Social sensations: How Hawaii's online celebs are finding fame – - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Social sensations: How Hawaii's online celebs are finding fame – and cash

Jelayne Shelton, in a viral Facebook post. Jelayne Shelton, in a viral Facebook post.
The group 'Lethal Giggles' in a recent sketch video. The group 'Lethal Giggles' in a recent sketch video.
EWA BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Real, genuine and unfiltered.

Those are just some of the secrets to success offered by some of Hawaii's most viral social media influencers -- individuals who reach modern day celebrity solely on social media.  

Hawaii News Now recently caught up with four of them, a group of up-and-coming local influencers who are hoping to hit it big on phone-sized screens.

For Jelayne Shelton of Ewa Beach, it was a video of her trying on a charcoal mask that launched her as one of Hawaii's fastest rising social media stars.

"Jelayne had a baby and then got bored and then two weeks later, decided to destroy Facebook," said Dani Stolfi-Tow, a social marketing manager. "Got up one morning, made a video and a million views later ... we were like, 'Where did she come from!?'"

Stolfi-Tow helps people like Jeylane build their social following by showcasing Hawaii's social media creators on her social media channel, "808 Viral." She helps guide them on strategy -- finding new ways to become a social media influencer.

"It doesn't phase me yet that I'm a social media influencer. I'm just a loud Portuguese woman talking story to people and they want to listen," Shelton said. "I just feel like I'm talking to people like I'm talking to you. I feel like I'm talking to family and friends."

Her charcoal mask video went viral with nearly 8 million views and was even featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Viral posts are one way for social media influencers to get paid for their work, either by getting paid by a manufacturer to become a brand ambassador or by showing a product in a posting on their page. More followers means more to people see posts.

"I'm not going to call any names out, but there are a couple of people in Hawaii that are from here that are making $4,000 to post one picture on Instagram," Stolfi-Tow said. "It goes on your following. The bigger your following the more money you're going to make.

"I think that's why its so powerful, because its real. People want authenticity. That's why it's so big. It's not staged."

Comedy, as with people like Shelton, is what the three-person Oahu comedy troupe "Lethal Giggles" specializes in. They're not getting paid yet, but monetizing their work is one of their listed goals.

"This is what we like to do. It started off as a hobby and if we could get paid for this, it would be awesome." Bronson Varde said. He's one of the members of the group.

"I wouldn't say it's so easy, but its something you can just jump into it," added Pu'uwai Roback, another member of the group.

"What's the most surprising thing for me lately is how quickly something can take off -- or somebody for that matter," said Stolfi-Tow. "You could be in your living room one day and suddenly you're famous overnight." 

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