How do they do it? I’m talking about the social media users who have large audiences. The social media users that went from zero to hundreds of thousands of followers. It was a question I often asked myself. I wondered if there was some type of secret formula they used.
Yes, there are some saucy methods involved. However, going from not knowing anything about social media to growing a massive audience is epic. A close look at the surface of these individuals quickly reveals how they became successful on social media.
People like to think there’s some secret sauce involved, but these basic characteristics that they share. It turns out we know most of these characteristics already, but they are the key to success on social media. In addition, knowing and doing are two different things.
#1: They Use It The Right Way Every Day
Most of us are good at using social media every day. Successful social media users use it more productively than the common social media user. They look for targeted audiences, engage with those targeted audiences, and provide them with awesome content.
The intent of a successful social media user is to humor the audience or to empower the audience with knowledge. Successful social media users think, “How can I create a better experience?” before they think, “How can I get more followers?”
Use social media in a powerful way, and you are bound to see powerful results.
#2: They Are Patient
You’ve heard this tip for just about everything in your life. Be patient if you want to run faster times. Be patient if you want to be a singer. Be patient, be patient, be patient (I think we all get the point).
But sure enough, patience plays a role yet again. Successful social media users eventually shift to the question “How can I reach out to more people?” Recognize they aren’t asking themselves how to make the “follower” number bigger. They want to reach and empower as many people as possible using social media.
When you first commit to growing a large social media audience, it takes time. Part of the reason is that when you first start, you won’t know everything. Successful social media users now gain hundreds of followers every day. But there was a time when these same social media users struggled to gain five followers in a given day.
Patience got these users from gaining five followers per day to gaining hundreds of followers per day.
#3: They Are Always Hungry For Knowledge
When a new social network is launched, there are two types of pioneers who grow large audiences on the new social network: The Rare Pioneer and the Expected Pioneer. The Rare Pioneer is someone who isn’t successful on any other social network. However, this Rare Pioneer loves the new social network and quickly masters it. Then, people start following this Rare Pioneer on all of the other social networks.
The Expected Pioneer is the successful social media user expanding his/her platform. The Expected Pioneer gets into the action as soon as possible. Since a new social network is getting a lot of sign-ups, it is normal to get a lot of followers just by posting something.
I did two Periscope broadcasts on the day Periscope came out. I assure you that both of them were subpar at best. For one of them, I didn’t even know I was recording a live broadcast. In the first three days after Periscope was launched, I had over 2,000 followers.
Successful social media users often acquire more knowledge by extending themselves onto other social networks. While they wait for a new social network to come out, they are reading blog posts, reading books, and watching videos about social media. They want to be connected with other successful social media users so they can learn more about the platform and build relationships.
Since you are at this point of the blog post, then you hunger for knowledge too. However, you must always hunger for knowledge and want as much of it as possible—even when you too are a successful social media user.
#4: At One Point, They Focused On One Social Network
The social media world is as easy or as complicated as you make of it. Unfortunately, most of us want to make the social media world as complicated for ourselves as possible. We’re tweeting on Twitter, pinning on Pinterest, posting on Facebook, uploading videos to YouTube, and sharing our pictures on Instagram. We’re catching up with the news about Periscope and Blab and still trying to find some time to get the Vine in.
Successful social media users utilize an arsenal of social networks. However, in the beginning of their journeys, the eventual successful social media users would stick with one social network. They tend to master one social network from the inside-out before they try to master another social network.
I view social media mastery in the same way a linguist would view mastering the romance languages. There are two approaches to mastering a series of languages:
Approach #1: I give you flash cards, proper phrases, and Rosetta Stone for French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Italian. You have to master all of these languages at the same time.
Approach #2: I give you everything I gave you in the first approach. However, you choose one language and commit yourself to mastering that one language. You only start learning another language once you have mastered the first language you are trying to master.
Give me Approach #2 any day of the week. This is the same way in which we must view social media.
Do all social media users go with the second approach? I would say about 99% of them do, and you can tell. One way you can tell is by the content they write on their blogs. If you go through this blog, you’ll discover that the first social network I discussed in great detail was Twitter. That’s because Twitter was the first social network that I strived to master.
You can also figure out the first social network a successful social media user mastered by looking at the audience sizes of their social networks. Most of the successful social media users will have large audiences elsewhere, but the social network they started on will almost always have the largest audience.
Out of all of my social media accounts, my Twitter account by far has the largest audience. That could change in the future depending on how much I invest into Facebook likes, but right now, Twitter by far has the largest percentage of my social media audience.
If you find me on social media, chances are you’ll find me on Twitter first before you find me on any of my other social networks.
In our search for the secret sauce, we ignore the recipe on the kitchen door. All successful social media users achieved their success in large part because of these four characteristics. These four characteristics were the foundation that led to the acquisition of other skills.
Those skills combined with these characteristics allow social media users to become successful. These characteristics give you the GPS needed to achieve social media success. You can’t see how many miles you are away from your destination, but you’ll know that the path you are heading on is the right path for you.
Which of these characteristics do you think is the most important? Do you think there are any other defining characteristics of successful social media users? Sound off in the comments section below.