Andy Cohen, host of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, moderated a SXSW Interactive panel Friday evening on super fandom in the digital age.

The concept of Internet fandom is quickly becoming mainstream, as seemingly normal people are achieving celebrity status through social media and various other platforms. Bravo, under Cohen’s direction, has been extremely successful at creating viral buzz. The network has turned many of its franchise reality show personalities into household names in a very short time.

The panel included YouTube stars Tyler Oakley, who has over 4 million subscribers, Grace Helbig, who has over 1 million subscribers, and BuzzFeed’s EVP of Video, Ze Frank.

Cohen kicked things off by asking the panelists questions from the audience about their individual social media quirks. "If you could only use one social platform," Cohen started, "what would it be?" Other questions included: "What was the last thing you saw online that made you laugh out loud," and "Is drunk social media the new drunk texting?" 

The concept of Internet fandom is quickly becoming mainstream, as seemingly normal people are achieving celebrity status through social media and various other platforms. Bravo, under Cohen’s direction, has been extremely successful at creating viral buzz. The network has turned many of its franchise reality show stars into household names in a very short time.

The concept of Internet fandom is quickly becoming mainstream, as seemingly normal people are achieving celebrity status through social media and various other platforms. Bravo, under Cohen’s direction, has been extremely successful at creating viral buzz. The network has turned many of its franchise reality show stars into household names in a very short time. Helbig and Frank sipped Miller Lite tallboys as they answered questions from from Cohen, and Oakley nursed a mixed drink making the panel slightly unorthodox, but still engaging.

Things picked up when Frank revealed a gem. When asked, "What is the secret sauce to creating good content?" he offered a generous answer.

Your content, Frank began, has to have an identity, meaning it must represent a part of your individual identity better than you can talk about it. Second, your content needs to be an emotional gift, and should make your audience feel a certain way. And third, your content should provide a social role of information. Frank continued by explaining that your content should prove an argument that people have been having all along or play a part in real world conversation.

"Never lose site of your brand or voice," Cohen added.

Super fandom, spurred by social media, has become a full-time job for Oakley and Helberg, but it leaves some wondering how these people make money? Helberg revealed that she earns income from Google Adsense (ads on her YouTube videos), brand sponsorships, live shows, and merchandise. These methods of income ultimately force Helberg and Oakley to work around the clock to feed their fans with content.

Despite its intent, the panel didn't delve into the intricacies of exactly how to develop a core base and create a following like we'd hoped. Although, Helbig did add: "Make sure your brand across all platforms is the same."