Happy Fandom Friday! For the next month, Everly Mag will feature interviews, articles, and stories about the ups and downs of running a fan account for your favorite stars.
Thank you to everyone who read our interview with The Muser Positivity Room, which inspired the Fandom Fridays column.
This Friday, Everly Mag talked to Haz and Coco of Instagram’s @liliaupdates and Kennedy of Instagram’s @hayleyscurls.
Do you run a fan account on Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr and want to be in our next Fandom Friday? Send us an email with your account name and we’ll try to set something up! Remember: your account must be appropriate for ages 13 and up.
Meet the Fan Accounts
Haz and Coco, owners of @liliaupdates, a fan account for dancer and social media star Lilia Buckingham.
Kennedy, owner of @hayleyscurls, a fan account for YouTube Bratayley star and Chicken Girls actress Hayley LeBlanc.
Everly Mag: What inspired you to start your account?
Haz: Almost 3 years ago, I was actually watching YouTube and came across Lilia’s YouTube channel. I was wondering who Lilia was, so I searched her up on Google and Instagram. She [seemed] like a really cool girl and dancer. Her feed was goals. Her style was, too. One day, I just thought: Why not make a fan account for her? So, I did.
Kennedy: I was inspired to start my fan account because I’ve grown up watching the LeBlancs [as featured on their family YouTube channel, Bratayley]. I used to have an account dedicated to [sisters] Annie and Hayley LeBlanc, but I began to notice a lack of active Hayley fan pages. Eventually, I decided that Hayley deserved some more recognition.
Coco: I started another account back in July, that was just for finding clothing. I love Lilia’s style, and I always saw a lot of comments asking where she bought certain things! Haz and I became friends through that account, and later, when her classwork and sports [were] becoming a little overwhelming, I started to help co-own [@liliasupdates].
Everly Mag: What were your goals for your account?
Haz: I didn’t have any goals, to be honest. All I wanted to do was support [Lilia] and interact with other fans.
Kennedy: My main goal for the account was to bring more attention to Hayley LeBlanc and to hopefully inspire others to join me in doing so.
Coco: I never thought I would grow to the following I have – my goal was just to help people find [Lilia’s] outfits!
Everly Mag: What’s changed most about your account since you started?
Haz: I actually started as a fact account. I used to post facts about Lilia that I got from her live [streams]. Then, I stopped doing that and just posted pictures of her. Then, I decided I should be an update account because there [weren’t] any Lilia update accounts at that time.
Kennedy: What’s changed most about my account is what I post. As I’ve gained more of a following, I have paid more attention to what my followers want to see from me. I’ve learned over time that followers like variation in posts. I used to post only filtered pictures, but now I try to also post [other] things like videos and challenges!
Coco: Starting my other account has given me a lot of opportunities for learning graphic design. I’ve used numerous programs and definitely think I’ve come a long way in terms of skill! Over time, my posts have gotten cleaner, and I think look a bit more professional. For @liliaupdates, it started off as a fact account and had several account changes before landing as an updating account.
I think recently we’ve become a bit more interactive. We have question spams where essentially we ask random questions and post pictures from an event! Our followers really seem to like that, and even Lilia sometimes gets involved!
Everly Mag: What’s been the biggest surprise of running your fan account?
Haz: It was probably the day when Lilia and Jane [Buckingham, Lilia’s mother] followed me. I honestly did not think that they would follow me. My intention was never that, but I guess they liked my account and did so! Ever since that, my follower count started increasing. I didn’t think their follow would have that much of an impact.
Kennedy: The biggest surprise I’ve noticed is how nice people can be! I’ve received so many sweet comments and DMs [direct messages] that honestly make my day.
Coco: I had no idea how close I’d become to so many other girls (and a few guys!) from this account. We created one group chat right when I was starting out, and we have all become super close. We’ll talk about anything together! From Lilia’s new posts, to our favorite editors, to everything we face at home and school.
For a lot of people, social media is, in many ways, an escape. Even people [outside of] our group chats, people who just follow the account, have messaged me starting with requests but then we are able to have full-on conversations. It was clear that, a lot of the time, no one could listen at home and it was amazing how even just listening for a few minutes would help [people] so much!
Everly Mag: What’s the best part of running your account?
