Becoming popular on social media is one thing. Having the odd post go viral is another. But to actually don the crown and be labelled by your peers as ‘social media royalty’ is something else entirely.
Indeed, this is the tricky part. You cannot crown yourself as social media royalty (as much as I’d you’d like to). Industry recognition as being a cut above the rest is the only way to meaningfully achieve such an accolade.
In most cases, accomplishing such a feat does not happen overnight. There are literally billions of voices on the internet, all vying to get heard. Cutting through the cacophony on a persistent, regular, even daily basis is what it will actually take before you can expect your inaugural coronation.
Gurus – Grrrh!!
Anyone can call themselves a ‘social media guru’. And anyone who does, isn’t. It’s as simple as that.
Take a quick look at all the self-proclaimed gurus, ninjas and wizards in your Twitter following. Even if you’ve just got a thousand followers, you are bound to have dozens. But how many of these people actually have any meaningful influence on social media? Next to none, I’d wager.
To become royalty, you first need a massive following. Not one thousand, not two thousand, not ten thousand or even fifty thousand. Realistically, it’s not until you reach 100,000 followers that you can even start to think that you might one day be entitled to a seat on the social throne.
And just having followers isn’t enough. You must also be producing regular content that gets picked up, read, and engaged with on a daily basis. This is important, for just having an excellent social media strategy (or manager/team) behind you isn’t enough on its own to transport you to the dizzying heights of digital superstardom.
You need to stand for something. Put simply, it’s not just a numbers game; you need to be hailed across all of the digital channels as being ‘the one to watch’, ‘the account to follow’, ‘the most inspiring/influential/innovative writer and thinker out there’.
In the end, it comes down to recognition. When you are being talked about on a daily basis, when things that you have posted perhaps even a couple of years ago are still being shared and linked to every day, when you start topping the lists of ‘influencers’, ‘business people’ and ‘innovative marketers’ – only then will you start to be considered as royalty.
The King, Queen And Jack Of Social Media
For us here at markITwrite, we hail the following three people as representing the royal flush of social media.
#1. Jeff Bullas
@jeffbullas is a giant of social media. A true king of the blogosphere, and heavyweight Twitter influencer. His tips, guides, how-tos and books on all manner of social media are pretty much second to none. If you want to see how social media royalty conducts itself online, then head over to jeffbullas.com.
#2. Mari Smith
@MariSmith “is one of the world’s leading social media thought leaders, widely recognized for her Facebook marketing expertise. She is author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.” (marismith.com) Yeah, we love her.
#3. Guy Kawasaki
@GuyKawasaki has over 1.45 million followers on Twitter. He is the author of 13 books – including The Art Of Social Media and What The Plus! Google+ For the Rest Of Us – and has said what is perhaps the wisest phrase in all of social media marketing:
“Do you know what the difference is between PR and advertising? Advertising is when you say how great you are. PR is when other people say how great you are. PR is better.”
5 Tips On Becoming Social Media Royalty
Ok, you’ve seen the royal parade, and I think we’ve established exactly what social media royalty is – so let’s now take a look at 5 things that you can do to try and get there yourself.
#1. Provide Solutions To Problems
If there’s one thing that all of the abovementioned digital Highnesses have in common, it’s the fact that they do not simply regurgitate the same old content that everyone else is. No, they are actually listening to people, and providing answers to common questions.
In order to become a true influencer, you first have to adopt the mindset of a critical thinker. When composing your content, don’t simply start putting one word after another to fill the page. If you’ve got a great flare for writing, then you might very well find yourself with a loyal fan-base of adequately entertained followers. But, if all you’re doing is putting a quiet smirk on their faces, then you will never achieve any meaningful influence.
No, what you need to do is ask your following what their biggest problems are with the platforms that they deal with. Once you’ve been told, think about it. Next, conduct proper research into the various quandaries. Finally, present your results along with your suggested solutions.
It is only this thoughtful approach to your content that will get you noticed and talked about, and thereby transcend you to realms social media royalty.
#2. Be Original
Following on from the first point, the only way to stand out from the crowd is by saying something that no one else is saying. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to be childishly outrageous in order to get attention – anyone can do that.
Rather that you have to give yourself a unique voice and a unique standpoint, and either tackle issues that haven’t been tackled before, or tackle old issues from a new angle that hasn’t been thought of experimented with as yet.
If you manage to hit on something that’s truly new and innovative, then you can expect to find yourself being referenced by other key players in your industry, and start to be heralded as the true thought leader that you know you are.
#3. Engage With Your Subjects
They say that content is king – and it most certainly is. But, it is king of a whole royal family of other strategies that are designed to complement His Majesty’s prowess.
Content is king, but, as Mari Smith puts it, “engagement is queen, and she rules the house!”
She does indeed. As you become royalty, by definition you become a leader – a thought leader, some would say. And the best leaders are the best listeners.
Dictators say, “It’s my way or the highway!” But a true royal is not a dictator. The true royal is a leader, and leaders listen to what their subjects have to say in response to their ideas and proposals and then act upon them.
This means that a lot of the content that you will actually be producing will come in response to other people’s comments on your work. And it is essential that you take the time to do this, and do it as thoughtfully and as considerately as you do when writing your blogs in the first place.
By engaging your following regularly – even if it’s just thanking an individual for a positive comment – you will ensure that you stay on everyone’s radar. A little acknowledgement will also do wonders for your continued popularity.
#4. Organise Your Distribution
Mari Smith says that engagement is queen. But there are other commenters on the internet that say that actually ‘distribution is queen’.
There is good reason for this. Your king (i.e. your content) is only ever as good and as influential as its reach. You could start writing the best social media blog ever written tomorrow – but unless you have adequate means of distributing that content, then it’s quite likely that it will never get discovered by anybody at all – ever.
Yes, to become social media royalty, you also have to be able to practice what you preach, and, indeed, your success should be demonstrable in your following and reach.
Combined, the 3 royal members of the social media family above have a following of more than 2.1 million on Twitter alone. They write extensively on how to grow your social media following – and they have the numbers behind them to back up their claims.
This means that you have to have proper social media strategies in place to ensure that you’re reaching as many people as possible. It’s not enough to just be the king or queen of one platform either – you need presence on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube before you can be truly crowned. And a lot of this goes right back to basics – #hashtags, keywords, tagging and linking. Once you’ve created the king of all content, let your fans share it.
#5. Be A Master Of All Forms
Blogs are one thing, tweets are another, and YouTube videos are something else again. At the moment, video is gaining the most traction, and with the likes of Periscope now making waves across the web, this is quite likely to be the trend that rises most rapidly.
That being said, your blogs and your writing will always be important. That’s something that simply won’t change any time soon. The written word has a longevity that a flavour-of-the-month video doesn’t.
However, it all comes down to variety – and you must always remember that what’s here today will be gone tomorrow, especially in social media. Presence is the key. Constant presence. This means that you have to be constantly active across all of your accounts – and your posts unique across all of them. Of course, you will be posting links to your blogs on all of your channels. But this won’t be enough. You need to be composing original tweets, original Facebook posts, and a separate and original blog for your LinkedIn account. If you want to become royalty, then it’s a full time job I’m afraid – just ask @kesbutters. We’ll all be kneeling before the ETO soon!
Who do you hail as social media royalty? Let us know below.
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