Published on April 12, 2016, at 9:30 p.m.
by Mackenzie Ross.
Everyone has that one friend — the one who’s famous. No, I’m not talking about celebrity status; I’m talking about social media famous.
Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram and wondered how someone always seems to get more likes than you or more retweets on Twitter? The key is branding yourself. Just as you have to market and sell yourself in an interview or the workplace, you must also use social media to build your brand in the virtual world.
So, how do you become “social media famous”? Sadly, there’s no exact formula, but by following a few trends, you’re likely to see a boost to your followers’ list and interactions.
1. Use social media wisely.
First off, if you are not already on social media, create a virtual presence now. While some people prefer to use one social medium as their primary way to communicate, you need to use all the mainstream social media sites to ensure you’re reaching the maximum number of people.
Once you’ve established online accounts, it’s important to know what kind of content to post on each site and the reactions you can expect.
Facebook: With the timeline algorithm that was introduced in 2011, it can be hard to ensure followers/friends will view a post unless you pay to promote it. You should engage with other pages similar to yours by commenting on others’ posts, and aim to share/create content that has the chance to go viral.
Twitter: With more than 1.3 billion users, it can be hard to stand out. So, some people advise following a bunch of accounts with similar interests to yours, and those accounts will likely follow you back. While not all of your content has to be humorous, include some funny content since it is most likely to be retweeted.
Instagram: A picture really is worth a thousand words. It’s most important to make sure you are posting photos that stand out and make someone want to stop and double tap or comment. Follow these tips on what makes a great photo.
YouTube: This is the best way to earn money (thanks to advertising) and build long-lasting fame. Avoid vlogs (video blogs); instead, focus on music, how-to videos, news talks, etc.
Blog: Although this takes the most work, blogs allow for more creativity and expression of opinion. Also, fan bases tend to be more stable and consistently engaged with your blog. Start by creating a website; then, write short pieces about current events or your opinion on social issues. You can use other forms of social media to promote your blogs.
Additionally, you should use hashtags to your advantage. These simple words or phrases can connect your posts to thousand of others’ posts in the same category. Before getting hashtag happy, you need to evaluate how many hashtags are appropriate for that particular social medium.
2. Develop a platform based on what you’re passionate about.
The best social media sites tend to have a central theme or tone: comedic, informative, persuasive, entertaining, etc. You need to decide what your passion is and what your primary focus will be. Celebrities like Justin Bieber and Kate Upton launched their careers thanks to effective social media.
Whether it’s food, DIY projects, music, business trends or political topics, most of your social media content should focus around one thing — that’s what branding is all about. Once you pick your passion, it becomes a part of your identity, both online and in the real world, and eventually, people will expect to see content related to that passion when they visit your page.
In addition to the social media sites listed above, you can use other sites such as Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Vine and more, but regardless of which sites you use, you should post on each one at least once a day. It’s important to stay connected with your followers.
3. Stay positive and engage with audiences.
When posting pictures or statuses, maintain a positive attitude. Your captions and photo filters should reflect that positivity. Because we live in the digital age, you have to give your followers a reason to care, and something happy will most likely catch their attention.
The Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The same principle applies on social media. To gain followers and interactions, you have to make the first move. Start by asking questions to other people on social media, and eventually, people will start asking you questions and seeking your advice. If a person asks you a question or answers your question, you need to reply to them or retweet them.
If you stumble across another post or blog you do not agree with, do not keep scrolling. It’s important to engage with other social media users even if your views are different. By politely and respectfully stating why you think they are wrong or asking a question of them, you can create an even bigger discussion and possibly engage more people.
4. Remember social media is not all about you.
Sure, it might seem narcissistic to seek social media fame, but once you have a large following, you have the opportunity to help countless people. So, you should tailor your content based on what your readers want; don’t just write about yourself.
Monica O’Brien from Personal Branding Blog said, “Advice blogs are popular because they give value to the person reading – and in return, the person writing gets a boost in popularity as their content is shared.”
You should also beware of over-selling products on social media. Endorsing a product or brand can offer some sweet incentives for both you and and your followers (especially if there’s a sweepstakes involved), but make sure you balance endorsements with more substance-based content.
In the end, your social media posts should reflect who you are. You should never change yourself to fit a certain mold. Instead, social media branding all comes down to promoting who you already are. One of the greatest things about social media is it allows you to connect with users from all across the world who have similar interests to you, without even meeting face to face. Your audience is somewhere out there waiting for you. So, what are you waiting for? Post away.