Whether you love her or hate her, most people would agree that Kim Kardashian effectively markets herself and her brand. Isn’t that the very reason why you decided to click on this post, because for some reason we are intrigued with Kim Kardashian and her controversial self?
Kim K.’s online presence is stronger than ever; with 24.6 million followers on Twitter, 20.3 million followers on Instagram, and 23.7 million Facebook page likes. Her following trumps legends like Alicia Keys, Beyoncé and even Bill Gates. At one point, in 2012, her followers even surpassed our very own president, Barack Obama. Although it’s a minor component of her annual income, Kim is one of the highest paid for celebrity-sponsored tweets, earning about $10,000 per tweet.
After coming to this realization, I began to question, can social media marketers learn a thing or two from Kim Kardashian’s social media marketing strategy? Her quite brilliant branding strategy is what transformed her from an ordinary reality TV star into “royalty,” and social media has been a driving force behind this. It is used to promote every aspect of her most successful businesses, including her reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians, ShoeDazzle, her clothing, jewelry and perfume lines and even her wedding.
Let’s delve into the key ingredients contributing to Kim’s success and uncover how social media marketers can keep up with her.
Personal and Professional Mix
Finding a balance between personal and promotional updates is crucial to fostering engagement on social media. Kim opens up the doors to her personal life and let’s her fans right in, allowing them to experience her fabulous and extravagant lifestyle. While she is constantly promoting her brand, she treats her followers like the humans that they are, by providing them with lighthearted pictures of her Hermès Birkin handbags and updating them on her trips to the tanning salon to get that #KardashianGlow.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 16, 2014
As, Gary Vaynerchuk (bestselling author and social media expert) explained in his book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World,” social media platforms should be used as a way to tell your brand’s story in light touches or “jabs” to create continuous engagement and offer value to the target audience. This should not be a one-sided “me, me, me” conversation, but, instead, businesses should rarely include promotional updates so that, when they do throw that “right hook”, people are actually willing to listen.
Social media marketers must first prove their value and context to their target audiences, and then people will want to do business with them. First and foremost, people are people and want to be gradually engaged before being sold to.
— Brian Fanzo (@iSocialFanz) October 1, 2014
B2B Social Media Marketing Impact
Salesforce is a B2B company worth highlighting for their impactful Twitter profile. This company does an exceptional job of engaging their target audience with a balance between personal and promotional tweets. Their Twitter profile is composed of industry related news, helpful tips, success stories and an appropriate mix of branded and unbranded tweets.
— Salesforce (@salesforce) October 22, 2014
Relevant and Timely Updates
Providing exciting and timely information is another area where Kim excels across social media platforms. Despite the fact that she’s always traveling the world, there is never a time when Kim is completely off the social media map. She maintains relationships with her followers through a constant stream of communication. This on-going presence online encourages people to revisit her social media profiles and website, and become loyal followers.
She also keeps fans updated with what is happening in her life, exactly when it is happening. In this sense, her fans feel like they are gaining something from following her, as they are being exposed to relevant things that they would have missed out on otherwise.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 12, 2014
The word “timely” takes on two meanings for social media marketers because producing a constant stream of updates is just as important as producing relevant updates. There are several tools (the one I find most useful is Hootsuite) that allow marketers to schedule a stream of updates across their social media accounts to ensure the business appears active. However, this will not necessarily trigger the most engagement.
While these tools are extremely helpful in planning, social media marketers still need to maintain the most relevant updates possible. For example, when something significant happens in the industry or when employees are attending an exciting conference, live updates will likely spark the most engagement with your audience because you are providing them with something exclusive. These types of opportunities should always be taken advantage of and never overlooked.
B2B Social Media Marketing Impact
A B2B company that does a great job of this is Intel. As a global technology innovation company, it’s especially important for them to provide their audience with timely and relevant news in the industry. In order to be portrayed as a thought-leader, rather than a thought-follower, it’s important for the company to be the first to tell their audience what’s happening in the industry.
When web browsing, most people skim a page twice horizontally, then vertically down the left. #DidYouKnow
— Intel (@intel) October 22, 2014
Different Priorities for Different Platforms
After diving deeper into Kim Kardashian’s social media presence, it became obvious that each of her accounts have different priorities and objectives; as they should. Comparing her Facebook and Twitter will show the biggest difference.
Kardashian uses Facebook as a way to expose her brand and help her fans learn more, with links back to her website and other mediums for fans to connect on. In an effort to boost engagement on Facebook, Kim often advertises discounts and free giveaways, giving her loyal followers a chance to win branded merchandise. And, of course, it works because everyone loves free stuff.
For B2B social media marketers
While offering free giveaways may not be the best approach for all social media marketers, a lesson can be learned from this. People will revisit your profile if they feel like they are gaining something from it, which can be something tangible or intangible. Each member of your target audience subconsciously asks themselves, “What do you have to offer me? How will I benefit from following you?”
With a character limit on each tweet, shorter life spans and greater popularity of hashtags, Twitter should be used as a much different communication tool for social media marketers. As I mentioned before, Kim uses Twitter as a method to maintain an on-going presence in her fans lives. She posts much more frequently here than on any other social media platform and incorporates hashtags in almost every tweet.
While these are noteworthy differences, the thing that caught my eye the most was the fact that she often creates her own branded hashtags for products and events (ex: #KardashianGlow #KimKardashianGame #LetsHaveASockParty). This encourages followers to get involved by using the hashtag and creates a place for them to see conversations happening around this topic.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) September 22, 2014
For B2B Marketers
Content Marketing Institute has implemented a similar strategy to this, as they have also created their own branded hashtag (#CMWorld) for followers to use. Their followers have been extremely receptive to it and know that they have a good chance of being retweeted if they use the hashtag. This is especially helpful during the company’s popular Q & A sessions on Twitter.
— Content Marketing (@CMIContent) October 22, 2014
So, the bottom line here is that social media marketers should get in touch with their inner Kim Kardashian, and incorporate these elements into their daily social media objectives. To keep up with Kim, social media marketers need to find the right balance between personal and professional and know their audiences enough to communicate with them the way that they want to be communicated with. Then, they need to produce a continuous stream of messages that are both relevant and timely, while tailoring their social media objective to specific platforms.
Although these are just a few elements of creating and maintaining a successful social media strategy, they are arguably the most important. You never know, maybe someday you will have more followers than our president too! What do you think; can you keep up with Kim Kardashian?
Photo credit: instagram.com/kimkardashian