The Rock: Lessons from the 200 million man
Updated: Oct 14
Dwayne Johnson recently announced that he has passed 200 million followers on Instagram. This makes him the most followed man in America and the most-followed American man worldwide.
Whether you have been following the man formerly known as The Rock since his body slams and baby oil days in the then World Wrestling Federation, or you know him from his blockbuster films, his fast-rising tequila brand, or even if you can take him or leave him, this feat is impressive.
To hit these sorts of numbers suggests that Johnson is doing something very right in the social media sphere.
He attributes his success to one thing: Speaking his truth with poise and dignity.
Now, social media is a funny thing. It lends a veneer of reality to a carefully curated insight into someone’s life or business.
The Rock is a media mogul and giant in his own right. He has the tools to craft a complete reality well beyond that of most Instagram users. But it is how he lives and portrays his “truth” which makes Johnson’s account stand apart in the widening field of digital megastars.
He has a tangible existence outside of the social media sphere and he keeps these two in step. This is what lends his account the authenticity and “truth” he promises.
Instagram is full of accounts featuring picture-perfect vacations and meals out. The truth is that no one actually spends all their time smouldering at a camera on a beach. No one spends every day dressed up and eating out. We love these sorts of accounts because they are a window into a world we want to be in, they are a bitesize chunk of digital escapism in our world.
But they are not a rounded world we can dive into. Johnson’s Instagram existence is.
He works. He promotes his companies. He appears on set with directors and messing about with co-stars. He spends time with his family. He works out – good lord, does he work out.
The common thread with all of this is that he is showing himself doing something, building something or someone up. His account does not just attach his name and handle to a brand or place which looks good. He looks to drive and elevate what he posts about.
What does this mean for the rest of us? Well, we are not Dwayne Johnson. We, for the most part, lack the media infrastructure and weight which Johnson can bring to bear.
But there is something to be taken from his mantra of speaking your truth with poise, dignity and respect.
So many people seem to be posting for the likes. I am as guilty as anyone, if not more so than most. But there is a better connection forged with your audience if you are posting something you actually believe. Post something which actually fits in with your online persona – and, ideally, your offline one too.
Create your own truth on Instagram and all social media. But, as Johnson advises, do it with poise, dignity and respect. Or, in other words, do it with a bit of sheen.
Photos from Dwayne Johnson on Instagram