Video - Meet Austin Mahone – Social Media Genius or the Next Justin Bieber?

Have you ever heard of Austin Mahone?

I bet your kids have. And they either love him or hate him – but they have heard of him.

So, who is Austin Mahone? What’s his bio?

Mahone lives in San Antonia Texas and is a 15-year-old singer and musician known for looking like Justin Bieber and recording cover songs on YouTube.

So what? There are lots of kids uploading videos and singing covers these days right?

But Mahone and his fans are different.

His fans are known as Mahomies - and he has his own Blog, Facebook, YouTube, Dailybooth, Tumblr, Twitter, SoundCloud, Formspring, and Myspace accounts.

He records popular cover songs and posts them to YouTube and interacts with his fans on a daily basis and claims that Justin Bieber is his favorite artist.

And oh yea, Mahone LOOKS like Justin Bieber and his fans love him.

The thing that fascinates us about this young man is his savvy for working the social media to create a name for himself while building his own fan base from the ground up without a record label or marketing rep.

He has learned to do what many adults and big companies have failed to do – create a successful brand.

In addition to uploading covers he has hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans, dedicated fan sites, over 13 million YouTube views, and sells t-shirts, posters, wristbands, Stickers, and Necklaces.

Heck, he's even been know to run around shirtless just to tease his female fans.

This is the kind of interaction that defines social media.

His fans love him but he admits that he also has haters saying,

“Haterz don’t matter to me because they are just jealous and the hateful words that they say are garbage. That’s why I don't listen to hate. I am curious of what haterz have to say sometimes just because I'm a curious person. But their opinions of me don't matter to me, because I’m not trying to please them.

What is important are my fans. I love them so much and everything they do for me. Haterz can't hurt you unless you let them. And I just have one last thing to say.... Haterz gonna hate Mahomies gonna love.”

Austin’s success is a prime example of how social media can springboard you into fame, build a fan base, and possibly launch a music career if you’re good enough.

So how powerful can a homegrown fan base be to a young artist like Mahone?

One day last week his fans decided he should appear on the “Ellen Show” with Ellen DeGeneres, and in one magnificent push of social media network power trended the phrase “#MahoneOnEllen” on twitter for the day as a worldwide trending topic.

His fans also bombarded DeGeneres’s Twitter and Facebook account and called her studio’s switchboard requesting she book Austin as a guest.

Why is this significant?

Because it was Ellen DeGeneres and her “eleveneleven” record label that discovered 14-year-old Greyson Chance.

And with less effort than Austin, Greyson has been propelled into a celebrity status with his first album “Hold on ‘til the Night” due to release next week.

Related: Greyson Chance gives video tour of his home town - Video

That kind of power by your own fans is exactly what made Justin Bieber what he is today.

One thing that helps make Mahone a fan favorite is he covers songs that are popular in today’s young music culture ranging from Cody Simpson, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Ne-yo, Usher, Adele, Chris Brown, and Edwin McCain.

So take note big record labels.

The youth of today have developed the social media skills to find, fall in love, promote, and make famous the musical artists THEY want to see and listen to - not who YOU want them to listen to.

Not that there’s not any place for “big music”, but things are changing these days and kids have grown frustrated with the “business as usual” mentality shown by the music industry.

They say that “necessity is the mother of invention”, and our kids are inventing a new way to communicate and enjoy their favorite artists and musicians.

We hope some of the adults out there are listening because these kids can teach us a thing or two about what makes them tick – and they are showing us what it is they want to listen to and who they want to fall in love with as a fan.

After all, if Justin Bieber's pet cat "Spaz" can get his own @Justins_Cat twitter account - than anything is possible!

Related: Justin Bieber's pet cat Spaz joins Twitter

Time will tell if a shirtless Austin Mahone will become the next big teen idol or music sensation…

But shouldn’t we be listening to what they are trying to tell us?

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