Welcome back. It’s summer, the perfect time to relax, reflect, and step up your web presence. People have been asking us how we mastered social media, and if we could share any of our tips. Of course, we were happy to share. The value in becoming a blogstar is quite obvious: People who you’ve never met before already like you, you can promote your content to a large group and sway popular opinion, and you can establish a core group of “haters” to ensure that you’ve “made it.” Here it is, our beginner’s guide to becoming a Blogstar:
In 2011 and beyond, who sinks and who swims will be determined by one thing: personal online branding. Simply put, those who fail to keep up with the times and convert their lives into the digital sphere will be left behind. Without a solid web presence you will be unable to find work, attract a life partner, and ultimately procreate. This is a fact, not an opinion. Most people’s reaction to this is quite impulsive: “Oh no,” they say, “I’ve got to go out there and make a name for myself in (insert artistic, business, or media related field) so that I will get tons of followers on Twitter and have major Google searchability!” …Wrong. To have a strong web presence, you need not waste your time achieving major feats IRL (in real life). People make the mistake of trying hard in their endeavors and hoping that people will magically start following them. Instead, it is critical to flood the internet with content through various platforms, all linked together under your “personal online brand.”
This all sounds very nebulous, but it is really quite simple. Becoming a blogstar comes down to several easy steps: Choosing your platform, identifying your unique personal brand, delivering content, and PBA (Personal Brand Alignment). However, many overlook the early steps and find that they have to start over. Making the right decisions and aligning/positioning your brand early on will position you to become a blogstar.
Step 1: Choose your platform. This is a critical time in the process, and must not be overlooked. Using the right social media platforms lets others know that you are up on current web trends and that your brand should be trusted. For mobile devices, this means choosing an iPhone over all Blackberrys, Androids, and other options. For Twitter platform, this means choosing Tweetdeck over Echofon, Ubersocial, or Hootsuite. For picture sharing, this means choosing Instagram over Twitpic, Lockerz, YFrog, and Plixi. For a personal blog, this means choosing Tumblr over WordPress and Blogger. For location sharing, this means choosing FourSquare over Facebook Places. These are simple steps but are necessary to build up credibility in the digital age. Many have been on the verge of Blogstardom but fell short because they made poor platform choices like “checking in on Facebook” or “getting an Android tablet because it’s cheaper.” These are serious mistakes that can be costly in the long run.
Step 2: Identify your personal brand. This is where it gets trickier. You must decide what your online personality is, and how you want others to perceive you. Luckily, we already know what you want and what makes YOU unique. You are quirky, funny, bold, youthful, spontaneous, sometimes sarcastic, and always opinionated while remaining sincere and relatable. You can show this in your Twitter bio, on your Tumblr, in the pictures you post, and in the general “vibes” you give off digitally.
Step 3: Delivering content. This is the make or break part of the process, and requires much time and devotion. If you are a journalist, the work you create must be exposed to as many people as possible through your social media platforms. If you are a musician, the founder of a tech startup, or a filmmaker this means finding a core audience and expanding from there. However, if you do not create original content such as music or art, don’t fear! In the world of social media you can post links to exciting, new, and obscure work and take some of the credit (a finder’s fee, if you will). Whether you’re reblogging a faded picture of a fall day in Central Park, retweeting a Mediafire link to a brand new song, or talking about how you still don’t understand the wild beauty in Werner Herzog’s catalogue even after nine viewings, you are nonetheless “producing content” by associating your brand with these works. This will be further discussed in the next section, but aligning yourself with the correct brands and sharing them with your network will help you gain credibility, followers, and searchability. It is important to vary your content; this includes sharing blog posts/articles, photos, music you enjoy, places you go, and your own feelings and thoughts. A major mistake some people make is holding back; you must be honest with the internet, expressing your true feelings and secrets over such platforms as Twitter and Tumblr. This is how we connect in the Digital Age.
4: PBA (Personal Brand Alignment). Creating a strong online brand involves aligning yourself with other brands that are creative, interesting, and influential. Anytime we digitally interact with another person, band, or actual brand (clothing, restaurant, tech company, etc.) we are aligning our personal brand with the other’s. This means you must be discerning in the content you ingest and the content you share; sharing articles from Thought Catalog makes you appear honest and quirky, while sharing articles from the New York Times makes you appear credible and intellectually curious. By making jokes back and forth with or getting retweeted by other blogstars it shows that they respect you, and vice versa. By sharing an awesome R&B track from 1999 that everyone forgot about but is glad to remember, it shows that you are culturally connected. Engaging in a series of mutually beneficial digital relationships will help you position your brand correctly and will lead you to becoming a Blogstar. Of course, the opposite is also true. Tweeting at some lame friend from middle school with a locked Twitter account and the name “Kristy673” will regress your brand’s momentum. Choosing the wrong song to share or sharing a song too late will show weakness and make others think that your content is not to be trusted.
If you have any questions or would like to hire us as Social Media Consultants, feel free to DM us on Twitter, @FakeNYULocal. We hope you enjoyed our tips to mastering the tools that been given to us on this great internet we all call home.