Love her or hate her, it’s hard to deny that Kim Kardashian has reached the level of Madonna or Oprah fame. Dubbed British GQ’s 2014 Woman of the Year and one of Time’s 30 Most Influential People, she has turned her sex scandal stardom into a multi-million dollar empire. On her current resume: E! reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians (KUWTK) just aired its tenth season, her video game app Kim Kardashian: Hollywood netted $74.3 million in 2014 and had 28 million downloads, she starred in T-mobile Super Bowl commercial and helped #breaktheinternet with her Paper Magazine cover. What’s the secret ingredient behind her King Midas touch? Arguably, her social media impetus is to thank for her current super stardom. Kim herself, in an interview with Adweek, said, “Social media plays a huge role in my life and my career.” Indeed, she boasts almost 30 million followers on both Instagram and Twitter.
Below, check out five things every brand can learn about social media from the selfie star herself.
1. Be authentic. Talk with a real voice. This might be the most overused piece of social advice I hear (and give!) but its importance can’t be disputed. Followers want to connect with the real people behind your brand, and social media makes this possible. By being extremely accessible, social media enables celebrities, brands, bloggers—anyone and everyone—to reach their audience quickly and personally. Kim shares snapshots of her day-to-day, allowing her fans to step into her world.
2. Give a glimpse ‘behind the scenes.’ This follows nicely from authenticity, since one of the best ways to be authentic is to show followers pieces that would usually only be privy to the inner circle. Kim’s stardom largely stems from KUWTK, which is built on the idea of ‘behind the scenes.’ She touts social media’s connection to the show and her fans, “I came at the right time when people just started to get into reality shows. Social media works when you're open, when you're honest and people want to feel like they're getting a little glimpse into your life. It's not that I brand myself like I'm a celebrity. It's just I'm living my life and sharing a part of my life with the world."
3. Have your own ‘thing’. Part of Kim’s claim to fame is her endless ‘selfies.’ Whether alone or with an entourage, you can be sure an image smiling into a reversed camera (or sometimes a mirror) will appear. Although this may seem ridiculous, it has become a constant Kim’s fans expect. This principle can easily be duplicated by brands with a weekly reoccurring post, voice or photo style. Find a fun or unexpected way to provide information to your followers they’ll find valuable, this will further your relationship and increase brand loyalty.
4. Laugh at Yourself. In a hilarious tribute to her selfies, Kim mocked her own social media practices in the T-mobile Super Bowl commercial. She acknowledges how over the top her lifestyle appears to ‘us common folk,’ while embracing her role as a super mogul. The commercial was viewed more than 12 million times the week it aired and was reportedly the fourth most talked about spot from the Super Bowl. Making light of yourself again shows your brand is backed and run by real people. Humor can make your brand more relatable on a human level, and encourage that magic word all social media strives for: ENGAGEMENT!
5. Use social media to reinforce brand image. Kim’s video game app is directly influenced by her real life. Outfits, travel and events are all incorporated into the game via updates. Follows who see Kim’s photos on social media can follow along on the game, creating a stronger brand image overall. While social media needs it’s own strategy, it should correlate with what’s actually happening with the brand. Launching a new campaign? Share photos and videos of the creative process that led to its completion. Support a local charity or initiative? Share why via social media. Again, this creates a stronger relationship with your followers, which, in turn, create stronger customers.
Social media has become a powerful tool for brand awareness, as Kim K. knows all too well. Think of social platforms as extensions of ourselves, existing to build a stronger relationship with our customers. And, for all fellow Kim fans out there, make sure to pick up a copy of her new book Selfish, a compilation of her selfies, out this spring.