How This Influencer Is Disrupting Social Media With Purpose-Driven Content

His name is Jerome Jarre, and he’s turning social media influence into smiles, solar powered light and empowered youth.

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Likes, followers, subscribers, Insta-fame, quick money. While these concepts are relatively new, their power to turn your life and career upside down is undeniable.

Social media is no longer just a form of self-expression, now it’s a way to make money and change the world… if you choose so. I’d like to introduce you to a person who’s redefining how we think about social media.

His name is Jerome Jarre, and he’s turning social media influence into smiles, solar powered light and empowered youth.

He’s the first social media celebrity to not just run a social good campaign in partnership with a large brand, but to make it the primary focus of his work.

A French native, traveler, and natural entrepreneur, Jarre became famous for his joy-filled comedic six-second Vine videos (R.I.P. Vine), which were a result of pushing his own boundaries and overcoming a fear of strangers. What made Jerome different from the get go is his contagious passion for life. His inimitable, innocent joy and aliveness. Every piece of content he shares, from his squirrel series to the #UglySelfieChallenge, radiates authenticity and good intention.

Soon after becoming social media-famous (at one point he was the fourth most followed individual on Vine), he created a Vine influencer agency (R.I.P. Vine) with marketing personality Gary Vaynerchuk, appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show, was caught hanging out with Ashton Kitcher and Robert DeNiro, and Snapchatted from the Valentino runway with the cast of Zoolander 2 in Milan. He also was offered $1 million. by Pepsi, which he famously turned down because it didn’t align with his values.

It would have been easy for Jerome to take the road well traveled and go to Hollywood, date a starlet or two, release a capsule collection with Topshop, and get his own TV show deal (“Keeping Up with Jerome And His Squirrel”).

Instead, he deleted all his Vine posts and took a break from social media.

I don’t know what exactly Jerome did during his digital detox, but scrolling through his Instagram captions makes me think he spent most of the time meditating in a cave. Whether or not that’s the case, it’s obvious that Jarre spent a heck of a time going inward and connecting to his purpose. What he came back with is changing the course of social media history.

What Jarre realized is profound: instead of turning down collaboration offers from brands that he doesn’t align with (I hear that his rate for a Snapchat story is $35,000), he could turn it all around and work with large budget companies on his terms. His terms happen to be focused on global happiness and living outside your comfort zone.

“The truth is social media has totally redistributed who has influence and power, and that a positive & healthy revolution would be possible right now if celebrities and social media stars could stop spending their lives selling sugared water and take their chance to change the world,” Jerome posted on Instagram (with a shoutout to radishes).

How does he do it?

By creating authentic, purpose-driven content around important causes that makes you smile and doesn’t give you a choice but to engage. Whether the goal is making a stranger smile or providing solar power to an underdeveloped community in the Philippines, it’s all driven by a larger purpose.

For example, he ran a social media based crowdfunding campaign in which “likes” were the currency. Instead of the usual direct relationship between brands and influencers (like sponsored content and endorsements), he engages his community and gives everyone a chance to participate in creating change by simply giving an Instagram “like”. This one time he turned 150K Instagram likes into a lit up village in the Philippines:

“Social media makes us the most powerful generation ever, but only if you use it right,” says Jerome in Marketing Your Creativity For A Cause discussion. “We’re not using social media at its full capacity. We were given this free space ship, and we use it to go grocery shopping instead of going to the moon.”

As social media gets more crowded and the focus starts truly shifting from quantity to quality, it’s important to stay connected not only to your purpose as a publisher/influencer/creator, but to a bigger purpose, and find new creative ways to shine light on causes that we support. Thank you, Jerome for setting the bar high and reminding us and a whole generation of social media-obsessed youth to connect to things that count.

Article Written by  Ksenia Avdulova of Social Media Week