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Turning ‘likes’ into a career

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  • Turning ‘likes’ into a career

    Lindsey Louie holds her dog, Biggie Smalls the Notorious D.O.G. — who has more than 75,000 social media followers — last month at a cocktail party in San Francisco. A network has sprung up to help the follower-laden stars of social media services make money by connecting them with brands wanting to advertise to their audiences. Preston Gannaway/The New York Times

Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2014 9:30 pm | Updated: 9:11 am, Wed Jul 16, 2014.

On a Monday evening in late June, Darren Lachtman surveyed the sun-dappled patio of Southern Pacific Brewing, a bar and restaurant in a cavernous warehouse in San Francisco’s Mission District. Beer in hand, he nodded toward Robby Ayala, a comedian and employee of Niche, the social media management agency Lachtman, 32, founded with a partner last July. Ayala was one of more than a dozen Niche members invited to the company-sponsored happy hour.

“He got like, 40,000 likes and shares on his last post,” Lachtman said. (That post featured Ayala, an affable 23-year old with a kind of frat-boy charm, pouring hot coffee on his bare hand.) “The dog is down there with his 50,000 followers,” Lachtman went on, gesturing at Biggie Griffon, a pouty Brussels Griffon who sat underneath a pizza-and-cheeseburger-strewn picnic table.

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