Haz: Interacting with other fan accounts. I got to know many amazing people through my account! Most of them are from the liliafam: Coco, Tess, Savannah, Helen, Zahra, Eva, and Crystel. Interacting with Lilia in [a] group chat was also amazing! I’m glad she took her time to “talk” with us. She was so nice and shared so [much] stuff with us!
Kennedy: Definitely the close friends that I’ve made [through] something as simple as a fan page. I’m so glad that I have had the chance to make so many Internet friends through this whole experience.
Coco: The most rewarding part [is] reactions! I mean, of course, Lilia is who we have our account for, and it’s amazing when she sees our account! Just knowing we could be a little extra support for her on a hard day is incredible on its own! But especially, our followers, sending in support or letting us know we put a smile on their faces is the most fulfilling part of having a fan account!
Everly Mag: What’s the hardest part of running your account?
Haz: Probably being on time with the updates. I sometimes feel pressured to post stuff before everyone else does because that is sort of what my account is for – [to] update on Lilia as soon as possible. I can’t always be online to post, especially since we have different time zones! When I’m asleep, [Lilia’s] awake. When she’s asleep, I’m awake. That was why I got a co-owner, Coco, to help me out!
Kennedy: The hardest part would probably be dealing with accounts that have a goal to bring others down. Whether they are attacking someone famous or another fan page, dealing with these pages can be tough.
Coco: I could say it’s the occasional snarky comment, or finding photos to post, but I think the most difficult part would probably be the other side of messages I get. I can’t even count how many creepy people have messaged me and tried to prey on a teen’s vulnerability, or join my live [streams] and comment on my appearance or body.
That’s a part of running a fan account [that] I wish people would talk about more often – how hard it is to see [this] happen and realize what kinds of people there are in the world. Still, the amount of positivity we receive and can spread on our account makes even those moments worth it.
Everly Mag: What advice do you have for other fan accounts that are just getting started?
Haz: Don’t overthink! Don’t worry about when Lilia will follow you. That should not be your goal. Continue to support Lilia and the things she does! Post stuff about her, get to know other people in the fandom. It feels so much better to have a fan account when you’re having fun!
Kennedy: Followers and notices don’t matter. What truly matters is the effect you [have] on others. Be kind and supportive, and your following will grow with time. But, most important, having a fan page should be fun! Hopefully, you start a fan page because you want to, and not for followers and likes.
Coco: [Don’t] get caught up in the amount of followers you have, and [don’t] get involved in drama! It’s always so sad to see the accounts that are always asking for shoutouts or just doing following hours, not being supportive of who their account is for! Also, don’t be afraid to DM people or start group chats! Making friends is a big part of being in the fandom.
Everly Mag: What message would you want to give to the star you admire?
Haz: To Lilia – Thank you so much for taking your time to interact with me and other fans! We truly appreciate it!
Kennedy: If I could give a message to Hayley, I would remind her that she has a whole community behind her who can’t wait to see her grow and thrive!
Everly Mag: Do you think social media is mostly positive or negative? How can teens and tweens help make social media a better place?
Haz: It really depends on the individual. The power to make social media a positive platform is in your hands. Use it! If you have [the] choice to do good or bad, of course you should always do the good thing. Instead of being mean, leave a nice comment on someone’s account.
Be mindful of how others feel. You never know how much a comment can hurt a person. You never know how much a comment can inspire a person to do better.
Kennedy: I truly think that social media is positive. Yes, negativity is present all over social media, but the pros outweigh the cons. Social media is a place where you can express yourself and meet people from all over the world. If teens and tweens could just think twice before posting a hateful comment, maybe they would better understand the weight of their words. Treat others how you want to be treated.
Coco: I think social media has both its negative [and] positive aspects. On one hand, I’ve definitely seen cyberbullying and terrible comments, but the way people react is incredible. People will rally and support a person, and maybe that isn’t always true, but what I think is so great about social media is that it can connect these sorts of people from all these different places, especially those who really need a friend in the moment.
I’ve been able to help friends realize they aren’t alone, even if we aren’t in-person, and I think that’s what makes me love [social media] so much.
Want to be featured in Everly Mag’s next Fandom Friday? Send us an email, follow us on Instagram, and connect on Twitter.
Do you love Lilia Buckingham and Hayley LeBlanc? See more of them in Everly Mag’s articles about our top celebrity friendships, 20 stars to watch in 2018, 10 stars under 10, and more!
Read more Everly Mag interviews with dancers, actors, singers, and influencers.
Feature Image Credit: Everly Mag
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