more effective options over others. Most gospel musicians employ social media managers to run their social media sites. Computer literacy, access to smart phones, internet connectivity, internet speeds, target audience, popularity of the platform and the material prepared for release to the audience were found to influence personal branding. The study recommends that gospel musicians can engage communication professionals to improve their branding, increase their brand equities and fan base. Professional branding can also establish e-commerce options that would enable them to translate their social media fan base into music sales, establish commercial clientele that aligns to their personal brand with a view of growing their financial strength.
Keywords: personal branding, communication, social media, gospel musicians